Join 3,517 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


113 Super Smash Mega Fantastic Dynamic Sensual Explosive Electrifying Spectacular Hits
September 1, 2012 9:06 AM   Subscribe

Oh, hey - the 113 K-Tel commercials you ordered have arrived.

20 All-Time Greats Of The '50s Vol. 2
20 Electrifying Hits, 20 Original Stars
20 Explosive Hits, 20 Original Stars
20 Famous Country Hits
20 Heavy Hits
20 Irish Party Songs
20 Power Hits Vol. 2
20 Solid Hits
22 Explosive Hits
24 Country Gospel Greats
24 Country & Western Greats
24 Great Tear Jerkers
25 Greatest Hits Of Sesame Street
25 Polka Greats
25 Rockin' & Rollin' Greats
25 Rock Revival Greats
26 Sing Along Honky Tonk Greats
36 Super Gold Hits
40 #1 Hits
44 Golden Greats
50 Children's Favorites
60 Juke Box Hits
101% Klassik
Adventures In Storyland
Axe Attack
Axe Attack Vol. 2
Believe In Music
Best Of Britain
Best Of Country Music
Best Of Hooked On Classics
Block Buster
Breakdance
Bright Side Of Music
California Sun
Can You Feel It
Chart Explosion
Chart Hits '81
Classic Opera
Classics 100
Classics For Today
Country Flashbacks
Country Road
Country Sundown
Country Superstars
Danser Encore
Dumb Ditties
Dynamite
Fantastic
Flashback Fever
Forever Lennon & McCartney
Friends & Lovers
Get Down With Boogie
Girls Girls Girls
Golden Greats
Golden Melodies
Goodtime Music
Goofy Greats
Great Italian Love Songs
Heartbeat Of The '70s & '80s
Hit Machine
Hit Mix
Hot Bubblegum
In Concert
It's Gospel
Juke Box Jive
Kooky Toones
Looney Tunes
Love Album
Magic Reggae
Masters Of Metal
MasterWorks
Mellow
Mind Bender
Mounting Excitement
Movin' On
Music Power
Night Life
Night Moves
Out Of Sight
Pardon My Blooper
Pin-Ball Rock
Platinum Album
Play It Again
Power House
Power Play
Pure Gold
Pure Power
Radio Veronica - 40 All-Time Greatest Hits
Rejoice
Rhythm 'N Reggae
Right On
Rock '80
Rock '84
Rock & Roll
Rockin' & Rollin'
Rock Rules OK
Songs Of Joy
Sorrisos E Lagrimas
Soul City
Souled Out
Sound System
Sounds Spectacular
Southern Fried Rock
Super Star Collection
Superstars In Country Music
Starflight
Star Power
Stars
Straight From The Heart
Super Bad
Super Bad Is Back
Superhits Of The Superstars
Superstars Greatest Hits

NOTE: The vast majority of these are courtesy of the 'KtelClassics' YouTube account. THANK YOU, whichever intern spent a month digitizing and uploading this stuff.
posted by mintcake! (62 comments total) 73 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's neat that they decided to archive all this stuff for years.
posted by carter at 9:13 AM on September 1, 2012


"Hey Man, is that Freedom Rock?"
posted by punkfloyd at 9:17 AM on September 1, 2012 [10 favorites]


I had no idea they sold K-Tel records in the UK as well; it just seems like such an American thing.
posted by briank at 9:17 AM on September 1, 2012


Man, Souled Out and Soul City are rock-solid, aren't they?
posted by beaucoupkevin at 9:18 AM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now I’m trying to figure out which ones I had. The only records I had as a kid for years were these kind of collections, K-Tel and Ronco.
posted by bongo_x at 9:20 AM on September 1, 2012


Can we get a video that shows them all playing simultaneously? There should be an automatic generator for that or something.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:28 AM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was so, SO proud to know that K-Tel's address of record was in my state.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:30 AM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is awesome. Thanks.
posted by blucevalo at 9:32 AM on September 1, 2012


I'm pretty sure if you watch all of these in order you get the "Phantom of the Paradise" Steam Achievement.
posted by clvrmnky at 9:32 AM on September 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


Oh, and for all you Canucks, remember to send 12.99 + 2.99 S&H to the /Canadian/ address, in Winnipeg.
posted by clvrmnky at 9:33 AM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here is an interview of someone who worked for K-tEL
posted by wheelieman at 9:35 AM on September 1, 2012


Why am I suddenly thinking about Rhino Records?
posted by scratch at 9:35 AM on September 1, 2012


Hey, 1.5 minute edits of my favorite hits? You bet!

