There were TV advertised fitness albums throughout the seventies from Warwick, K-Tel and Ronco. The earliest we have seen in the UK dates from 1968 by Eileen Fowler, star of BBC Radio’s Woman’s Hour. With a restrained clean cover design typical of BBC tie-in albums of the decade (see the BBC Language Tuition page), Eileen was still fronting keep fit albums for the BBC in 1980 aged 74.
The selection of sleeves here shows the design approach to the genre; all lurid coloured lycra and ankle warmers. Except of course for the California governor-to-be Arnold Schwarzenegger, who wisely sticks with t-shirt and shorts. Arlene Phillips founded the risque TV dance troupe Hot Gossip and more recently fronted some reality TV show or other (forgive me if I’m not up to speed on the genre). The Green Goddess was another BBC Breakfast TV spin-off from a woman named after a WW2 fire engine.
The Popmobility albums were devised by Ken Woolcott of the Amateur Athletics Board and there were a couple in the series. This 1977 example has an interesting gatefold sleeve with the album and booklet held in a pocket on the inside.
We’ve also included a real cheapo South American offering (licensed from K-Tel in America), with track titles The Fast Show’s Channel Nine would love. These days fitness routines have moved over to DVDs or dedicated cable channels and these fab vinyl artifacts are relegated to charity store bins. Ejercicios Aerobicos to all our readers!