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.