Fuck, now I have Yummy Yummy Yummy stuck in my head.
posted by wallabear at 10:07 AM on September 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Thanks for this blast from the past.

Eight-track tape, six ninety-nine!
posted by languagehat at 10:08 AM on September 1, 2012



Hey, 1.5 minute edits of my favorite hits? You bet!


And sped up, too!
posted by droplet at 10:08 AM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yay! 20 Power Hits was the first album I ever bought. Still have it somewhere. Loved all these ads.
posted by Windopaene at 10:13 AM on September 1, 2012


Aw, none of the ones I had. Still fun to dig through. What a great idea, mintcake!
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:17 AM on September 1, 2012


How about these ones (thanks SCTV!):
K-Tel's Fast Talking Playhouse
20 Depressing Hits By Connie Franklin
50 Psalms By 50 Of The Greatest Stars,
Promo For "As Seen On TV - The K-Tel Story"

posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 10:20 AM on September 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


For some reason, K-Tel is inextricably entwined in my memories with Klein's in Hempstead and Great Eastern in Elmont.
posted by tommasz at 10:32 AM on September 1, 2012


Happy to accelerate an SCTV derail. My favorite SCTV K-Tel offer.
posted by Glomar response at 10:37 AM on September 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


After a few viewings of any of them, they'd turn into songs in their own right in my head, little mini-medleys of fun and commerce. I can't have been the only one.
posted by no relation at 11:01 AM on September 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Yes friends, if you were to go into a record store and ask for them, They Would Think You Were Crazy!"
posted by squalor at 11:15 AM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is fantastic. I've been rewatching some shows from my childhood and I'll have to slip in one of these between episodes for the full experience.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:20 AM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks for this post--it's great.
posted by box at 11:40 AM on September 1, 2012


The Pin-Ball Rock commercial made me picture Don Draper rolling his eyes and saying "OK, what's next?"
posted by Lukenlogs at 12:14 PM on September 1, 2012


Ever order one of these? The songs arrived chopped - missing verses, choruses, fades, openings, whatever. The commercials turn out to be more entertaining than the product.
posted by telstar at 12:15 PM on September 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Men weethout 'ats." Lol.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 12:44 PM on September 1, 2012


Glad to see Bert and Ernie enjoying their domestic partnership
posted by jonp72 at 1:59 PM on September 1, 2012


If I had to name my favorite K-Tel LP, it might be The Beat New Wave compilation LP. It's better than a lot of retro 80s new wave compilations, and it probably has the earliest Depeche Mode track I ever heard.
posted by jonp72 at 2:08 PM on September 1, 2012


When I saw this on the front page I was really hoping there would be a promo for the one K-Tel LP I had as a little kid, The Rock Album. Really a kick-ass compilation of late 70's rock, with suitably epic cover art. To this day I carry 'The Rock Album' around as a digital playlist.
posted by usonian at 2:13 PM on September 1, 2012


I remember my Mom going to Gemco or some such place and buying a record with all the best oldies, only to find out it had cover versions of all the best oldies, done by decent, anonymous studio musicians, but covers nonetheless (not sure my Mom noticed, but I did). These were a step down from K-Tel compilations, and it boggles the mind to this day that someone decided to pay some studio musicians to play a slew of pop songs, press a run full of them on vinyl, market the thing, and presumably make a profit. This was back in the mid 70s, and I know of other records that were the done the same way. What kind of weird math over royalties must have been involved to make such things possible?
posted by 2N2222 at 2:14 PM on September 1, 2012


Had Mindbender, Right On, Power Play and Rock 80. My younger brother is going to go apeshit when he gets home tonight and sees this link, might as well be 12 again.
posted by kgasmart at 2:34 PM on September 1, 2012


