It’s 1959. The year the Barbie doll was launched. The year of the Cuban Revolution. And the year which saw Buddy Holly die in a plane crash. And one of his songs is covered by the popular Top Of The Pops team on this early release. Though it doesn’t get listed on the front cover strangely enough.
Nor does the music attempt to mimic Holly’s particular style too closely. Instead, the emphasis is on the song and melody, with even a sparse orchestral backing behind the combo.
Our cover girl looks very glamorous in a one piece strapless swimsuit (the fashion term for this was- indeed still is in some circles – the maillot). Although the bikini had appeared in the late forties, on a model it would have been considered a little too racy for a record sleeve at this time. This cover shot also appeared on a postcard commercially at the time, and was clearly taken inside a photo studio.
The familiar TOTPs logo had yet to appear, but the format of titles and listings to one side of the cover girl is clearly established.
What If 1959 is part of our speculative look at how the Top Of The Pops sleeves might have looked had the series enjoyed an even greater life than it did! Check out three more speculative covers on the site. Also an ST33 reader’s 1940 cover concept.