Caveat emptor: Surprises Discovered in Sealed LPs

Harry

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All of these LPs in question have really great sound, not the questionable stuff from record clubs. I'm sure these are genuine A&M issues from Pitman and Monarch.
 

rockdoctor

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Most everything I got from Columbia House had white sleeves no matter what the label was. It was rare to get the sleeves that might have been with original releases. Could be that their supplier was not supposed to use anything but white.
 

Rudy

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Club releases were produced as cheaply as possible, so shorcuts were always made. Sub-par masters, B-grade vinyl, minimal jacket (even changing some single-LP gatefolds into regular jackets). At least in the 70s, Columbia was smart enough to imprint "CRC" somewhere on the jacket. Club CDs also were missing the barcodes on the packaging.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
Club releases were produced as cheaply as possible, so shorcuts were always made. Sub-par masters, B-grade vinyl, minimal jacket (even changing some single-LP gatefolds into regular jackets). At least in the 70s, Columbia was smart enough to imprint "CRC" somewhere on the jacket. Club CDs also were missing the barcodes on the packaging.
Columbia did have CRC on some of the records I got from them. I do know that Record Club of America did not have a license from A&M to manufacture so all I got from them for A&M records were sealed with proper inner sleeves.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
One thing I did notice about my copy of Brasil'77 Pais Tropical, it has the newer label design on the record while Primal Roots and Foursider has the older label on them. They may have done a later pressing for Pais Tropical that used the new label. Now I will be looking for a copy with the older label!
 

Rudy

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That was a different kind of record club--I belonged to one as well, not RCofA, but another one that was probably operated by a distributor or rack jobber who sold LPs at discount prices. Their "catalog" was the Schwann catalog, with their price codes imprinted on the rear cover. Only issue there was that I did not have a credit card at a young age, and that made ordering a nuisance. Had they been around in the Internet age, I'd have gone broke. 😁
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
That was a different kind of record club--I belonged to one as well, not RCofA, but another one that was probably operated by a distributor or rack jobber who sold LPs at discount prices. Their "catalog" was the Schwann catalog, with their price codes imprinted on the rear cover. Only issue there was that I did not have a credit card at a young age, and that made ordering a nuisance. Had they been around in the Internet age, I'd have gone broke. 😁
If I had a card and Internet back then, I'd probably still be paying off the charges!!!
 

Rudy

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If I had a card and Internet back then, I'd probably still be paying off the charges!!!
You and me both! 😁 As it was, I used to wait up for the yearly sale at a nearby record store (part of a statewide chain) where they offered, I think, 20% or 25% off for every album, any format, in the store for two weeks. (They used to call it a Gran Prix sale since the timing coincided with the automobile race in our area.) Aside from what I'd get over the holidays as gifts, I'd save up most of my purchases until that sale. I would buy records throughout the year there and elsewhere when they were on sale (usually as new releases), but this was a chance to catch up on back catalog items or recent releases I had missed.

One of the saddest sales was shopping at Peaches when they were shutting down our nearby store and clearing out inventory. What I missed the most after they closed was their cutout bin. Some chart-topping albums a year or two later were ending up in the cutout bins for $0.99 or $1.99. It was the only store in town that carried cut-outs.

Even if I didn't order much from the record club, the Schwann's catalog helped me identify records that the local stores didn't stock, but that I could still order. I think the stores used the Phonolog (?) catalog to order from, and the two usually coincided with availability.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
You and me both! 😁 As it was, I used to wait up for the yearly sale at a nearby record store (part of a statewide chain) where they offered, I think, 20% or 25% off for every album, any format, in the store for two weeks. (They used to call it a Gran Prix sale since the timing coincided with the automobile race in our area.) Aside from what I'd get over the holidays as gifts, I'd save up most of my purchases until that sale. I would buy records throughout the year there and elsewhere when they were on sale (usually as new releases), but this was a chance to catch up on back catalog items or recent releases I had missed.

One of the saddest sales was shopping at Peaches when they were shutting down our nearby store and clearing out inventory. What I missed the most after they closed was their cutout bin. Some chart-topping albums a year or two later were ending up in the cutout bins for $0.99 or $1.99. It was the only store in town that carried cut-outs.

Even if I didn't order much from the record club, the Schwann's catalog helped me identify records that the local stores didn't stock, but that I could still order. I think the stores used the Phonolog (?) catalog to order from, and the two usually coincided with availability.
We had Peaches here as well but just one store. I was there every few weeks hitting the cutout bins. We had another one called Tracks prior to Peaches and they were still here into the 90's. I hit their cutout bins as well. They did not have as much as Peaches. Peaches also had a Six Pack Deal-buy 5 and get the 6th free. Once Tracks started carrying videos for sale or rent, the lp records bins began to disappear.
 

AM Matt

Forum Undertaker
There was a Peaches store near Maumee, Ohio (near the Ohio Turnpike) back in the late 70's & early 80's!!
 

Rudy

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We had two Peaches in our metro area, and they were both gone by the mid 80s. I'm thinking 1983 or 1984. Their store was so much bigger than our statewide chain, and the few national chains we had at the time. In the mid 80s, too, we started seeing a few Discount Music stores (the Musicland subsidiaries) open in strip malls vs. the big indoor malls. There was another smaller national chain I remember going to in late 1982 or early 1983 when I bought my first three CDs, months before I had a player. (I want to say Record Town but that doesn't sound right...)
 

Mike Blakesley

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I think the stores used the Phonolog (?) catalog to order from

Phonolog was a catalog that was housed in a looseleaf rack, like an old auto-parts-store catalog rack. The updates came in sheets -- you would file the new sheets in your catalog rack. I'm not sure how they did that with alphabetization, but I guess it worked. Most of the "big" stores had the Phonolog.

The smaller alternative for small stores like ours was the Schwan. You could subscribe to it, but it was a lot (A LOT) cheaper than Phonolog. My ritual upon receiving every new copy was to thumb first to the A section for Alpert, the B's for Bacharach, and then the M for Mendes.

Some time later we had a catalog that came on CDs every month. This was before the internet was really a huge thing. We would load the CD into the computer and it would copy over the updates. That catalog was OK but it was extremely clunky and slow, as I remember.
 

Harry

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I remember looking through a Sam Goody store one day and I spotted the Phonolog catalog up on a cabinet of some kind. I thumbed through it, and like Mike, always went to the Alpert section first. It was there that I spotted an unfamiliar entry, NOCHE DE AMOR. Not knowing a word of Spanish, I just assumed it was one of the standard albums retitled in Spanish. But I still wasn't sure, and almost got to an employee for assistance, but my lunch hour was running short, so I left.

I never thought about that again until logging onto the Corner here and finding that it was the BLOW YOUR OWN HORN album with two alternate tracks for the Latin audience.
 

Rudy

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I still remember a CD store somewhere, probably pre-Internet, that listed Herb's CD as Go Blow Your Horn. 😁
 

Bobberman

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I remember looking through a Sam Goody store one day and I spotted the Phonolog catalog up on a cabinet of some kind. I thumbed through it, and like Mike, always went to the Alpert section first. It was there that I spotted an unfamiliar entry, NOCHE DE AMOR. Not knowing a word of Spanish, I just assumed it was one of the standard albums retitled in Spanish. But I still wasn't sure, and almost got to an employee for assistance, but my lunch hour was running short, so I left.

I never thought about that again until logging onto the Corner here and finding that it was the BLOW YOUR OWN HORN album with two alternate tracks for the Latin audience.
I had the same experience in a Musicland looking at the Phonolog which had the Noche De Amor and also another listed as Tijuana Brass titled BRAVIO which at the time I was unfamiliar with Spanish versions but assumed they were Foreign albums although curious I forgot about those until I found out BRAVIO was the Bullish album for the Spanish market however Had I known I would've bought Noche De Amor if I knew about the two alternate tracks and buying BRAVIO would have been just for collectors purposes and kept sealed as I already had Bullish
 

A&M Retro

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I picked up a copy of Tapestry in a used record store in Northern Va back in the 80's. It was open but the back cover looked different. It was a release done by Capitol Records. The real funny thing though is that the label for Side 1 plays Side 2 songs and vise versa. I also have an issue when Ode went back to Columbia for distribution.
I’ve got that Columbia reissue, too. :)
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
I remember buying John Cougar Mellencamp’s ‘The Lonesome Jubilee’ CD in 1987 Everything printed on the CD coincided with the jacket, but the MUSIC was a totally different band. It sounded sorta like KISS. It was so weird that I kept it.
 

Rudy

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That is how I came into Steve Winwoods Arc of a Diver, which had the hit "While You See a Chance." That was on the Robert Plant Now and Zen CD. But it took me a bit to find out who did that hit song, since our stupid local radio stations played it for years and never back-announced it. We had the kind of radio market where, if you didn't hear the song the first time they played it, you never knew who it was. I thought that Robert Plant had someone else sing lead on the first track on the CD, and it was kind of mellow compared to his other records (I had purchased the then-new Manic Nirvana, and was catching up by buying his previous album Now and Zen). But hey, I returned it, got the correct CD, and also tracked down the Steve Winwood, so I ended up with two good CDs. 👍👍

I also remember being in the record store and opening CD after CD of Doo-Bop (Miles Davis) to find one that would play, after returning my first defective copy.

Those were the days.
 
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