SMOKE



A short-lived and obscure label from the early '70s.  'Billboard' magazine for the 27th of March 1971 reported that leisure group Scotia Investments was moving into the music business and would be launching its own label shortly.  In the issue for the 17th of April it was said to be launching the 'Smoke' label within the next few months.  The issue for the 15th of May announced the introduction by the company of the 'Fire' label (q.v.); but that of the 3rd of July said that the music division of Scotia was undergoing a complete revamp and that no more records would be issued on either of the labels.  Managing Director of the music arm Shel Talmy left, while label manager John Whitehead was promoted; Tito Burns became the chief executive of the new Scotia company - the 'Investments' part of the name was dropped. The only Smoke single I have ever happened upon, either in the vinyl or in reference works, is the one pictured above, 'Black Ant', by Afro Rock band Osibisa (SS-1001; 1971); given the short span of the label's existence it may well be the only one.  Pressing and distribution were by CBS.  Osibisa went on to enjoy a couple of Singles Chart successes with Bronze records, in 1976, 'Sunshine Day' (BRO-20) and 'Dance The Body Music' (BRO-26).  'Black Ant' reappeared again in 1976 on the Feelgood label (q.v.), but by that time Smoke had long since disappeared from the scene.  Scotia had another go at issuing records in 1979, with their 'Scotia' label - see 'Scotia (1979)'.  The company's other interests included discotheques, films, caravan parks, holiday camps and zoos.




Copyright 2006 Robert Lyons.