Used CDs
October 6, 2003 8:24 PM   Subscribe

Used Cd's. The RIAA hated used cd stores in the early 90's....until the demon mp3 came along. Garth Brooks even refused to sell one of his cds to stores that sold them, until there was a backlash. But, anyway, here's the top 50 most common used cds.
posted by nyxxxx (43 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Hootie and the Blowfish's Fairweather Johnson.
posted by Stan Chin at 8:37 PM on October 6, 2003

There's a dual benefit to ignoring platinum titles: I don't have to write about piece of shit records like Hootie & The Blowfish's Fairweather Johnson

Since I didn't read the article, I will submit any Huey Lewis and the News CD that isn't a Greatest Hits compilation.
posted by Stan Chin at 8:45 PM on October 6, 2003

Thanks, nyxxx.

I just had an unpleasant 90s flashback -- Dambuilders, Lush, Velocity Girl, Jesus Jones, Belly. Much of it was complete tripe, but no one seemed to know that til it was too late.

Funny, as soon as I saw the Pitchfork list my first thought was, What number will the Breeders Last Splash be? In larger music stores I've seen literally 20-30 used copies of that. There it was, listed at #5.

But The La's self-titled? Why's everyone selling that back? I always thought it was pretty much a perfect album, definitely worth keeping around. Much like Dexy's Midnight Runners they were probably wrongly interpreted as a band capable of one only good song.
posted by dhoyt at 8:46 PM on October 6, 2003

Surprisingly, I only had one of these. You're right, MP3's and the ability to get the one hit off a one-hit-wonder's album has virtually doomed buying/reselling CD's.
posted by insulglass at 8:50 PM on October 6, 2003

Oh, man, File Under Easy Listening. I see about twenty copies any time I look at a used CD store. Holy crap.

This is great - it does double duty as an autopsy of the early 90s alternative-music boom. Ned's Atomic Dustbin, for fuck's sake...

And as much as I hate to admit it, they're right on about Monster, but I only hate to admit it because - well, how do you go from "Nightswimming" to "The King of Comedy"? HOW??? Stipe, you cokehead piece of crap...
posted by solistrato at 9:02 PM on October 6, 2003

Yeah, the Dambuilders are guaranteed to be found in any used CD rack I browse through. But then I own the album as well. I have to say I've seen J&MC's "Honey's Dead" plenty of times (I own that too). And Thurston Moore's "Psychic Hearts" (yes, I own it). And Ministry's "Psalm 69". And The Church's "Priest = Aura".

I'll go no further, but sure, this post has revealed me as a poverty stricken student who raids 2nd-hand racks, picking out whatever releases from his favourite bands he can find because he can't afford to pay full price for "Darklands" or "Hold that Tiger". Damn, I wish I'd seen The La's for sale that cheap, but.

On Preview: Solistrato - I reckon Monster's worth buying, if only for "Let Me In".
posted by Jimbob at 9:05 PM on October 6, 2003

that Top50 list was hilarious
posted by scarabic at 9:17 PM on October 6, 2003

no sign of four non-blondes' album. wow. (or are all the little pink fans buying it now.)

i'm surprised that copper blue didn't go gold. though i was a huge fan of bob mould in my adolescence, file under: easy listening really isn't that great a record. some individual songs are classic but it doesn't hold together all that well, and there are a few stinkers on there ("what you want it to be", most specifically).

and if one more person here harshes on belly, i'm taking this outside. :)
posted by pxe2000 at 9:18 PM on October 6, 2003

Isn't this whole overy cynical, caustic music reviewing style really, horribly, overly, awfully, terribly tired? *yawn*
posted by xmutex at 9:22 PM on October 6, 2003

Actually a large portion of the discs listed are good cds, and the reviewer says so, but are clogging used racks for various other reasons than for being shite. *yawn*
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 9:28 PM on October 6, 2003

I'll tell you what the unpleasant '90's flashback is, it's reading Pitchfork. God. People like this should be carbonized as soon as they come into contact with Earth's atmosphere. Though I'm not quite sure that would hurt them enough.

Now I don't want to listen to anything for weeks.
posted by furiousthought at 9:32 PM on October 6, 2003

Stan Chin... Huey Lewis & the News' Sports album is pure gold.

(No, I don't own it, but I do own several of the ones listed on Pitchfork's site...)
posted by togdon at 9:40 PM on October 6, 2003

Hmmm...somehow they forgot to add the link to the final page, which, if it existed, would consist only of the all time most recycled CD, Green Day's Dookie.

