“1970’s Record Store Album Divider Cards A – K” copyright 2018 00individual TLL
EXPERIENCE 1970’s RECORD STORE CULTURE
The Record Store Album Divider Cards in the photos are original unrestored heavy-duty thick 12” by 14″ plastic alphabetized archived artifacts from the early-to-mid 1970’s.
From 1971 through 1975 00individual rode the Psychedelic Rock ‘n’ Roll Train as a Los Angeles Record Store Manager for two different independents, and as a Record Rack Jobber. Through record label connections, promotions, and sales reps, 00individual was in a pivotal place that provided him with many freebies, turn-ons, and artifacts of the times.
Apart from years of in-store use, these cards were also used in 00individal’s personal record collection when at it’s height amassed over 3,500 choice albums, mostly Rock, but also a very wide range of other genres, and over 350 choice soundtrack albums.
While these cards may at once seem unimpressive, these were literal touchstones of what was considered by many to be the Counter-Culture’s Churches – Record and Tape Stores.
While most popular bands and artists had their own name printed in semi-metallic red on a card, these single letter cards designated a section, and were placed either at the beginning or at the end as a subsection for the alphabetized miscellaneous artists/bands of that letter. As was the custom, corresponding albums were filed in front of their titled / lettered divider card.
Like Head Shops, Record Stores were like entering a sacred, magical place where like-minded souls gathered to soak in the Vibe that emanated from the environment. And like true churches, small or large, if the Vibe was true it was felt.
Upon entering a record store one of the first things to be touched were the top edge of these cards and/or the titled cards, as many Rockers, Music Lovers, Vinyl Fiends, Album Cover Art Aficianadoes, and Counter-Culturists thumbed through these cards at one time or another – one can see the evidence of use by the degrees of “tan line” on some of the cards. As record store bins increased with more and more bands, title cards became any sturdy cardboard whereby the names would be hand-lettered with a marker – this became a necessity even within corporate chains.
The Death Of Vinyl
Then with the advent of CDs and then DVDs (and eventually internet-streamed music) the vinyl record market nearly disappeared, and thus, so did the traditional Record Store.
Most all of the greats in L.A. eventually folded; Tower, Virgin, Music Odyssey, Licorice Pizza, Aron’s, DisConnection, Platterpuss, Rhino, Moby Disc, Wallichs Music City, Music Plus, Wherehouse, Crane’s, and nearly all local independents. It was very sad to see establishments of a positive meaningful and fun culture being downed one by one.
In a strange karmic way, as the Rockers of the ’60s entered the heightened ’70s the end could be felt, but it was still way off in the distance. Yet as the record stores declined, the Rocker was given constant reminders that things were no longer the way they were. And with each closure an integral part of an important culture of an important era was not only removed from the landscape, but from the hearts and minds of not only Rockers, but Music Lovers everywhere.
Many things, important things are “removed from the landscape” daily, but when a culturally significant place that offered a tangible good vibe is removed, more than a single event is missed, a part of the Spirit of Time disappears.
Vinyl Rises From The Grave!
Then with the DJ-sampling of Classic Rock and other genres, the vinyl market began an upswing in the ’90s, and with the introduction of the 180 gram vinyl editions audiophiles jumped on the opportunity to get reissued classics. Vinyl was becoming more than the hip undead, Vinyl was desired, and for all of the glorious warm, analog reasons.
Digital vs Analog
But the real reason is just like the Vape (digital) vs Traditional Pipe (analog) issue, or the ebook (digital) vs paper bound book (analog) issue; tradition has its inherent value to those who appreciate the actual human involvement of a pleasurable process and end result. There’s a tactile / sensory element that elevates the action – its all about Ritual.
People, humans have a Tribal ancestry that is always just below civilized man’s surface. Hands-on Ritual heightens a vital connection to a time-honored tradition of enjoying and sharing sensory exhileration.
In any case, it is nice to know that independent record stores and vinyl records are regaining and maintaining their much-deserved niche in the cultural / music / lifestyle marketplace. Long Live Vinyl!
For fun here are some samples of the popular artists’ and bands’ and their albums that filled the bins of the early-to-mid ’70s record stores and music / record departments of major department stores;
A through K:
A – Alice Cooper – Billion Dollar Babies, Allman Brothers – At Fillmore East, Aerosmith – Toys In The Attic
B – The Beatles – Let It Be, David Bowie – Aladdin Sane, Black Sabbath – Paranoid, The Band – Stagefright, The Bee Gees – Saturday Night Fever ST
C – Crosby Stills Nash & Young – Deja Vu, Creedence Clearwater Revival – Cosmo’s Factory, Chicago – Chicago V
D – The Doors – Morrisson Hotel, Miles Davis – Bitches Brew, Bob Dylan – Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid ST, Deep Purple – In Rock
E – Eagles – Hotel California, Earth, Wind & Fire – Open Our Eyes
F – Fleetwood Mac – Rumors, Peter Frampton – Frampton Comes Alive
G – Grateful Dead – Workingman’s Dead, Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On, Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
H – Jimi Hendrix – Band Of Gypsys, Heart – Dreamboat Annie
I – Iggy and The Stooges – Raw Power, It’s A Beautiful Day – It’s A Beautiful Day
J – Jethro Tull – Aqualung, Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
K – Carole King – Tapestry, Kraftwerk – Autobahn, KISS – Alive!
Record Store Culture and Divider Card Artifacts L-Z
and Trippy Tales
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