Friday, January 23, 2009

Top 40 LP Info is Now Online

It took about a month an a half to put together, but the list of all Top 40 LPs from 1970-'79 has been added to the website, with links to acquire them on Amazon and/or iTunes (If available) and a link back to the list of each artist's hit singles from the decade (again, when applicable). Now that I've finished that phase of the web project, I can get back to work on adding iTunes/Amazon links to the section of the site that lists hit 45s.

Wanna see what's there? Check out My 1970s Hits Site. There are links now to 45s and LPs, by artist. Just click a letter in the menu and scroll down to your favorite artist.

However, before I go, I'd like to comment on some things I realized during the process:

1. Motown has an amazing history of releasing high-quality music. Many of its artists (Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross/The Supremes, The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Jackson 5, Rick James, The Commodores, etc.) are among the all-time legends of pop music. With a back catalog like Motown's, you'd think the 1970s LPs would be readily available. But you'd be wrong. The 1970s catalog is often hit-and-miss -- Stevie Wonder's is complete except for a 1978 compilation, but The Temptations, Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross are spotty and The Jackson 5 aren't available except for 2-for-1 discs. I understand how stuff like supply and demand can affect a record company's desire to print up CDs that might sit in a warehouse for years, but putting them up on iTunes or another downloadable format will eliminate the supply problems.

2. Many of the LPs of the 1970s were limited by technology which only allowed a certain number of songs to fit on two sides. As CDs became the norm, more songs were able to fit on discs and when it came time to release "back catalog" issues, some companies were able to fit two albums on 1 CD. Some companies and artists went further and either remastered the CD to take advantage of improved CD sound quality or even adding new tracks, alternate versions and previously-unreleased material. While some fans feel these "improvements" detract from the spirit of their original recordings...I feel more is better, especially if I'm paying roughly the same for the extra stuff.

3. All things considered...buying from Amazon is a great deal. Not counting the out-of-print CDs that can be more expensive, the vast majority of recordings linked on my site can be had for less than $10 (and many of the used discs go for under $3). Yes, the news likes to tout the fact that the economy is in the tank -- and those of us who lived through the 1970s know a bad economy isn't the end of the world -- but a tremendous music library can be built for less than the cost of going to the movies and won't be over in two hours. Amazon orders over $25 can qualify for free shipping, which maximizes a purchase even more.

4. While I'm on the subject of hard-to-find discontinued CDs...if you click on the Amazon link, several of those albums are available through Amazon as MP3s, can be picked up for under $10 and downloaded immediately to your computer, which makes it easier to bide your time until somebody sells his or her used copy for a lot less.

5. While researching the materials used to build my site, I sometimes get saddened to realize that many of the artists who made music in the 1970s are no longer with us (and in 2008 we lost Paul Davis, Jerry Reed, Isaac Hayes and Richard Wright of Pink Floyd, among others). Considering that even the youngest artists of the 1970s are nearing 50 (Leif Garrett is 47, Marie Osmond turns 50 this year, Michael Jackson is 50, Donny Osmond is 51; for heaven's sake, Olivia Newton-John and Journey's Steve Perry are now 60!), the list of deceased artists is only going to get longer. For me, even though they may have left this plane of existence, their spirits will always remain whenever their music fills the air.

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