a few faverave albums of the cut-out era

Es­ti­mated reading time is 10 min­utes.

THIS ARTICLE ad­dresses the first few years in which deleted record al­bums flooded re­tail stores across the country. Stores that had never con­tem­plated a bar­gain bin in their record de­part­ment started one and record-buying was never the same. But these records should have had a huge im­pact on the early record col­lec­tors price guides, but did not.

This was written as an ex­plana­tory page (on Word­Press, a page is dif­ferent from a post) on my Elvis – A Touch Of Gold site. I am re­pub­lishing it here as a post (the search en­gines sup­pos­edly see them dif­fer­ently) as it ad­dresses is­sues common to all record col­lecting and I want it to be better seen by Google and company.

The cut-out bin was a win­ning sit­u­a­tion for the record com­pa­nies, for the re­tail store owners, and for the record buyers.

For the Touch Of Gold ar­ticle, I cre­ated a gallery of thumb­nail im­ages of pop­ular LPs that had been deleted in the late ’60s and early ’70s and found their way into every cut-out bin in every store in the country. Then I de­cided that I wanted to say a few words about these records, mainly be­cause they con­tained such good music and I liked them.

But that de­tracted from the focus of the ar­ticle: why and how I did what I did to the O’Sullivan Wood­side (OW) line of “of­fi­cial record col­lec­tors price guides.” So I opted for writing a second ar­ticle on cut-outs for Rather Rare Records. This ar­ticle will be pub­lished si­mul­ta­ne­ously with an­other, “on my first price guide,” the bulk of which ad­dresses the lack of im­pact of the cut-out al­bums on the OW price guides.

So here are a handful of once common cut-outs that re­main af­ford­able forty years later! This ar­ticle will be pub­lished si­mul­ta­ne­ously with “on my first pub­lished price guide” and there will be some over­lap­ping of text.


Beatles LetItBe US 800

The only Bea­tles al­bums that I ever saw find their way to the cut-out bins were their first and their last. And the only rea­sons copies of those ti­tles were there was that both were counterfeits—millions of re­pro­duc­tions of both al­bums were pressed and dis­trib­uted in the early ’70s. Coun­ter­feit copies of LET IT BE are ex­cel­lent and re­quire a dis­cerning eye.

The dawn of the Cut-Out Era

After the Amer­ican record in­dustry stopped man­u­fac­turing al­bums in both mono and stereo in 1968, they had tens of mil­lions of deleted records taking up valu­able space. These were dumped into stores across the country for a frac­tion of their normal price—wholesaling for as little as 10¢ in­stead of the stan­dard $1.35. As these units had al­ready been written off of the com­pa­nies’ taxes as a loss, any­thing they re­ceived for them was gravy.

The stores in turn usu­ally of­fered these (mostly but not ex­clu­sively) mono al­bums for 99¢, al­though I found stores like Woolworth’s and McCrory’s of­fering them for 3-for-$1! These were gen­er­ally family-owned and op­er­ated fran­chises known as “5 and 10 stores” that had es­tab­lished bar­gain bins, some­thing many re­tail out­lets did not. Need­less to say, these prices met with great suc­cess with cus­tomers. Be­gin­ning in 1968, my record col­lec­tion ex­panded exponentially!

The Umphred album guide was very dif­ferent from every other record col­lec­tors price guide out there.

It was a win­ning sit­u­a­tion for the record com­pa­nies, re­tail chains, and record buyers—and it was the birth of the cut-out bin! This gave the in­dustry an outlet to sell mil­lions of records a year that had no com­mer­cial vi­a­bility. It would not be un­kind to refer to the ’70s as the Cut-Out Era of record buying.

Be­cause these al­bums were avail­able at the same time, I have listed them al­pha­bet­i­cally by artist. I se­lected a baker’s dozen and stopped, al­though this page could go forever . . .


Association InsightOut 800

The As­so­ci­a­tion
In­sight Out
Warner Bros. W-1696 (mono) and WS-1696 (stereo)

The group’s third long-player was re­leased in 1967 and was the group’s most am­bi­tious and most ac­com­plished album. It was also the most suc­cessful: car­ried by Windy and Never My Love (both #1 on the Cash Box Top 100), INSIGHT OUT was a Top 10 on the LP charts and awarded an RIAA Gold Record by the end of the year.

By the end of the next year, their run of Top 40 sin­gles was over and their al­bums sold less and less and all of them wound up in cut-out bins. Fine record by a fine band that rarely gets its due from historians.

Note that 1967’s Every­thing That Touches You, their last Top 10, has been remixed into bland ‘modern’ stereo (or what one dis­cerning lis­tener termed it, multi-channel mono). To hear this recording’s true beauty, find the orig­inal Six­ties stereo mix.


