James Taylor, One Man Dog, Warner Brothers BS-2660, 1972
James Taylor was so hot he was cool, or was it the other way around? Seventies jargon escapes me from time to time, the point being that by the time his third Warner Brother’s record was released in the fall of 1972, the art department felt comfortable enough to leave off any name, title, song listings, or other credits on the jacket (the legal department made sure the copywriter information discretely appears in the bottom right corner of the back side). That’s a pretty confident statement of the public’s support and trust that a big company felt that no visible acknowledgment of what this record is would be good enough to sell it.
Times were changing a bit by the end of 1972, and this album’s singles failed to make much of an impact on the charts. The acoustic singer songwriter vibe that seemed so fresh a few years before was getting a little stale with people like Elton John and Cat Stevens coming up with songs of depth and feeling that you could also dance to. Still, the album hit #4 and sold in the millions, and without any major hits, that combination makes this one of the easiest James Taylor records to find.
Discount record shoppers can pull out the record and look at it (which they should always do to make sure the right record is inside as well as to check the condition). So it’s no big deal to not find Fire And Rain or You’ve Got A Friend on this record, that’s why it costs $2 and not $10. But you do get a great rainy morning record that sounds brand new and not 45 years old. In keeping with the discount spirit of this record, this is the first time I’ve ever seen the Warner/Reprise Loss Leaders coupon neatly cut out of the inner sleeve and redeemed for a cutout record from the Warner back catalogue. I hope that record didn’t get wet in the same basement flood that this record did…
Cost: $2, $847 Remaining