Some time ago in 1984, I had the idea of asking Ian Clark to compile an album of 'Amy / Mala / Bell Records' related 45's, not knowing what hard work actually goes in to compiling L.P.'s (CD's etc) this was his very informative and eye-opening reply :-
Thanks for your interest etc - your letter was forwarded by Kent. Unfortunately I only design and lend records / photo's etc; the main compiler is Harbo' Horace at Kent. I've passed your suggestion on to him.
But basically I can add, putting compilations together is not as simple as just picking 'Bell / Mala' as an area to explore.
The tracks have to be accountable to someone ie. A company and a license granted - in many cases this is not always given, or costs far too much to consider. Also many tracks are quite simply not with their once parent companies anymore.
The large majors do not entertain a lease of 15 or 20, you have to present a whole, much larger package deal, then negotiate - this involves a lot of hard work, time and money. Plus taking into consideration demand for certain items, and the over availability on others.
Slight problems would occur on Rotations / Frantic, Lou Ragland, Al Wilson which is Soul City, etc. over half the other material is EMI owned also.
Kent employ a lot of fine researchers, one guy was responsible in the 60's for the triple set "Bell Cellar of Soul" - But again all different licences were required.
Hope that explains a little behind the real world of putting them together. Thanks indeed for your interest in Kent, (nearly 1 year old now) - I'm sure we'll continue to deliver the best - Watch out for 'Turkeys Trio' - PRT / Mod Classics etc - And how could anyone miss Major Lance "You don't want me no more" off an LP, as Edsel does!?
As you can see from Ian's decent reply, he had actually took time and replyed in a true proffesional manner to a subject that not many of us know much about. Thank-you for taking your time to explain.
p.s. I still think an album (CD) of Amy / Mala / Bell & their distributed sounds would make for an exciting disc!!!