I remember my first visits to record shops in France in the 1980s. The shops themselves were even more hidden away than those in Britain but there was great satisfaction when you finally found one while the abundance of sleeve variations was mind-blowing. France had particularly taken to the EP format and there were so many of these snazzy 7” sleeves knocking about.
This is one of those French EP releases, though I found it only recently while researching The Hollyridge Strings, an American easy listening orchestra whose smooched up versions of pop hits by The Beatles in particular were massive selling albums in America in the mid-1960s.
So while this looks at first glance to be an EP of material from the 1961 Breakfast At Tiffany’s soundtrack, it is actually a set of four different film theme tunes covered by The Hollyridge Strings led by Breakfast At Tiffany’s.
I was going to move on but this copy was for sale cheap as it has been written on in biro by the original owner and I figured (correctly as it turned out) that a bit of lighter fluid and a cotton bud would clean that off so gave in. In addition the cover photo is clearly from the session which produced the iconic image of a socially distanced Audrey Hepburn on the original soundtrack album but was not a frame I recognised. Photographer Howard Conant, who did a number of shoots during the film’s production, took quite a few on the restaurant set and when the makers of this EP asked for a cover pic, they just got sent this one.
The rest of the design is pretty basic and follows a standard pattern of French EPs with a nice colour photo then lots of titles and text. But for a couple of quid it looks nice on the shelf and I much prefer it to any of the zillions of knock off Audrey / Tiffanys fridge magnets, notepads or mouse mats (does anyone even use those any more?) which clog up ebay nowadays.
Why were you researching The Hollyridge Strings? Well it is part of a strange planned book on vinyl sleeve art which I’ve been putting together in odd spare moments. I will say more about it when I’ve managed to knock it into shape a bit more!