Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Tiger Beat Record Club

TIGER BEAT, in 1970, was an arbiter of all things groovy. If TIGER BEAT (or its rival 16 MAGAZINE) pronounced something hip well then, man, it was HIP with a capital IP! Here we have an ad for the Tiger Beat Record Club. Unlike those record club ads in comic books that maddeningly mixed Andy Williams and Glen Campbell with Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa, if the TB Record Club had it, it was guaranteed groovy (no pun intended).

Of course, their idea of a record club was a little more along the lines of just--send us the money and we'll send you these record albums. There really was no "club." Well, to be fair, you DID get a free 45 (for you youngsters, that was a smaller, 2 song record with a bigger hole in the middle) for each order. And you could apparently choose your OWN! WOW! How much you want to bet they got hundreds of requests for songs that never existed as singles?

Oh, and their choices? As I say, things didn't get any groovier than these!

BOBBY SHERMAN--This was the first LP I ever owned, purchased right after I got my very first "grown-up"record player. I enjoyed Bobby's pleasant but unspectacular singing and he had a lot of catchy songs. In fact I bought all his albums until his career petered out more completely than just about anyone's. Sold 'em for a tidy profit a few years ago,too! I am surprised that they say that many stores won't even be carrying Bobby's album as it was briefly quite huge!

THE MONKEES GREATEST HITS--As with the last one, I bought this early on at Twin Fair in Covington, KY, about three blocks from where I'm sitting right now. I had enjoyed the Monkees since they had first appeared on TV in 1966 but had never had any of their music for my own. I loved this album (in spite of ZOR & ZAM) and played it quite literally to death.

DAVID JONES--This was heavily touted in the teen mags but it was actually a reissued (or more likely remaindered) LP from the pre Monkees days. I never had it but I seem to recall it consisted of the type of Broadway showtunes with which Davy was associated when he first came to the US. Monkees fans were not amused.

THE MONKEES PRESENT--Nobody ever seemed to be clear on the actual title of this album. Was it THE MONKEES PRESENT, as in a gift to you of Monkees...or was it THE MONKEES PRESENT as in "Here we are now?" Perhaps, since their individual names (sans the already departed Peter) are on the cover, it was actually supposed to be THE MONKEES PRESENT MICKEY, DAVID (&) MICHAEL! Maybe. Who knows? All I know is that what TB calls "The Monkees' best album yet" was made of castoffs and a few new numbers recorded completely solo by the remaining three, few of which were memorable. Only the next album (with only two Monkees left) would make it look good.

DARK SHADOWS--Yes, DARK SHADOWS was hip! Astonishingly hip! This horror soap TV soundtrack (with poetry and Shakespeare!) featured cast members Jonathan Frid and David Selby and turned out to be fairly hard to find but I did get a copy eventually! Lots of spooky music from the show but otherwise pretty hokey. DS fans have revived it on CD, though, as well as manufactured multiple sequels!

Finally, the one and only SAJID! Who, I hear you asking? Oh, come on! Sajid Khan! MAYA! Remember? MAYA? With the elephant and Dennis the Menace? Oh, come on! Sajid Khan was briefly a heartthrob after the 1966 movie MAYA became a 1967-68 TV series of the same name co-starring Jay North. This being 1970, quite frankly they must have had some leftover copies lying around. "Sajid sings all 12 songs!" it says. On his own, self-titled album? Were they admitting what we now know as the "sweetening" of less than talented voices sometimes took place? IMDB has Sajid Khan long since returning to India with only occasional local returns to acting.

Oh, one last thing about the Tiger Beat Record Club--Note that it says all of their packages were "wrapped with care and Love." Note that in 1970, "Love" came with a capital "L." It was just the groovy way to do it, baby.

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