April 24, 2014 Building A Solo Career


Don Henley, Building The Perfect Beast, Geffen GHS-24026, 1984

I think the real reason that The Eagles kept reuniting was because they found being solo artists to be too stressful.  At least, that’s the impression I get from Don Henley and the making of this album.  Henley had fights with the record company over every aspect of the record and it would be five years before he returned to recording.  Drama aside, it’s a really good 80s album and I was really glad to get it for $1.


The gold leaf stamp on the top of the front cover means that Geffen gave this record away as a promo.  It was most likely a radio station or music business executive that would get this album for free in the hopes of it getting promoted by them.  Someone wrote 11/84 on the back cover which corresponds to the November 19, 1984 release date for the record.  The disclaimer says that that this record was only being lent to the recipient and can be demanded back at any time.  33 years on, I’m prepared to do that if they really do want it back, but I’d want to see some ID first.


Collectors like to buy promo records on the assumption that they were only handled rarely and then by professionals.  A radio station would professionally tape the tracks they wanted to broadcast and create tape loops in special cartridges to use on air.  I don’t necessarily search out promos, in fact I prefer generally release records.  Geffen took the easy way out and just stamped their promo disclaimer on the jacket of a regular record.  Other companies, especially in the 50s and 60s created special promo labels for their giveaways and they can be worth twice what a standard release is.

Today’s Summary:
Cost: $1, $205 Remaining

March 26, 2017 Let’s Promo The Ghetto


The Philadelphia International All Stars, Let’s Clean Up The Ghetto, Philadelphia International JZ-34659, 1977

I know I just wrote the other day about promos and how I never buy them.  Naturally, that meant I was bound to discover a record I’ve always wanted to find moments after publishing that, but with a promotional label on it.


The first time I ever heard The Philadelphia International All Stars’ Let’s Clean Up The Ghetto, all 8:42 of it, I couldn’t believe it.  It’s really half of a monologue about garbage, crime and cockroaches by the great Lou Rawls followed by four minutes of amazing Funk & Disco.  The fact that I was driving in rural Argentina at the time made it seem even more unreal.  It was one of those times when you hear a song you love, but have no way to identify it so you can look for it later.  I had to ask all kinds of record people about this bizarre Lou Rawls social commentary until one of them knew about it enough to tell me what it is.


And what it is is an attempt by the beginning to fade Philadelphia International Record Company to stay relevant in the later 70s with the rise of disco music.  It’s basically a compilation from the roster of the label in 1977 with the added “all star” track specifically written to give it a relevant theme.  Of course, songs about hot smelly garbage don’t get much airplay so the record never really sold.  But that doesn’t mean that it’s not a great record to have, with the Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff production team at the height of their game.  Since it didn’t sell, it’s a pretty rare record to find, and I was thrilled to find this promo for $1!  It took me over a decade to find this one from when I first heard it, and while I’ll keep looking for a standard release, I’m really happy to have this version, ring wear and all.

Today’s Summary:
Cost: $5, $272 Remaining

March 23, 2017 How Is This A Thing?


Various Artists, The Capitol Disc Jockey Album, Capitol SPRO-4650, November 1968

I don’t collect promos.  I have them of course, because sometimes you’re happy to find any copy of a particular hard to find record, and a promo generally plays as well as a standard issue copy.  In fact, promo collectors usually say that they play better because they likely were played a few times by industry professionals as either sampling or re-recording for broadcast from a tape.  But since virtually all recorded music released since Edison’s wax cylinder #1 is available online for free, I prefer to look for standard issue releases for my collection.  Promos usually have different labels or cover art and I like those things about my records.


Things like album though stand out.  It’s mere existence is curious because it’s as though Capitol Records is saying that only Capitol records are worthy of airplay, like they’re some sort of premium brand for the recording industry.  That’s obviously not true anymore than people choosing what book to read based solely on the publisher.  Yes, there were many recordings of The Impossible Dream, but hey Capitol Records has a great one for sale this November by Al Martino that you’re just gonna love…


I have a few of these records, and it’s hard to tell if they’re collectible or not.  I have one from 1964, but most information online suggests these were monthly releases from 1967-1970.  They certainly are weird adult oriented albums, and it remains a mystery as to how the songs are balanced for airplay.   These records all have a pretty girl and/or a hot car on the cover.  In this case, the car is a 1969 AMC AMX, and the poor girl choking on the exhaust fumes from the massive V8 engine appears to be having a hard time deciding if she should vote for Hubert Humphrey or Richard Nixon in the national election.  She is leaning towards Nixon however, and if Capitol continued this series a few years longer, it would have been a hoot to use the same model for the August 1974 edition.

Today’s Summary:
Cost: $2, $281 Remaining

August 16, 2016 The Sound Of Sellout

vintage vintage haul 1 (22 of 113)

Sammy Davis Jr., The Sound Of Sammy, Warner Special Products OP-1501, 1978

Say it ain’t so Sammy!  This is kind of a greatest hits package, but the worst kind of greatest hits packages.  Mr. Davis’ big hit single The Candy Man from 1972 is here, but most of the other songs are live versions recorded waaay past their original release.

vintage vintage haul 1 (23 of 113)

The real “wow” though, is not one, but too versions of The Alka Seltzer Song.  I’m sure by 1978, the offers weren’t rolling in, but could he have needed the money from schilling for a product like Alka Seltzer?

vintage vintage haul 1 (24 of 113)

Apparently yes.  For the record, the side two version of the jingle,  the rock (!) version, is the preferred one.  The big band version is just bad, as bad as you’d expect from a disco era studio orchestra.  The cover is so cheap that both sides have severe ring wear too.

I couldn’t find much information on this record, so i don’t if it was for sale commercially or if it was the kind of promo that you had to send away for.  The record is in really good shape, so my guess is the latter.  It’s just hard to think of Sammy Davis Jr and Alka Seltzer together in any kind of way.

Today’s Summary:

Cost: $2, $837 Remaining

August 7, 2016 Is There A Morning After?


Maureen McGovern, The Morning After, 20th Century Fox T-419, 1973

The Poseidon Adventure was a huge picture.  Big enough to be nominated for eight Oscars.  One of them was for Best Original Song, even though in the final film The Morning After is only heard for about a minute.  Naturally, there was a soundtrack album that also featured John Williams’ nominated score.  The studio had a singer who sounded like the actress who played the singer record the song, but 20th Century Fox had a better idea.


Get that new girl, the one with the demo.  Have her record it and we’ll put it out around Oscar time!  Maybe if the song wins, the record will catch on!  It worked.  The song peaked at #1 around the world and this album was rush released to capture on it.  It shows.


The best part, though, is not the quality of the music, but the promotional copy I found.  It was obviously sent-and used!- by a small market radio station.  Someone had the job of listening to this record and describing the tempo of each song (Don’t try To Close A Rose– MED.).  Radio Station copies generally mean the record will be in good shape because it was professionally handled, but small time stations that lacked the ability to record hot records onto a tape loop actually used records like this on the air.  That’s what happened here as the lead in to The Morning After is very worn out from multiple “cueing” of the record.  Luckily, I’m not in the music collecting business, but the record collecting business, because this is a nice record to have despite the condition of the one listenable song.

Today’s Summary:

Cost $1, $855 Remaining