The Partridge Family, Up To Date, Bell 6059, 1971
The Partridge Family, a nominees for Best New Artist at the 1971 Grammy Awards, were hot when this, their second album came out. David Cassidy was on his way to a brief stint as the leading national teen idol, and the records flew off the shelves. It was all fake in reality, but this record hit #3 as the TV show wrapped up its first season.
Like most teen idol records, this one is geared to appeal to the fans. In this case, 14 year old girls. For the first time, David Cassidy sings every lead, instead of the anonymous studio singers that sung half of the first album. He even got his first writing credit, but it was the two top 10 hits I’ll Meet You Halfway and Doesn’t Somebody Want To Be Wanted that really pushed the album’s sales. The latter song was absolutely hated by Cassidy and the show’s production was halted so producers and lawyers could convince him that he had to sing it, cheesy spoken interlude included.
Besides the hits and the dimples. what also was included was a cool custom Partridge Family text book cover! I had no idea that it did, but lo and behold, this pristine copy was neatly tucked inside this $2 copy. Usually, inserts like this got used or pinned up on a wall, so finding one in mint condition is pretty rare.
Cost: $2, $291 Remaining
Donny Osmond, Portrait Of Donny, MGM SE 4820, 1972
Before I get accused committing of a mortal musical sin, let me clarify that I bought this record for the intact insert and not the actual record! But in fairness, considering the fact the MGM Records advertised the three 8×10″ glossy pictures of their teen idol, perhaps even they weren’t thinking too much about the record that also came with them.
There’s no doubting the hotness of The Osmond clan in 1972. And the hottest of them all was Donny. The sort of “answer” to a very young Michael Jackson, MGM had Donny sing cover versions of early 60s hits and often outsold the originals. Carole King had a phenomenal year as an artist and songwriter in 1971 because of her smash album Tapestry and James Taylor’s version of You’ve Got A Friend. But her sales figures were augmented by Donny Osmond’s cover of the 1963 Steve Lawrence record Go Away Little Girl, which spent three weeks at number one.
Finding a very good copy of this record was one thing, but finding it complete with nearly perfect inserts is some kind of a coup. Virtually all of these photos and posters would have immediately been tacked up on a wall and quickly destroyed. But for the amazing price of $1 I can see Donny thinking of me and signing off with “love”. Oh, yes, and I also got a free record of hims singing too!
Cost: $2, $613 Remaining
$68 Spent, $2.27 per record
Grand Funk, We’re An American Band, Capitol SMAS-11207, 1973
1973 was a great year for Rock & Roll. The Rolling Stones and The Who were keeping the British Invasion alive, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd were perfecting album oriented Rock, and the Solo Beatles were each reaching their creative peaks with Rock, Pop, Country, and Folk sounds. Meanwhile, in the colonies, Grand Funk somehow managed to do all of that in just one record. It really doesn’t hold up well today, but this record just amazingly took all that came before it and foreshadowed so much that came after it that it reeks of the summer of ’73.
It has it all! The shinny gold cover, with only the group name and title on it oozed coolness like The Beatles White Album. The gatefold cover that opens up into a creepy named photo of the band on one side and a custom icon of a pointing finger especially designed for the record seems just like something The Stones would have thought of, while the music somehow was pop enough to fit seamlessly next to Delta Dawn by Helen Reddy, AND D’Yer Mak’er from Led Zeppelin. That’s no easy feat, even if it’s all pretty funny looking and sounding today.
My $1 copy not only plays really well, but deep inside the inner sleeve was the remnants of a sticker sheet that must have come in the package! It looks like it must have been a sheet of 4, but there’s still one left, and it looks as good as new. So I’m set if for some reason they happen to reunite and do a world tour, I can look like a true fan, and not just some guy who flips through bins of $1 records. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Cost: $1, $727 Remaining
Ringo Starr, Ringo, Apple SWAL 3414, 1973
Quick, name the only album after Let It Be that featured all four Beatles on it? Name a record that featured Randy Newman, Billy Preston, Martha Reeves, Klaus Voorman, Harry Nielson, Marc Bolan, Merry Clayton and Jack Nitzche? If you guessed Ringo Starr’s third solo album, congratulations.
It’s a really great record. Like Beatles great. Ringo quickly released two solo records in 1970 as his former group was breaking up, but one was an album of standards, and the other was a country record (!). Sure, there were some hit singles, but this 1973 effort was truly Ringo’s first rock solo project.
And what an effort it is! There’s the deluxe gatefold cover, plus a 20 page booklet with lyrics and original artwork. It’s for me, the best Beatles solo record, with the possible exception of George’s All Things Must Pass. But this record is so much more fun!
Cost: $5, $891 Remaining
Fleetwood Mac, Rumors, Warner Brothers BSK-3010, 1977
The good news about some landmark albums is that they sell in the millions and people get tired of them. True, you don’t really find Beatles albums in decent shape in bargain bins, but what became the best selling album of all time not long after it’s release is fairly easy to find. I may have overpaid for it at $4.
It is the classic album of the 70s. The hits are great, the non hits are great, they looked great, they sang great, they played great, so it deserved to sell in the millions. And it deserves a spot in every record collection. Thankfully for us bargain record shoppers, original owners like Mr/Mrs. Mitseff don’t always agree and toss out their once loved albums.
This decent copy even came with it’s original photo and lyric insert. These are always highly prized plusses to look for, and this one is in great shape. They’re rare because the are separate from the record and inner sleeve, and people usually either lost them or tacked them on a wall as a small poster.
The non-lyric side has a fun picture collage of the band doing everything you’d expect from a 70s rock band on tour. People are smoking funny looking cigarettes with abandon, there are some really big eyed smiling faces, and the candid photos often contain cans and bottles in the corners. The decent condition of this insert made me ok with a $4 splurge.
Unlike most 70s bands, Fleetwood Mac didn’t usually record a 11:37 version of, say, Dreams that the record company would edit down for the single. That’s both good, because what you hear in the album is what you know from 39 years of radio play, and bad because there’s no learning anything new from the album that you didn’t already know from the 45.
Cost $4, $953 Remainng