Category: Australian-owned independent distribution and recording company

Date: 1967 - 1976

Location: Melbourne, Vic.

Ownership: John MacDonald / Keith Colias.


Image Records was out as one of two 'house' labels set up by Tempo Record Sales (TRS), an important Melbourne company which distributed many local and overseas labels in the late 1960s and 1970s. Its other house label was the shortlived Tempo Records. TRS was established in September 1967 by businessmen Keith Colias and John MacDonald; MacDonald was the "..mac" in the Sparmac label, which he co-founded with Melbourne DJ Ken Sparkes, but this label was acquired soon after its establishment by Robie Porter.

The company was originally set up to distribute various overseas labels; one of the major deals they secured was for the Atlantic label, which up to that time had been getting only sporadic distribution in Australia through its former licencee, Festival. Sam & Dave's "Hold On, I'm Coming", for example, was one of several classic soul singles which were never locally released in Australia, even though Atlantic was having a huge international impact with hits by Aretha Franklin, Joe Tex, Otis Redding and Sam & Dave.

Tempo Record Sales (TRS) operated successfully as a distributor for two years, then in October 1969 the company launched its own house label, also called Tempo. The debut release was "The Hunter" by San Francisco band Pacific Gas & Electric, a recording leased from the American Orange label. Tempo released a total of nine singles over two years, including recordings by Gene Vincent, Trevor, Judy Banks, The Gathering and one single by Melbourne band Abacus, which were its only local recordings.

Label historian Hank B. Facer notes that TRS played a crucial role as a local distributor during the 1970 Radio Ban, serving several independent labels who were unable to get distribution elsewhere, notably Sparmac and Fable, who had both refused to take part in the ban. The Tempo label was closed down in 1971 because the name had already been registered in NSW by Maurice Chapman & Co., the Australian agent for Akai and BASF. Follwing the Tempo closure, TRS released three singles under licence from Leon Russel's Shelter label (IS-110 to IS-112 inclusive). These were Russell's version of Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-gonna Fall" in late 1971, and J.J. Cale's breakthrough single "Crazy Mama" and Leon Russell's "Roll Away The Stone" in mid-1972, all of which were Top 40 hits in Sydney.

In May 1972 TRS established the new Image label, and it proved very successful, releasing singles and albums by noted Australian acts including Sundown, The Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band, Linda George, Broderick Smith and Kevin Borich, as well as international recordings released under licence from overseas labels. In 1974 John MacDonald purchased Image from TRS (which went out of business in mid-1976) and Image continues as a successful independent label to the present; it now includes the recording and publishing assets of Ron Tudor's Fable group, which were purchased in 1986.

Many of the Image and Fable recordings have been reissued on CD as budget compilations on Image's Rajon Music label. The rare 1974 Image album To The Shores Of His Heaven by Mandu was re-released on CD by Aztec Music in 2008.


Note: the Image catalogue begins with IS-113. As noted above, this was because the first nine numbers had been used for the shortlived Tempo label (TS-101 to TS-109) and the next three were used for three singles released under licence from the US Shelter label (IS-110 to IS-112).

Image also distributed singles and LPs by the German studio group Silver Convention, who had several disco hits in Australia; "Lady Bump" by singer Penny McLean was a solo hit for her, and the other two nominal singers in the trio, Linda G. Thompson and Penny Wulf, also released solo singles. A trivia note relates to one these releases -- the B-side of Silver Convention's October 1976 single "No No Joe" was "Thank You Mr DJ", the song which was sampled at the very end of Regugitator's "The Song Formerly Known As".

So far we have only identified one Image EP, Matchbox Madness(1973) by The Captain Matchbox Whoopeee Band; although its catalogue number suggests that there were at least three earlier Image EP releases no others have yet been identified.

*The provenance of the Myriad LP is uncertain -- Vernon Joyson lists it as an Image release, but its catalogue number is different from all other Image LPs, and the "SEL" prefix was used by the Sydney Spin label, and Carrl and Janie Myriad did release a single on the Spin label around the same time, so this LP may be mis-identified.


