It’s the summer! A village in Cornwall has just been evacuated due to flooding as I write. You can see why people scarper off in planes for a break, the link between doing so and climate change being shifted to one side for a week (if it even occurs.) Never being one for just lounging in the sun the Spanish holiday craze never really appealed to me, which means that I never got to bring back one of these very budgety souvenir albums. Happily others did and 40 to 50 years on they’re getting dumped in the charity shops. At least they seem to have outlasted the bullfighting posters and raffia donkeys.
I’ve no idea who recorded these albums, but they usually contain a selection of local pop hits in Spanish and a few covers of European easy listening gems. From time to time one or two of the Spanish holiday hits would get picked up back home and give us an annoying one-hit wonder.
Mostly it was local labels like Fonal, Discophone and Olympia (shown here) who dominated this tourist market but the big boys would try from time to time, hence the album from EMI’s local Regal and Emidisc imprints.
Most of the sleeves went for the bikini model look on the front, not unlike the Top Of The Pops albums back in the UK. Typography is all over the place, with some groovy movement, and I especially like the ripple effect on the Emidisc Mallorca offering (which seems to recycle photos from other albums on the label in a semi CND style logo.) The Regal sleeve makes use of holiday postcards, although black stockings and heels aren’t exactly beach wear. Quite often they would just hack out round a photo of the model and stick this on a tourist photo.
All these covers date from the 1960s I think (it’s not always easy to tell) but they went on into the 1970s. The holiday souvenir album wasn’t just limited to Spain mind, you could always drag home a souvenir album of Welsh choirs or Scottish bagpipers instead. I’ll leave those up to someone else to collect!
For more bikini sleeves just use the search button….
And for some great Spanish Bullfighting cover art, also dragged home as souvenirs.