EricBurdonAnimals WindsOfChange m 800

Eric Burdon & The Animals
Winds Of Change
MGM E-4484 (mono) and SE-4484 stereo)

This 1967 album fea­tured the idio­syn­cratic but big hit single San Fran­ciscan Nights with its corny but en­dearing spoken intro:

“This fol­lowing pro­gram is ded­i­cated to the city and people of San Fran­cisco, who may not know it, but they are beau­tiful. And so is their city. This is a very per­sonal song, so if the viewer cannot un­der­stand it—particularly those of you who are Eu­ro­pean residents—save up all your bread and fly TransWorld Air­ways to San Fran­cisco USA. Then maybe you’ll un­der­stand the song. It will be worth it, if not for the sake of this song, but for the sake of your own peace of mind.”

The album also in­cluded two classic cuts: Good Times (now my theme song: “When I think of all the good times that I wasted having good times”) and Any­thing. Un­for­tu­nately, this album failed to ig­nite the imag­i­na­tion of psy­che­delic rock fans and ended up in dollar bins all over the country. Note that this album in­cludes an in­ter­esting ver­sion of Paint It Black whose intro seems to want to sound like a Bay Area psych workout.


ChadJeremy Cabbages stereo 800

Chad & Jeremy
Of Cab­bages And Kings
Co­lumbia CL-6871 (mono) and CS-9471 (stereo)

Chad Stuart and Je­remy Clyde’s 1967 ex­cur­sion into psy­che­delia as met with de­ri­sion, much of it due to the ab­surdly pre­ten­tious (but fun) Progress Suite that oc­cu­pies all of Side 2 of the record. Too bad, as all of the Side 1 was ex­tremely fine pysch-pop. Thank­fully, suc­ceeding gen­er­a­tions of col­lec­tors have sen the album in a more pos­i­tive light. The follow-up album, THE ARK, was also a cut-out but was hard to find even then.


DaveClark5 5By5 m 800

The Dave Clark Five
5 By 5
Epic LN-24236 (mono) and BN-26236 (stereo)

The DC5 were big enough during the first year of the British In­va­sion (1964) that mag­a­zines de­voted whole is­sues to “Who’s your fa­vorite: the Bea­tles or the Dave Clark 5?” (Or Herman’s Her­mits; the Rolling Stones did not re­ally come into play as a major at­trac­tion to teeny­bop­pers in the States until ’65.)

By 1967, the DC5 were through as hit­makers, and this album’s single, the bluesy Nine­teen Days, failed to even reach the Top 40. Each of the last three DC5 al­bums reached the cut-out bins: YOU GOT WHAT IT TAKES was the most common, EVERYBODY KNOWS the hardest to find.


HermansHermits HoldOn m 800

Herman’s Her­mits
Hold On
MGM E-4342 (mono) and SE-4342 (stereo)

For years, it seemed like every ‘Er­mits MGM album could be had for a buck—except the first one, which re­mains the hardest title to found to this day. When I started selling records via ads in Gold­mine mag­a­zine in 1980 (as Pet Sounds Records), I was able to buy 25-count boxes of Her­mits al­bums for $15—and that in­cluded ship­ping! This sound­track album from 1966 was ar­guably the most common record for this group.


Hollies HeAintHeavy 800b

The Hol­lies
He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother
Epic BN-26538 (stereo)

After Graham Nash’s de­par­ture, the Hol­lies strug­gled to main­tain a hip image. Without Nash, their song­writing was un­pre­dictable and they had to rely on other writer’s ma­te­rial. In 1969 they scored a world­wide hit with a gor­geous reading of Bobby Scott and Bob Rus­sell‘s He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.

Alas, the album of the same name in the US was a rather weak of­fering of their own songs. It sold well for a time and that found its way into the dollar boxes. Of the Hol­lies al­bums that reached the cut-out bins, WORDS AND MUSIC BY BOB DYLAN was easily the most easily found.


LovinSpoonful EverythingPlaying s 800

The Lovin’ Spoonful
Every­thing Playing
Kama Sutra KLP-8061 (mono) and KLPS-8061 (stereo)

While nowhere near as common as Herman’s Her­mits LPs (what was?), sev­eral Spoonful al­bums could be found as cut-outs throughout the ’70s. Even though this album in­cluded two hits, Six O’Clock and the mag­nif­i­cently Brian Wilson-ish She Is Still A Mys­tery (and their last single to reach Cash Box’s Top 20), it stiffed and was deleted within a year of re­lease. This album was every­where every­when for years and years . . .


MamasPapas PapasMamas 800

The Mamas & The Papas
Papas & Mamas
Dun­hill DS-50031 (stereo)

De­spite their string of fab­u­lous 45s, their im­por­tance in the public’s ac­cep­tance of “hip­pies,” and their promi­nent role in the Mon­terey In­ter­na­tional Pop Music Fes­tival of 1967, by ’68 The Mamas & The Papas had passed their peak and this album sold nowhere near as well as the first three, all multi-million sellers. Con­se­quently, it be­came a cut-out bin staple for years.

Note the hor­i­zontal line on the cover of this 1968 album: it was a gate­fold jacket that opened with photos of John, Michelle, Cass, and Denny on the in­side so that you could flip the front cover flaps and make goofy faces. A goofy idea.


PaulRevereRaiders HardNHeavy color 800

Paul Re­vere & The Raiders
Hard ‘N’ Heavy With Marshmallows
Co­lumbia CS-9753 (stereo)

De­spite a string of great 45s and some fine LPs, the Raiders clung to their teeny­bopper image through the ’60s. De­scribing your music as “hard and heavy with marsh­mal­lows” sounded like bub­blegum with a stone in the center: it was hard, but it was still bub­blegum. Shame, as this was a good album.

While sev­eral Raiders al­bums seemed to be all over the place—including REVOLUTION! and SOMETHING HAPPENING—it was GOIN’ TO MEMPHIS that I saw in the cut-out bins the most often. All are good al­bums, too long ne­glected by his­to­rians, in­cluding this 1969 re­lease (de­spite its ghastly title).


PeterGordon LadyGodiva m 800

Peter & Gordon
Lady Go­diva
Capitol T-2664 (mono) and ST-2664 (stereo)

In a per­fect pop world, Peter Asher would have been Paul McCartney’s brother-in-law while he was recording with his friend Gordon Waller. Lady Go­diva, their last hit on the Amer­ican charts in 1966, was a smartly arranged and pro­duced piece of nov­elty. Mr. Asher went on to pro­duce and sell mil­lions and mil­lions of Linda Ron­stadt records in the ’70s, while Mr. Gordon re­turned to his first love, the theater.


Turtles BattleOfTheBands 800

The Tur­tles
The Battle Of The Bands
White Whale WWS-7118 (stereo)

The multi-faceted Tur­tles recorded this in­cred­ible record in which they staged a “battle of the bands” by adopting a dozen nom de plumes and cut a dozen tracks in a dozen dif­ferent styles. Of the five al­bums I used here as ex­am­ples, this is the one that has ac­crued the most at­ten­tion from ’60s rock/pop con­nois­seurs over the decades. This 1968 album in­cluded two hit sin­gles: the goofily ironic Elenore (and fans of this song need to hear Billy Bob Thornton’s ver­sion) and a gor­geous reading of Gene Clark’s You Showed Me.


Soundtrack RiotOnSunsetStrip s 800

Movie sound­track
Riot On Sunset Strip
Tower T-5065 (mono) and DT-5065 (stereo)

No re­view of ’60s cut-out is com­plete with some men­tion of the Side­walk and Tower sound­track al­bums for sev­eral hand­fuls of ex­ploita­tion movies by Roger Corman and Amer­ican In­ter­na­tional Pic­tures. This 1967 album is no­table for having two tracks each by the Standells and Choco­late Watch Band and one by Mom’s Boys, later known as 13th Power who recorded The Shape Of Things To Come as Max Frost & The Troopers.


Soundtrack GloryStompers s 800

Movie sound­track
The Glory Stompers
Side­walk DT-5910 (stereo)

This is ba­si­cally a Davie Allan and the Ar­rows album, as they record as them­selves and as Max Frost & the Troopers while ap­pearing as a sideman on other tracks. For more on the com­pli­ca­tions of the credits on this 1968 album, refer to “avid record col­lec­tors price guide to Wild In The Streets part 2.”


NU OW Rock 300 2021

The cover photo for this book is my fa­vorite cover of any of my four­teen books. It is a staged garage sale set up at the O’Sullivan house; pub­lisher John O’Sullivan is the cus­tomer buying a copy of Elvis’ Christmas Album. The con­cept was mine, as were the records used as props.

Something was not right

The thir­teen al­bums above are all from the ’60s yet were avail­able through most of the ’70s as cut-outs, selling for as little as 99¢ and as much as $2.99. These ti­tles were damn near ubiq­ui­tous in most of the country and were fac­tory sealed and there­fore in un­played mint con­di­tion. Yet each of these was listed in the price guides as being worth be­tween $8 and $15 in played NM condition.

Some­thing was not right with the guides and everyone knew it. 

Then came me!


NeptoonRecords 1200

FEATURED IMAGE: I couldn’t find a photo on­line of a pe­riod cut-out bin, so I just used a photo of the front of my old bud Robb Frith’s Nep­toon Records at 3561 Main Street, Van­couver, BC. Not only are they Vancouver’s oldest in­de­pen­dent record store, but they also run the longest-running record col­lec­tors swap, Van­couver Record & CD Con­ven­tion, lo­cated for years at the Croa­tian Cul­tural Center. Plus they have their own record im­print, which began with four vol­umes of His­tory Of Van­couver Rock & Roll, which col­lected single sides from the ’60s. The fourth and latest volume is pic­tured above.


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