Cat.# Date Artist Titles
IS-113 May 1972 Linda George "Let's Fly Away"
"Song To Save The World"
IS-114 - Dalton, James & Sutton "We can change it"
IS-115 May 1972 Broderick Smith "Goin' on down to the end of the world"
"She's gone"
IS-116 - Thunderama "Thunderama"
"Smackwater Jack"
IS-117 June 1972 Sundown "This Country Of Mine" (Keith Glass)
"Outback Dan"
IS-118 1972 Sparrow "Rainsun song"
"Hello Goodbye"
IS-119 Nov. 1972 Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band "My Canary Has Circles Under Its Eyes"
IS-120 1973 Lucky Starr "Blow up your TV"
"Give me wheels"
- - -
IS-122 1973 Inez Anthony "Tell me it ain't easy"
"I think I love him"
IS-123 March 1973 Broderick Smith "Yesterday it rained"
"About Life"
IS-124 1973 Dalton, James & Sutton "Lovin' is believing"
"She's a woman"
IS-125 1973 Ron Williams "High school dance"
"Home is where I hang my pig"
- - -
IS-127 1973 Bunny Walters "Take the money and run"
"Kiss her three times"
- - -
IS 129 Apr. 1973 Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band "I Can't Dance"
"Jungle Dance"
IS-130 1973 Rod Kirkham "I Can't Get Sunday Out Of My Mind"
"I'm talking to myself again"
IS-131 1973 The Pop Tops "My little woman"
"Girl what's on your mind"
IS-132 Apr. 1973 Linda George "Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye)"
"If It's Alright With You"
IS-133 1973 Burke & Wills "Thank You"
IS-134 1973 Honk "Pipeline Sequence"
"Made my statement"
IS-135 1973 Neville Whitmill "Get me some help"
"Where di our love go"
IS-136 1973 Rod Kirkham "That's Where The Music Takes Me"
"Till I walk the line"
IS-137 Oct. 1973 The Blue Echoes "Going to a party"
"Don't you want me"
IS-138 Nov. 1973 Linda George "Our day will come"
"Yesterday and you"
- - -
- - -
IS-141 - Burke & Wills "Come along with me"
IS-142 - The Blue Echoes "Please Daddy"
"Back out on the road again"
IS-143 - The Pied Pipers "In The Mood"
"Goin to the country"
IS-144 Feb. 1974 Captain Matchobox Whoopee Band "Your feets to big"
"Wait for me Juanita"
IS-145 - The Pied Pipers "Time for action"
"The world is a circle"
IS-146 1974 Rod Kirkham "My Song"
"You're so far away"
- - -
- - -
IS-149 June 1974 Cash Backman "My girl Bill"
"I may never pass this way again"
- - -
IS-151 1974 The Blue Echoes "Don't play around with love"
"In the country"
IS-152 July 1974 Linda George "Mama's Little Girl"
"Between Her Goodbye And My Hello"
IS 153 July 1974 Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band "Hermando's Hideaway"
"Down Undergroundsville"
IS-154 Sep. 1974 Mandu "We Ran Across The Sky"
IS-155 1974 Cash Backman "The man you desire"
"Juicy Lucy"
IS-156 1974 Star "Early rising"
"I'll be coming home"
IS-157 Oct. 1974 Brian May & The ABC Showband Theme from Rush
Theme from Seven Little Australians
IS-158 Feb. 1975 Cash Backman "He'll have to go"
IS-159 - Sunshine "The nights are getting brighter"
"Hello how are you"
IS-160 Dec. 1974 Linda George "Give It Love"
"Yesterday And You"
IS-161 - The Promised Band "Gotta get back to Tamworth"
"Blue moon of Kentucky"
IS-162 - Issi Dye "Personality"
"Hitch Hike"
IS-163 - Allison Durbin "I was raised on rock"
"It must be love this time"
IS-164 - The Blue Echoes "High Heeled Rock'n'Roll Shoes"
"When I get you again"
IS-165 - Lee Conway "What are you doing the rest of your life"
"The road is far"
IS-166 - The Pied Pipers "Football, Meatpies, Kangaroos ..."
"Football, Meatpies, Kangaroos ..." (instrumental)
IS-167 May 1976 Silver Convention "Save Me"
"Save me again"
IS-168 - Stubby Beers "Shaving cream"
"Just ask for Ruth"
IS-169 - Lee Conway "Jenny, You're the best friend"
"Country smile"
IS-170 Sep. 1975 Mandu "Gimme Shelter"
"To The Shores Of His Heaven"
IS-171 Sep. 1975 Linda George "Shoo Be Doo Be Doo Da Day"
"I Wanna Hear Music"
IS-172 - Lee Conway "Thinking of you"
"I'm coing home"
IS-173 Nov. 1975 The Blue Echoes "Mary Anne"
IS-174 Nov. 1975 Silver Convention "Fly Robin Fly"
"Tiger baby"
IS 175 Dec. 1975 Dove "Let's Hang On"
"River of Flames"
IS-176 June 1976 The Pied Pipers "Say it again"
"I can't find the words"
IS-177 July 1976 Doug Faraday "Down the Mississippi"
"Life and soul"
IS-178 May 1976 Linda George "Step by Step"
"Wake Up"
IS-179 Feb. 1976 Penny McLean "Lady Bump"
"Lady Bumps On"
IS-180 June 1976 Linda G. Thompson "Ooh what a night"
"Ooh what a night" Part 2
IS-181 Apr. 1976 Dove "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"
"Paper Face"
IS-182 May 1976 Lee Conway "When was the last time"
"I recall a gypsy woman"
IS-183 June 1976 Silver Convention "Get up and boogie"
"Son of a gun"
IS-184 June 1976 Toga "More"
"It's a love song"
IS-185 June 1976 Stampeders "Hit the road Jack"
"Hard loving woman"
IS-186 Oct. 1976 Martin Griffiths "I'll be coming home"
"Marry Me"
IS-187 Oct. 1976 Bill Pursell "Now"
"Deja Vu"
IS-188 Oct. 1976 Silver Convention "No no Joe"
"Thank you Mr D.J."
IS-189 Oct. 1976 Penny McLean "Smoke gets in your eyes"
IS-190 Oct. 1976 Ramona Wulf "Save the last dance for me"
"Baby it's the rain"
IS-191 Nov. 1976 Lee Conway "Love still makes the world go round"
"Things in the swamp"
IS-192 Jan. 1977 Carol Douglas "Midnight Love Affair"
"Crime don't pay"
IS-193 Dec. 1976 Hollywood Hornets "Cruisin'"
"Bound to explode
IS-194 Dec. 1976 Kevin Borich "I'm going somewhere"
"Scene from star-crossed lovers"


Cat. # Date Artist Title
ILEP-4 1973 Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band Matchbox Madness


Cat. # Date Artist Title
*SEL 93447 1972 Myriad Of All The Wounded People
ILP-724 1973 Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band Smoke Dreams
ILP-741 1973 Linda George Miss Linda George
ILP-743 1973 Mandu To The Shores Of His Heaven
ILP-744 1975 Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band Wangaratta Wahine
ILP-750 1975 Linda George Step By Step
ILP-751 1975 Dove Love, Harmony and Understanding
- 1975 The Echoes High-Heeled Rock'n'Roll Shoes

References / Links

Vernon Joyson
Dreams, Fantasies & Nightmares: Australia (Bordeline Books, 1999)