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Rod Smear wrote:
 > > > Can anyone explain why certain LP's used to have a "cut-out
 > > > hole" in them, usually in the upper right or left portions of the 
album
 > > > cover? Did this also apply to 8-track tape cartridges as well?

From: Mike Richter <[log in to unmask]>
 > > It indicated a cutout - a title dropped from the catalogue and sold 
at a
 > > reduced price. Unlike paperback and comic books, where the cover 
was cut
 > > off by the dealer and returned for credit, I believe this was only 
done
 > > to keep the cutout from being returned as a full-price purchase.

In most cases the albums were cut in bulk, not individually, so the 
holes, slots, cut corners, etc. could show up on any edge or corner of 
the cover.  Often the cuts were made while the records were still in the 
factory shipping boxes of 25, 30, or 50!!  I worked for a huge record 
distributor in 66 and 67, and often we would get the cut-outs with the 
slots or holes cut clean thru the cardboard boxes.  If the records had 
been warehoused out of their boxes, they would still stack up a pile of 
them and cut the slots or corners with a band saw, and drill the holes 
in a pile of records with a drill press. They could do this at the 
corners or near the center in the label area.  Yes, they also did use a 
band saw on 8-tracks, but could only just touch the edge slightly with 
the band saw to slightly cut a slot in the sleeve.  For holes they 
usually drilled them individually on the edge with the label.  They also 
drill and saw CDs in jewel cases, but they try to keep to the hinged 
edge.  When the paper tray liners are punched, usually through the bar 
code, this is usually a sign it is a promo copy since this would be more 
easily done before the tray liner is placed inside the case. 

Some companies rubber stamped the LP back covers, but this would be if 
they warehoused them unwrapped.  The Cameo-Parkway group rubberstamped 
NR on theirs, and the Mercury group sometimes had a circular rubber 
stamp with some "code numbers" inside.  We once got a delivery of a full 
tractor trailer of Mercury group cut-outs -- hundreds of copies each of  
a thousand different records.  Practically the entire Fontana catalog, 
oodles of Mercury classical and pop, Smash, Philips, etc.  Gatefold 
covers like the Second City series were hot stamped in red in the upper 
right corner of the back  INSP-251 and they might also have done that on 
the classicals that had slick color rear sides.  The Warners-Reprise 
group inserted a small brass grommet in the upper left corner of the 
albums.  These individually marked records raised the labor costs a bit, 
so most companies rather do it in bulk.

One of the most novel programs of marking covers was done by RCA Victor 
in the late 60s but these were NOT cut-outs, although they pretended to 
be.  There were a lot of albums that were slow sellers but were still 
selling just a bit. Plus they still had a large stocks of printed but 
unglued front cover slicks for these albums.  They figured they would 
never be able to use these up trying to sell them at full price, so they 
"deleted" several hundred of these albums, glued the slicks to the 
cardboard but cut a little triangular notch in just the paper of the 
rear cover which allowed the cardboard to show thru there on the left 
edge on the rear.  Then they pressed up the records on Dynaflex and 
inserted the records into the jackets without innersleeves.  This made a 
package that was relatively lightweight to ship, which reduced costs.  
Then they sold the newly manufactured records to distributors and 
dealers at cut-out prices -- and here is the important part of the story 
-- without paying royalties because these, supposedly, were cut-outs.  
But because all of these were on the newly introduced Dynaflex material 
they couldn't fool anybody.  It was obvious they were newly 
manufactured.  They ended up having to pay millions of dollars in fines 
and restitutions to the performers and music copyrights owners who sued 
them. 

From:  Roger and Allison Kulp <[log in to unmask]>
 > As hard as it is to believe it has been nearly twenty years since 
there were any
 > cutout record bins in the United States. A whole generation has grown 
up since.   Roger

My daughter Leah is 24, and she remembers cut-out bins well, although 
some of it might be from all of my stories and tales of cut-out bin 
finds. But she saw the bins of cut-out LPs when she was 5 and 6 around 
1990 when the CD was wiping out vinyl.  We made regular trips to the 
Camelot store in Lexington and rarely got inside the store because we 
bought our "limit" in the cut-out bins at the entrance.  This continued 
when those bins turned into CD cut-out bins.  One of their affiliated 
sister stores at the other end of the mall sold LaserDiscs, and had 
FANTASTIC cut-out bins of LaserDiscs.  And we would go thru the stuff in 
the cabinets underneath the bins.  We had great times going thru cut-out 
bins in Germany, France, Austria, and Hungary in 1998.  And we went to 
the Tower Annex in lower Manhattan numerous times where they had cut-out 
CDs and one time had the cut-out Living Stereo LP re-pressings.  And I 
would tell her stories of the Sam Goody Annex across the street from the 
main store on West 49th Street in the 1960s. 

And while we still can find places that have CD cut-outs, Roger is 
right.  What we see now are really more bins of  used and promo CDs and 
DVDs, not cut-outs.  She makes regular trips to Academy in NYC and I go 
there with her when I'm in the city, but what is there is mainly used 
and traded in promos, not cut-outs.  And once in a while we get to the 
Princeton Record Exchange.   Ditto.  And I am buying on-line from 
Berkshire, and while it is a genuine cut-out outlet, it is not the same 
on-line as in-person. 

Although we two buy hundreds of records, it is VERY rare that we buy a 
new full-price CD.  When we do it is almost always from an independent 
label, mainly reissue labels.  We have been known to buy new DVDs but 
almost always at discount.  We know that we are not really supporting 
the record industry with our buys, but I have always been more eager to 
support the local retailers than the labels.  I've been buying cut-outs 
since the late 1950s.

Mike Biel  [log in to unmask]