Decca launched its much-loved World Of Series in 1968. The first album set out the seriesâ€™ stall perfectly, looking at one of the labelâ€™s biggest selling artists â€“ yet hardly one that chimed with the counter culture in 1968. The World Of Mantovani â€“ SPA 1, (or PA 1 in mono) â€“ was a 14 track collection, each track a different selection from his sizeable Decca album catalogue. Released in the autumn of the year, it acted as a perfect primer, and its price, 17s, put it shy of the 37s 6d of the full price albums. Its whole raison dâ€™etre was to drive sales of the artistâ€™s deeper repertoire â€“ dip in here and then indulge further â€“ the rear sleeve clearly offered the catalogue numbers of the parent albums. The series would run throughout the 70s and become a ubiquitous feature of the label. It was taken so seriously, that David Bowie himself offered the track listing for his own addition to the series, (SPA/PA 58), which was released in March 1970 after the success of the Phillips-released single Space Oddity. It also showed how the World Ofs could be a veritable treasure trove for rarities and one-offs, as it contained the first official release of Let Me Sleep Beside You, Karma Man and In The Heat Of The Morning. According to Kevin Cannâ€™s invaluable book on Bowieâ€™s early years, Any Day Now, Bowie bought a copy of the original himself from a record shop on Beckenham High Street. It became a big seller â€“ indeed, Decca repackaged it â€“ when Bowie finally became a big star. Imagine the shock people had thinking they had The Jean Genie when all they had was Uncle Arthur and Little Bombardier.