Also, did anyone else find it odd that Nirvana and/or Kurt Cobain were mentioned in at least 8 of the selections, including 3 times on the Top 5 alone?
posted by Schnauzer at 9:43 PM on October 6, 2003

I see this record a lot in used bins around town. But I also see a lot of Miles and Keith.
*looking through the bins on the other side of the store*

retarded lead singer? I didn't think anyone used "retarded" as an adjective.

On preview, xmutex: I do.
posted by philfromhavelock at 9:44 PM on October 6, 2003

I've ranked the discs according to commonness, although, naturally, questions of volume and locale weigh heavily against how accurate I could really be here, so in aid of making it a more worthwhile guide, I disqualified all but a select few egregious and relevant examples from the the former class.

Which basically means: I completely ignored the actual reality of discs which appear in used CD stores, and instead, handpicked records I wanted to be snarky about. Music journalism at its finest.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:53 PM on October 6, 2003

After reflecting on Dookie for awhile, I had a thought...

If you click on the Dookie link, you'll see that there are currently 221 New & Used discs available from 3rd parties (including a couple at $1.50 or less, as if my case for Dookie needed any more evidence). What someone should do is use Amazon's XML Interface and retreive the number of used discs available, then compile that into a real Top 50 list.

Kurt Cobain would be proud.
posted by Schnauzer at 10:06 PM on October 6, 2003

Wow. I don't have any of the 50 and I haven't even heard of most of the artists. Does that make me hip or square? I do have three Cranberries CDs however and considering the comment made in the text regarding them, I guess it's the latter.
posted by AstroGuy at 10:39 PM on October 6, 2003

That top 50 rocked. Hit the nail on the head almost every time. Great work. Thanks for the memories, nyxxx!
posted by squirrel at 10:51 PM on October 6, 2003

FWIW, The The's first release, Burning Blue Soul, was the best of the Matt Johnson vein.
posted by squirrel at 10:57 PM on October 6, 2003

Oh dear. I've got Freedy Johnston: Can You Fly; Velocity Girl: Simpatico!; Sundays: Blind ("One letter away from defining itself." Nice.); Belly: Star; Various Artists: Born to Choose, Lemonheads: Come on Feel the Lemonheads, Sugar: Beaster EP and File Under Easy Listening; and R.E.M.: Monster.

I definitely fall more on the square end of the spectrum, but as Huey Lewis reminds us, it's hip to be square.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:02 PM on October 6, 2003

How about we just outlaw linking to anything from pitchfork, ever?
posted by kavasa at 11:35 PM on October 6, 2003

Isn't this whole overy cynical, caustic music reviewing style really, horribly, overly, awfully, terribly tired?

Welcome to
posted by Down10 at 12:35 AM on October 7, 2003

They didn't even mention:
Van Halen III
silverchair (entire catalog)
Hanson (entire catalog)
Ace of Base (entire catalog)

At least, those are the titles that I see nearly every time I go to my favorite new & used record store, Amoeba Music.
posted by Down10 at 12:45 AM on October 7, 2003

Huh. He says he's never seen a retail copy of the Dambuilders' Against The Stars -- I'm pretty sure I have one. Though I did buy it used, so I suppose I should check and see if it's a promo after all...
posted by litlnemo at 2:36 AM on October 7, 2003

By strange coincidence, I just had my annual purge on the weekend, and all 12 of the CDs I own on this list stayed.
posted by rory at 4:56 AM on October 7, 2003

After reflecting on Dookie for awhile, I had a thought...

Some of my best thinking is done while reflecting on dookie.
posted by MrBaliHai at 5:01 AM on October 7, 2003

I got five...

44: Sebadoh: Harmacy
32: The The: Dusk
18: Sundays: Blind
16: Depeche Mode: Songs of Faith & Devotion
11: Arrested Development: 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life Of...

But where's the one I always see? Where's Us3: Hand on the Torch?
posted by grabbingsand at 5:11 AM on October 7, 2003

Another Kurt Cobain worshipper who is both dismissive of anything that wasn't derivative and abusive of anything remotely similar.

I can't say I care much about his opinion.