Not K-Tel, but this commercial for Punk! Was the subject of much consternation in my life. I saw this thing maybe one and a half times when I was a teenager. But it was so wildly misguided, so impossibly ignorant of the concept of Punk that it seemed it had to be a joke. But this was the mid-90's, well before self aware irony became an advertising trope. For more then a decade following I would occasionally bring this commercial up, with no one ever able to confirm my story. FINALLY relatively recently someone managed to find an old VHS tape with it on it or whatever and it made it's way to YouTube. So finally, FINALLY, I can show everyone the Punk compilation CD featuring Men At Work and Huey Lewis & The News and so much more!
posted by mediocre at 2:44 PM on September 1, 2012 [15 favorites]


I still have Dumb Ditties.
posted by obloquy at 3:35 PM on September 1, 2012


OH FUCK YES
posted by tristeza at 4:06 PM on September 1, 2012


jonp72: If I had to name my favorite K-Tel LP, it might be The Beat New Wave compilation LP. It's better than a lot of retro 80s new wave compilations, and it probably has the earliest Depeche Mode track I ever heard.

That track is from their wonderful 1981 LP Speak and Spell, and its radically different sound can be credited to it being the only Depeche Mode album that featured Vince Clark as a (primary) member of the group. Its uniqueness can also be raced to being an early Daniel Miller production, when he was only a couple of years removed from the cold craziness of his projects The Normal and the Silicon Teens.
posted by item at 4:26 PM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not K-Tel, but this commercial for Punk yt ! Was the subject of much consternation in my life. I saw this thing maybe one and a half times when I was a teenager. But it was so wildly misguided, so impossibly ignorant of the concept of Punk that it seemed it had to be a joke.

We may have just found the origin point of the phrase 'punked'
posted by srboisvert at 5:13 PM on September 1, 2012


Unfortunately, there does not seem to be a commercial for K-Tel's Full Tilt, which was the very first LP I bought with my own allowance money.
posted by otters walk among us at 5:22 PM on September 1, 2012


Thanks for these. I have quite a few KTEL albums on the shelf. I should have bought the K-TEL record selector - which sadly assumes the average music consumer owns up to 20 LPs.
posted by mattoxic at 6:11 PM on September 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Happy to accelerate an SCTV derail. My favorite SCTV K-Tel offer.

Rick Moranis does not get nearly enough credit these days.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:12 PM on September 1, 2012


Over the course of 2 days, MetaFilter has featured over 100 KTEL commercials and over 100 Troma movies. Watch them all and see what inspires more nightmares. The answer may surprise you.

mediocre, thanks for the Punk commercial as well. It was actually quite popular in Illinois (or we just were "luckier" in catching it); hearing "I Wanna New Drug" still triggers me to say "This is so punk!" to no one in particular. (The youtube comments are oddly adorable.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:28 PM on September 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


> For some reason, K-Tel is inextricably entwined in my memories with Klein's in Hempstead and Great Eastern in Elmont.

Yes! In the Philly area it was Ideal, "If you've got a passion for fashion!" It's how I learned what a Quonset hut was.

Cool that they uploaded all these old commercials. Its neat seeing how dated some of them are and how much things have changed with styles and advertising. I still have "Music Machine" - it came with a free Andy Gibb poster!
posted by NoraCharles at 6:42 PM on September 1, 2012


No love for TSS, tommasz?
posted by dr_dank at 6:54 PM on September 1, 2012


and it boggles the mind to this day that someone decided to pay some studio musicians to play a slew of pop songs, press a run full of them on vinyl, market the thing, and presumably make a profit.

I’m not sure this still didn’t happen fairly recently, which is even more surprising. I saw a CD like that in a store 2-3 years ago.
posted by bongo_x at 7:01 PM on September 1, 2012


That track is from their wonderful 1981 LP Speak and Spell, and its radically different sound can be credited to it being the only Depeche Mode album that featured Vince Clark as a (primary) member of the group.

