Blood Sweat And Tears, Columbia 9720, 1969
Seven weeks at number one, three #2 hit singles, the Grammy for Album Of The Year 1969, the second album from the group Blood Sweat and Tears has got to be the best selling album of all time.
Except it isn’t. True, it did sell four million copies, but these days it seems like 3.9 million of them have ended up at Goodwill. Which is why anyone looking for interesting affordable records will invariably run across hundreds of copies of this album without even trying.
To get back on my budget’s track after spending $10 on an unopened Bobbie Gentry album yesterday, I needed to average out my budget by making a run at the $1 bins at my local Goodwill superstore.
To be able to buy 365 albums for less than $1000, I am going to have to really look for records in many places besides actual record stores. Thrift Stores are a natural. They get donations all the time, and price things to move. Sometimes, they even run sales on top of their already low prices.
Goodwill is my go to thrift store. They get the most donations, and most of them have a dedicated vinyl section. True, most of the records found there seem to have been in the bins for decades, are in terrible condition, and would have long ago been thrown away by anyone trying to make money in the record business. But with a little perseverance, you can still unearth some treasures.
In virtually anywhere they operate, Goodwill has one large master “superstore” and several smaller branch stores. The best records are usually found at the superstores, I think because that’s where the most donations first arrive. The branch stores have a smaller selection and therefore they don’t have much of their inventory turn over.
When they have their $1 sales, Goodwill can be a great place to shop for records. Now, you have to know that it would be miraculous if you found any records that would have traditional value at a full priced retailer. But, for albums like Blood Sweat And Tears, you can walk away with records worth spending an evening with.
And this is an interesting album! There are elements of classical, pop, jazz, folk, soul and hard rock fused together very well, and it’s very easy to see the influence it had on groups like Chicago, Genesis, and ELO. Maybe it’s just that unlike those other groups, B,S & T didn’t really have a breakout star or any recognizable players. The songs are virtually all covers. Musicians came and went from the group and everyone of their albums just sounded different from the one before. This was their only best seller, and all of their top ten hits are on it. I wouldn’t call them a one hit wonder, but this individual album is kind of their greatest hits package without even trying to be.
Cost $1, $985 remaining