I've also never sold a CD to a used store. I did once trade a Steve Winwood CD (a gift) to a friend for an ELO disc. I felt better about things.
posted by Ynoxas at 5:35 AM on October 7, 2003

What I love about the record industry is that they will distribute promo cd's to records stores who then sell them in their used bins even before the record comes out. Then they complain about mp3's. While some major chains don't sell promos, I can find many new releases "used" almost as soon as they come out and sometimes before. Rarely do I buy a sealed CD and I have thousands of cd's - 8 of them on the list.
posted by chainring at 5:54 AM on October 7, 2003

The only one of those discs I've ever owned is Psalm 69 (which I still own). I had a roommate in college that must've had at least twenty of those, though.
posted by Prospero at 6:27 AM on October 7, 2003

it was a decent stroll down memory lane, but jesus christ, the whole "this album is the worst, but their 1991 debut is something you cant live without" line churned my stomach by the end of that.

sometimes i wish i was a rock critic, the music i loved would be so time tested and true. like the salmon that make it upstream to spawn, i would know that all the glistening melodies that made it to my ears were pure perfection.
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 6:49 AM on October 7, 2003

The only one of these I have is, of course, Monster. The review is spot-on, too. It's definitely a "what were they thinking/drinking/smoking/snorting ?" kind of album.
posted by tommasz at 6:55 AM on October 7, 2003

From the article:

I think it'd be an insult to our readership if I presumed you needed any help avoiding The Cranberries, Toad the Wet Sprocket and Live. Dada, though...

Ah. Well, I've been saved the trouble of having to later disabuse myself of the notion that I'm part of a pretentious indie snob readership...

sometimes i wish i was a rock critic, the music i loved would be so time tested and true. like the salmon that make it upstream to spawn, i would know that all the glistening melodies that made it to my ears were pure perfection.

yeahyeahyeahwhoo: I'm nominating you for MeFi poet laureate on the strength of that comment alone.
posted by weston at 8:11 AM on October 7, 2003

If you click on the Dookie link, you'll see that there are currently 221 New & Used discs available from 3rd parties

posted by goethean at 8:21 AM on October 7, 2003

Please note that a record's inclusion on this list is not meant to indicate automatic badness. The red/yellow/green price stickers are a quick visual indicator of the outcome of the review. As such, some of these come very highly recommended.

I have similiar issues with Pitchfork as it seems many of you do, but I don't think this particular list is the most offensive or snottiest things I've read from them. Heck, he green-stickers The Breeders Last Splash, which, if I've got my snotty-indie-rocker-cool-meter correct, isn't going to get you a lot of cred when some one digs it out of your cd rack at your next party.

Ott loves Sugar Beaster and File Under Easy Listening (as he should, and, coincidentally, both of which I bought used, and so you're obviously cooler than you think, kirkaracha) and The La's (he agrees with you, dhoyt, that it's a great record!) and Mercury Rev....

But the funniest bit for me was this about Arrested Development:

White people bought this album for two reasons: "Tennessee" and "Mr. Wendel"-- overtly listenable pop tunes for a band so influenced by Sly & The Family Stone-- but most of them paled when they heard the southern spiritual rave-ups "Man's Final Frontier" and "Raining Revolution". Way too close to gospel, they made the album impossible to leave on at a party.

It's funny because it's true!

And I'd buy a a double-disc set of all the new soul classics in a hot second.
posted by jennyb at 9:19 AM on October 7, 2003

wow. i never expected such vitriol towards a fairly inocuous critic. maybe some people have strong feelings for NATD (i know i did - kill your television? come on, people!)

anyway, i thought the list was fantastic. then again, i own or have owned quite a few of these: lush, ride, sebadoh (great album), black grape, luna (yes, bad album), the the, brad, (ugh), urban dance squad, darling buds, thurston moore, j&mc, velocity girl, buffalo tom, ministry, veruca salt, sundays, the church, julianna hatfield, ned's, belly, radiohead, breeders, lemonheads, sugar, and i bought monster at midnight on the day it was released. >50%.

i'm not sure if i should feel cool, or feel like a corporate tool. (i did get most of those in the $5 range, to be fair - and i still like almost all of those albums, but thank *god* for compressed music files)

again, i don't get the antipathy toward pitchfork or toward this reviewer. even when he "ripped" albums i like (lush), i agreed with some of his observations. that's the sign of a knowledgeable critic to me.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:29 AM on October 7, 2003

It's the attitude, mrgrimm. Not only does he have a handle on the objective truth, it's obvious. Anyone that disagrees with this man is by virtue of disagreeing wrong, as well as a complete idiot. He also can't resist insults to the musicians and, by extension of taste, to those who listen to them. Some musicians (of course) deserve to be called cocks, losers, failures, and dumbshits. They do not so deserve, however, because they made """bad""" music, which is all the justification he offers for his relentless insults. (They deserve it because they're cocks losers &c.)
posted by kavasa at 10:46 AM on October 7, 2003

Funny thing about used CDs: I once sold a bunch of my CDs to a used outfit, and was looking at the "cutting edge" picks by a local radio station. In the batch of 4 CDs was Pearl Jam's Ten and well, three others.

