What's All This Then

Why should I care what this guy has to say?

The correct answer is that you shouldn’t. We’re all entitled to our opinions. Develop your own. I try to be sane and rational, but that may change with the level of caffeine intake. I’m just telling my stories in the hopes they may amuse and/or inform others. And... I Confess... I'm showing off my bitchen collection a bit.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Ye Olde Cutout Bin



In the 70's, most record stores and major department stores had a 'cut-out' bin.   Cut-Outs were overstocked records in the distributor's warehouse that didn't sell.   A portion of the cover was sliced, drilled or given a divot.    The imperfection in the cover signaled the record couldn't be sold at full price.   I'm not sure if the term cut-out refers to the cover mutilation or the removal of the title from catalog.  Prices ranged from 49 cents to $3


Jefferson Airplane - Thirty Seconds Over Winterland  (Grunt 1972)


I'm pretty sure I got this one at Montgomery Ward in Rosemead, CA





Each record company had their own method of cut-out.   RCA slit the cover.  This particular cover has the slit in the upper left.

Capitol drilled a hole in the front (see upper right)



Often times stickers proclaiming 'factory sealed for your protection' or 'music is your best value' cover up price stickers from the stores that returned unsold copies.

Warner Brothers lobbed off the corner  (see upper left)




Cut Outs weren't limited to deleted catalog items.  Sometimes they popped up because of a corporate change or a label redesign.  Asylum pressings of Bob Dylan's Planet Waves showed up in the cutout bins when it was about to be reissued on Columbia.  I got a few Grateful Dead titles on the green Warner Brothers label in the cutout bin after they went to that butt-ugly tree design.

I once scolded a record store for selling a cutout at full price.   The clerk referred me to the manager.  His response was 'How did you know that?'   I guess he thought that nobody would notice.  The title, by the way, I would have paid twice full price for.  It was the hard to find and out of print 'The Modern Dance' by Pere Ubu.   I ended up getting it for the cutout price  --  I think two bucks.


The cutout bin was a great place to take a chance on new music.  Something that is sorely missed in this new vinyl age.