Live in Toronto (Recorded in England)

Recorded in EnglandJohn Lennon is known for many things, and cloning himself and inhabiting two geographical locations at the same time is certainly one of them. Take for example the 1969 release by The Plastic Ono Band, Live Peace in Toronto 1969. Apart from being the first live album recorded by any member of the Beatles, solo or together, Live Peace in Toronto 1969 brought together the monumental talents of John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and Eric Clapton (Eric Clapton performs by courtesy of Atlantic Records).

Ok, all that is well and good… but what about this cloning nonsense you speak of? Take a look at the label. It’s an album of material that was recorded live in Toronto, Ontario, BUT, it was, apparently, also an album that was recorded in England.

Think about that for a moment. Performed in Canada… recorded in England.

Why didn’t they just record it in Canada? A fair and reasonable question. I’ll tell you why. It’s because John Lennon cloned himself and was performing live with Yoko and Mr. Slowhand while simultaneously sitting behind the boards at Apple Corps Ltd back in London. Quite an astounding feat, even for John Lennon, but anything is possible if you Imagine. See what I did there?

The Best, Biggest Bargains on Record!

Warner CoverWarner/Reprise Records took a bit of a risk in late 1969/early 1970. Not only did they offer double LP comps for only $2 (at a time when single LPs went between $4 and $5), but also their “The best, biggest bargains on record!” campaign promoted exclusive albums at insanely discounted prices that were only available via this innersleeve. AND, as if that weren’t enough, their ingenious, cunning, and dear I say crackerjack copywriters presented this financially hazardous campaign with the youthful exuberance found only from the likes of Peggy Olson.

Here are a few examples of how fascinating “The best, biggest bargains on record!” campaign is, including, but not limited to, jokes and sarcastic dialogue (dialogue, from an insert?):

– Offering a coupon printed on the sleeve itself, Warner/Reprise suggests that the protective sleeve that was provided in a previously purchased Warner/Reprise album be destroyed and used to order more records.

– “To expedite your order, and to foil the fools in the mail room…”

– “Dear Fat Cats: Yes, please send…”

– “We can get away with that low price because these celebrated artists and this benevolent record company have all agreed not to make a profit on this venture.”

– “If our Accounting Department were running this company, they’d charge you $9.96 for each double album. But they’re not. Yet.”

– “If you want them (indeed, how can you resist?) you have to…”

– “If you’re as suspicious of big record companies as we feel you have every right to be…”

Warner BackIn closing, I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when the idea for this campaign was introduced. I would have loved to have witnessed the look on the faces of Warner/Reprise Execs, and I would have loved to have shaken the hand of this campaign’s mastermind. (I would also love to pay only $2 for a double LP!)