I had never, at that point, heard of Pearl Jam, and so had the proprietor put it up on the stereo so I could give a listen. It took me about five minutes, but the CD was mine.

I still have it, well scratched and well listened. If that had been vinyl, the needle would have worn through clear to the turn-table by now.
posted by thanotopsis at 11:04 AM on October 7, 2003

One man's trash and all of that, but it's a shame Ott didn't bother to include with the list and commentary a rundown of how many of these discs were produced by the big five or their many subdivisions and affiliate labels. Admittedly, MagnetBox isn't 100% accurate and where there was a discrepancy, I gave the benefit of the doubt and put it on the independent side. I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess at least half on the list are somehow tied to the RIAA.

RIAA sponsored releases
Dambuilders: Ruby Red
Cop Shoot Cop: Ask Questions Later
Nixons: Foma
Possum Dixon: Possum Dixon
Bleach: Killing Time
Circle Jerks: Golden Shower of Hits
The Melvins: Stag
Lush: Lovelife
Black Grape: It's Great When You're Straight... Yeah
Curve: Come Clean
Luna: Pup Tent
Catherine Wheel: Happy Days
Frente: Shape
The The: Dusk
Brad: Shame
Jesus & Mary Chain: Honey's Dead
Primus: Pork Soda
Darling Buds: Erotica
Thurston Moore: Psychic Hearts
Filter: Short Bus
Stabbing Westward: Ungod
Ministry: Psalm 69
Veruca Salt: Eight Arms to Hold You
Dinosaur Jr.: Without a Sound
Sundays: Blind
Bob Dylan & The Grateful Dead: Dylan & The Dead
Depeche Mode: Songs of Faith & Devotion
Juliana Hatfield: Only Everything
Dada: Puzzle
Arrested Development: 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life Of...
Ned's Atomic Dustbin: God Fodder
Belly: Star
Radiohead: Pablo Honey
The La's: La's
Various Artists: Born to Choose
Various Artists: No Alternative
Breeders: Last Splash
Lemonheads: Come on Feel the Lemonheads
Sugar: Beaster
Sugar: File Under Easy Listening
New Order: Republic
R.E.M.: Monster

non RIAA releases*
Sebadoh: Harmacy
Ride: Carnival of Light (U.K. version only)
Face to Face: Ignorance is Bliss (re-release on Victo)
Jesus Jones: Doubt (Indent Series re-release)
Urban Dance Squad: Mental Floss for the Globe (Triple X)
Freedy Johnston: Can You Fly
American Music Club: Everclear
Velocity Girl: Simpatico!
Buffalo Tom: Sleepy Eyed
Mercury Rev: Boces (Beggar's Banquet release)
Church: Priest=Aura (White)

* Again, giving benefit of the doubt when RIAA Radar waffled.

From the bins to the charts -- I say it's all bottomfeeding. Support independent labels and local music. Let RIAA choke on their excess.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:56 AM on October 7, 2003

Oh, you have no idea how good it feels to know that I'm not the only one who absolutely loathed Monster--I own every single REM album, but this one, oh this one, is so incredibly awful. I listened to it once. Well, I listened to "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" a few times. It killed any remaining love I had for Michael Stipe (and yet, I own the 3--I think it's 3--albums they've released since Monster), and he is but a figure of mockery to me now. He cringes! He flails! He paints his face blue and goes on Letterman!

However, I've been wanting a copy of the Lemonheads album they have listed for a while now--it's pretty much impossible to find an mp3 of "Big Gay Heart", which I've been feeling the need to listen to--and I suspect the Apple Music Store doesn't have it. Off to the remainder bins I go!
posted by eilatan at 12:32 PM on October 7, 2003

I'm regularly sifting through a second hand record shop (usually on the lookout for sixties gems) and I've noticed there are two things that will ensure a band or artist will end up in the bargain bin: release a cover album (Erasure - Other Peoples Songs, Annie Lennox - Medusa) or release a demo/'rarities'/remix compilation (lot's of recent XTC discs, The Cure - Mixed Up).
posted by dodgygeezer at 2:22 PM on October 8, 2003

I'm a little disappointed, among other things, by their decision to discount regional variation--I think this, in and of itself, might prove interesting. I dunno if it's still the case, but there used to be a used record store in Nelson, B.C., that I swear to god had every copy ever pressed of Julian Lennon's debut LP.
posted by arto at 12:43 AM on October 9, 2003

« Older Funny Names   |   Come to church NOW and miss the Christmas rush Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments