Realm's GOLD & PLATINUM [1984]

While reading AND listening to one of his new favorite blogs, HERC noticed something strangely familiar about an album he'd never heard before.  The album was Let's Beat It, a 1984 K-Tel album for the T.J. Martell Foundation, which also struck a chord in HERC's head.  A quick trip to the newly alphabetized vinyl wall of the Audio Archives turned up the album HERC was thinking of:
courtesy of Jim Wilson
Gold & Platinum was a 1984 compilation on Columbia House's Realm label and "a portion of the proceeds" also benefited (you guessed it) The T.J. Martell Foundation.  The similarities between this and the K-Tel album don't end there:  all fourteen songs on the latter appear on the former albeit in a different running order. Not only that but Gold & Platinum has two extra songs for a total of sixteen.  
In addition to being released on vinyl, Gold & Platinum was also released on cassette and 8-track with the latter bearing a slightly shuffled tracklisting (above, right).  Then in 1986, the original album made its debut on compact disc and two additional volumes appeared in the series:
Those two were followed by Volume Four in 1988 and Volumes Five and Six in 1989.  While Volume Two has fourteen tracks and Volume Three has a dozen tracks, Volume Four has a whopping nineteen songs spread across two discs in its vinyl configuration.  Volume Five has fourteen songs including the album debut of Bruce Springsteen's "Janey, Don't Lose Your Heart" (previously only available as the b-side of "I'm Goin' Down") and Volume Six has twelve songs.  From 1999-2003, the Gold & Platinum series was reissued with different artwork and a slight tweak to the title, as seen below:

This series should not be confused with the similarly named Gold & Platinum: The Ultimate Rock Collection 1964-1995 from Time-Life which was issued in 1999.  A portion of the proceeds from sales of that set went to the RIAA to combat music piracy.

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