Bruce Hornsby And The Range, The Way It Is, RCA AFL1-5904, 1986
Despite the photographic pun, this is another great 80s album that I found for $1. By 1986, the CD was really becoming the format of choice for album shoppers. It wasn’t until 1988 that CDs outsold vinyl, but the handwriting was on the wall. Records like this that appealed to a slightly older crowd were already selling equally in both formats (with the Cassette hanging in there!). Still, at three million in sales, that still means plenty of vinyl copies are out there.
This is the second, better selling, design for the album. The earlier jacket was an abstract art piece that, while lovely, had no image of the group. RCA, for some reason, felt that it would be best to market this album to the New Age crowd. When The Way It Is single took off, though, people wanted to know who this group was, and a new cover was produced. Bruce Hornsby And The Range went on to win the Best New Artist Grammy.
It’s an awesome album, and I can’t believe it now trades for $1. It tells me, again, that the time to load up on these records is now, before people realize that there’s no reason to buy a brand new copy at Urban Outfitters for $25. The value will only go up, and the quality will be about the same. Record companies had really consolidated by the mid 80s, and production standards were really improved. These records are light and flexible, but more durable than flimsy 70s attempts. I’ll actually listen to this record on a rainy day, which here in Oregon will be quite a lot.
Cost: $1, $206 Remaining