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The Chantays – “Pipeline” Italian single cover

Contributed by Jan Middendorp on Nov 29th, 2020. Artwork published in .
    The Chantays – “Pipeline” Italian single cover
    Photo: Jan Middendorp. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Italian re-release, Oxford’s debut

    The Californian band The Chantays had one big hit. “Pipeline” is a 1962 single catching the atmosphere of what surfers call just that. A pipeline or pipe is a huge, hollow wave, a tough challenge to the ambitious surfer, and a perfect invitation for fast and virtuoso tube riding. The Chantays, a band of fine-dressed young men, had watched a film on a famous pipeline spot in Hawaii, and devoted a surf rock instrumental to it with an intensity few others achieved. Their one big hit became a classic, and this sleeve was specially designed for an Italian re-issue brought out in 1972, using the Oxford display face to visualize the song title.

    Released under the Italian Paramount label, owned by EMI italiana, the sleeve design was anonymous. But its use of the Oxford typeface is remarkable. Designed in 1969 by Christine Lord for the new Oxford Polytechnic academy, the typeface was released a couple of years later as a dry transfer sheet by Letraset. Which is what the Italian designer must have used. The alternate (and erroneous) spelling of the band’s name. with a grocer’s apostrophe, had somehow spread like an epidemy.

    You’ll find several designs using Oxford on this site — but this one, apart from being a lot quieter than most of the others, is also (for now) the oldest known appearance of the Oxford face, made in Oxford.

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