For you viewers playing along at home, the relevant K-Tel Depeche Mode track was Dreaming of Me.
posted by jonp72 at 7:07 PM on September 1, 2012


12 Golden Country Greats (NSFW)
posted by not_on_display at 7:25 PM on September 1, 2012


telstar: Ever order one of these? The songs arrived chopped - missing verses, choruses, fades, openings, whatever. The commercials turn out to be more entertaining than the product.

I begged my folks for so many of these. My mom always said no, for the exact reasons you listed, but I never believed her. I guess she should have had a stranger on the internet tell me.

These are going to be so fun to watch.

Sorry mom.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:27 PM on September 1, 2012


I learned all my freshest moves from that Breakdance tape, which is to say I was not fresh in the least.
posted by orme at 7:44 PM on September 1, 2012


mediocre: "Punk"

For years, I've told people about this commercial, and nobody believed me. And there's even more Yeah! Girl and PaleoHippie that I remembered. Oh, I could kiss you!
posted by dejah420 at 8:00 PM on September 1, 2012


Not K-Tel, but this commercial for Punk yt !</i

Ahahahahaha. Had you listed the songs I would not have believed you.

posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:07 PM on September 1, 2012


, the relevant K-Tel Depeche Mode track was Dreaming of Me

Was that not a Yazoo song?
posted by mrgrimm at 8:36 PM on September 1, 2012


I was hoping there'd be a Slim Whitman, but my memory's unreliable and he wasn't K-tel after all. Even if he did outsell Elvis and the Beatles in the category of country yodeling.
posted by bigbigdog at 10:14 PM on September 1, 2012


Two words: Hot bubblegum.

Wait. What?
posted by yellowcandy at 10:22 PM on September 1, 2012


I'm pretty sure I'm about to go on Discogs and deal with international shipping just to get a copy of that UK 'Reggae Magic' comp. I'll say it again--great post.
posted by box at 12:40 AM on September 2, 2012


Quarterflash was totally punk. Yep.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:53 AM on September 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


If someone were to ask me which album Michael Jackson's "Rock With You" was on, I would immediately say, "Off the Wall." But somewhere in the back of my mind, I would think, "Wings of Sound!"
posted by plasquatch at 6:57 AM on September 2, 2012


I can't find the one I owned, but the first actual 12" 33 I ever bought with my own allowance was a ktel record. It had Rod Stewart's Maggie Mae, Eric Clpaton's Let It Rain, Cher's Gypsies Tramps and Theives, and The Hollies' Long Cool Woman.

Even at 9 or 10 years old, the crazy edits were pretty glaring. I'd love to go back & do some side by side comparisons to the originals, because their slice & dice work was pretty impressive. They didn't just trim off intros and fade out endings, they hacked up bridges, deleted guitar solos, & cut double choruses in half. Nothing was sacred in their quest for the 1:45 version of whatever it was.

Goes to show how bad record contracts were in the 70's that what they did was even legal.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:06 AM on September 2, 2012


I had no idea they sold K-Tel records in the UK as well; it just seems like such an American thing.

Canadian.

(I fully expect to see a "Part of Our Heritage" PSA about crappy compilation albums some time in the future.)
posted by Sys Rq at 12:15 PM on September 2, 2012


Yep. Along with Pic-a-pop (which I was just mentioning in another thread) it's a Winnipeg-based company.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:21 PM on September 2, 2012


I totally forgot that K-Tel was responsible for distributing the Mini-Pops in the U.S.
posted by jonp72 at 12:52 PM on September 2, 2012


Popular songs by anonymous studio musicians still lives in subscription music networks for supermarkets. I imagine it's to cut down on the cost of licensing the music, and for years I never really noticed that type of muzak crap because it was just part of the background noise of life. But I was at a Fred Meyer store recently, and realized that this isn't Fred Schneiders sprechgesang I'm hearing.. it's some much less flamboyant dude.. and wait.. that's not Kate Pierson.. a reasonable facsimile maybe.. but not Kate..
posted by mediocre at 1:17 PM on September 2, 2012


K-Tel Presents Rock's Greatest Gravel Voices
posted by jonp72 at 7:55 AM on September 3, 2012


« Older "The Act of Killing is about killers who have won,...  |  "Video games have for so long ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments