July 13, 2010
For years, the $1 clearance LP bins in used record stores have been a kind of indicator of which artists are ending up in the “scrap heap” of music history, artists who once sold well but whose albums are no longer wanted by the owners, and the LPs (and their CD versions) have no collector’s value. Mainstream big-selling artists like Barbara Streisand and Barry Manilow have been filling up these bins since the early 90s.
Go to Amoeba in L.A. (the biggest used music store anywhere), and you can now buy the entire catalog of Linda Ronstadt, Dan Fogelberg and Judy Collins for a buck a piece, no problem, good condition. Strangely, now older, popular folk acts like the Kingston Trio (on thick vinyl) are there, as well as over-produced 60s hit-makers like Petula Clark and Glen Campbell. Same with smooth-jazz artists Al Jarreau and John Klemmer, and tranquilizing Rita Coolidge. Come and go singers Maria Muldaur, Melissa Manchester and Eddie Money – get ’em all.
So, consider this. If you still love and use your turntable, and some evening you get in the mood for Linda Ronstadt (but had never owned her music), you could go to Amoeba and buy most of her 70s and early 80s output on LP, complete with great photos and artwork (nice foldouts), for about $10. Yes, the winner of a dozen Grammys.
October 9, 2007
Another die-cut notable. Procol Harum’s 1971 album (name it) – guitar manifesto-man Robin Trower’s last with the group. He had made his mark, though. Earlier, the gritty Hammond B3 had challenged the electric guitar’s rock supremacy in hits like “Whiter Shade of Pale” in the late 60’s and early 70’s (think Three Dog Night’s “Try a Little Tenderness,” early Seger, and anything by Lee Michaels), but alas, Hendrix and the horde continued to rule in the end.
Seen by themselves, the die-cut holes look like the shape of something that would come out of your nose (below). But s’okay.
Played on a early 70’s “Mister Hit.”
July 27, 2007
July 18, 2007
Bill (his extensive blog is Rock-of-Ages) encouraged me to haul out more elaborate Zep efforts. So…
NAME THAT DIE-CUT ALBUM
What’s the name of the infamous 1975 Led Zeppelin double album, with all the little windows on both sides of the cover? It’s actually 36 different album covers for the price of one…that’s the number of front and back cover combinations you can make by inserting the two inner sleeves and a light cardboard insert (each with people in the windows, printed on both sides). Lots of famous folks, and the Zeppelin boys…profiles, in drag, etc.
Kind of like an interactive Sgt. Peppers cover. Those were the days when they spared no expense for a top-selling rock act.
July 9, 2007
In print advertising, they say that a direct mailer or a brochure that has a tactile factor, or that gives you something to do with your hands, has “thingness.”
Hmmm. Consider the Rolling Stones 1971 classic Sticky Fingers…with the Andy Warhol cover. Something to play with. Definitely a “thing.” The famous working zipper…the one that tended to dent the album cover on top of it during shipping. The album that many modest record store owners refused to display (not particularly a family-oriented concept).
My wife didn’t buy many rock n ‘roll albums back in those days, but I love her just a little bit more because she captured one of zipper covers….obviously an important part of any die-cut album cover collection.
Stones fans from the early 70s may well have been listening to their LPs on this sharp Panasonic SG-999D turntable/receiver/ amp.
To see this album cover and many other famous ones get violent, check out the 2-minute romp through rock history Battle of the Album Covers on YouTube.
July 1, 2007
My mother-in-law demonstrates how a nice lightweight tone arm, no longer pokin’ them record grooves, can be outfitted to caress the gums, help remove plaque, and prevent gingivitis.
From aural to oral….so to speak. You can tell she’s enjoying herself.
Got any other ideas for recycling old record player parts?
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Arvin Radio-Phonograph – complete with curves.
Also check out Bob Vinyl’s Whole Lotta Album Covers blog. Some great outrageous finds.
June 23, 2007
June 21, 2007
The 12X12 art space for LP album covers was a good format for creative die cut and multi-page creations. The 1971 album by the UK prog rock group “Family” presented (pre-digital) morphing faces of the band members on sequential step-cut pages. The music itself is unremarkable (except for a baritone-anchored a cappella ditty called “Larf and Sing”), but the cover is rather cool.
May 5, 2007
The tone arm on this 1953 Voice of Music record player (left), as well as this 50’s Steelman BSR record player arm (right), have curvy “hood and fender” appeal. Both are standing by for those Sinatra platters, or some hot BeBop to inspire that horizontal ShBoom up in the guest bedroom.
NAME THAT GATEFOLD
This evolutionary singer/songwriting artist paid homage to an ailing jazz great (bassist, bandleader) in her1979 album named after him. 6-page album cover. Jaco updates the bass in the band.
My thanks for the Voice of Music player photo from a great site for radios and phonographs: Radiophile.
April 5, 2007
Every 10-year-old girl that was growing up in the 70s, pre-digital, had to have a disco flashing-light record player…I think.
Here’s my tribute. At home, I’ve got a fragile little plastic phono pulsating away, with flashing colored lights, suspended in mid-air, mid-leap, as it were. Flanked by “Flashdance” on the left, “Fame” on the right.
NAME THAT GATEFOLD
Then there’s the most famous of disco records. How deep is your make-up? How high the platforms? One glance and you’ve guessed this one. And to think this innocent lad would end up in Pulp Fiction.