My first “official” introduction to Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor (outside a small font credit to a sample used on the Beastie Boys’ Ill Communication), was this $4 purchase from good ol’ Half Price Books, 1977’s Richard Pryor’s Greatest Hits. I knew little to nothing of the man prior (or should I say Pryor… no) to this album, forgetting completely that this was the same Wonder Wheel-wielding genius from the slightly racist The Toy film (1982), so let me put it lightly by stating that my feeble mind was completely blown into some previously unknown realm of human consciousness upon first spin. Everyone I knew who cared to listen heard this album, with a slightly obnoxious and giddy introduction by me, and to this day, Richard Pryor’s Greatest Hits is still, by far, one of my all-time favorite records. It doesn’t hurt that it was probably one of my first 20 records purchased, but the content certainly (and quite vulgarly… let’s say “honestly”) speaks for itself.
I’ve never considered Air Supply to be the #1 pop group of the ’80s, and I doubt I ever will. I mean, Making Love out of Nothing at All sounds a little politically incorrect if you take it literally, but it is a damn good song. A smash? Meh. Also, why is the “all” in “all their classics” underlined? I’m surprised the copywriting team only used one punctuation mark to help sell the fruits of these 1980s Gods. At the end of the day, this 32 year old sticker offers a glimpse of Arista Records’ “gotcha” selling points, and deserves to be remembered (to be quickly forgotten again by tomorrow’s post).
Listen, for reasons that transcend both you and me, J. R. Cash holds, and will always hold, a deep-rooted seed of importance with me (and my Midwestern upbringing). Bruce McCulloch put it accurately when he said that Greatest Hits albums were for housewives and little girls, BUT, I must state that a little gathering of the goods, if you will, is nothing of an ill-comprised representation of one’s output. Are there better albums of Mr. Cash’s to be had? Shame on you for asking. Does this one hold sentimental value far more than any top 40 single on the bullshit charts? You bet your ass! I’ll be as gone as a wild goose in winter…and I welcome you all to join me.
RIP J. R. Cash.
Would you buy this album for $1.84 + CA state tax? Look at it! It’s got mold or something all over the sleeve. The hell?! On one hand, The Kinks Greatest Hits! is a bit of a farce to begin with, what with it not containing ANYTHING from The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, Arthur or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire, Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One OR Muswell Hillbillies, but it does possess a b side that rivals any five track early Kinks comp I’ve ever heard… but it’s moldy, or whatever… but it’s The Kinks!… but look at it!… its got A Well Respected Man on it, and it’s only $1.84…
Would you buy this album for $1.84 + CA State tax? Well, you can’t. I already did.
Descriptive words… in print… next to full-color album cover pictures… sent directly to the address of my choosing… for only 25¢? Sign me the hell up! This is the ecstatic line of thinking RCA Records had in mind when they advertised their loose leaf booklet on special insert sleeves of their record albums. The Record Album?
Titled “Music America Loves Best” this alphabetical catalog can be shipped directly to your doorstep (or conversion van’s side-door) for only one, easy payment of just 25¢. Upon receiving this staple of profound literature, you’d be awarded the opportunity to peruse a catalog “with alphabetical listing by artist, of all record albums by RCA Records.” No indication of ordering any of these records is provided by this special offer.
RCA Records (aka Radio Corporation of America Records) existed back before the Cubs won their last World Series, and for a measly 25¢, you could own a little piece of recording history… or at least the “complete contents of” the undisputed masterwork that is The Best of Eddy Arnold.