NeptoonRecords 1500 crop

a few faverave albums of the cut-out era

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.

 

BeatlesIntroducing2

Beatles_LetItBe

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: lit­er­ally mil­lions of re­pro­duc­tions of both al­bums were pressed and dis­trib­uted in the early ’70s. While the copies of LET IT BE are ex­cel­lent and re­quire a dis­cerning eye, anyone can learn to spot the vast ma­jority of INTRODUCING THE BEATLES, as they look like pho­to­copies off the real thing.

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

The As­so­ci­a­tion: In­sight Out (Warner Bros. W-1696 mono/WS-1696 stereo, 1967). The group’s third long-player was both it most am­bi­tious and its most ac­com­plished. 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.

 

Animals_Winds

Eric Burdon & The An­i­mals: Winds Of Change (MGM E-4484 mono/SE-4484 stereo, 1967). This 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

Chad & Je­remy: Of Cab­bages And Kings (Co­lumbia CL-6871 mono/CS-9471 stereo, 1967). Chad Stuart and Je­remy Clyde’s first 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.

 

DaveClarkFive_5x5

The Dave Clark Five: 5 By 5 (Epic LN-24236 mono/BN-26236 stereo, 1967). 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.

 

Herman_HoldOn

Her­man’s Her­mits: Hold On (MGM E-4342 mono/SE-4342 stereo, 1966). 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!

 

Hollies_Heavy

The Hol­lies: He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother (Epic BN-26538 stereo, 1969). 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.

 

Spoonful_Playing

The Lovin’ Spoonful: Every­thing Playing (Kama Sutra KLP-8061 mono/KLPS-8061 stereo, 1968). 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 …

 

Mamas&Papas

The Mamas & The Papas: Papas & Mamas (Dun­hill DS-50031 stereo, 1968). 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: 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.

 

Raiders_HardHeavy

Paul Re­vere & The Raiders: Hard ‘N’ Heavy With Marsh­mal­lows (Co­lumbia CS-9753 stereo, 1969). 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.

 

PeterGordon_Godiva

Peter & Gordon: Lady Go­diva (Capitol T-2664 mono/ST-2664 stereo, 1966). 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, 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_Battle

The Tur­tles: The Battle Of The Bands (White Whale WWS-7118 stereo, 1968). 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 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.

 

RiotStrip_SdtkLP

Movie sound­track: Riot On Sunset Strip (Tower DT-5065 stereo, 1967). 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 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.

 

Glory_Stomers_cover

Movie sound­track: The Glory Stom­pers (Side­walk DT-5910 stereo, 1968). This is ba­si­cally a Davie Allan and the Ar­rows album, as they record as them­selves and as Max Frost & Th Troopers while ap­pearing as sideman on other tracks. For more on the com­pli­ca­tions of the credits on this album, refer to “avid record col­lec­tors price guide to Wild In The Streets part 2.”

 

NU_OW_LP_Guide

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 800

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, 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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