W is for Warner Brothers Loss Leaders

Someone gave me this album after someone else died, saying he would have wanted me to have it.


Back in the 1970s, when I was a poor college student, I would occasionally indulge my desire to purchase a new record album. When I’d buy one of James Taylor or Bonnie Raitt or the Doobie Brothers or Seals and Crofts – yes, Seals and Crofts – the record would come with an inner sleeve that would promise an eclectic set of music, a double LP, for only $2, postpaid, from the Warner Brothers roster of artists; the single albums were just $1. Eventually, I was so intrigued that I bought one, liked it, then bought another, and another…so that, to this day, I still possess most of them.

Rather than describe all three dozen of them, 31 of which I own, I’ll refer you to this essay by Charles Hill and his roster of albums. Chaz also links to The 30 Days Out blog’s history of these discs.

I will make brief mention of some of the albums, highlighting my personal history or a notable track. The ones I do not own are in italics.

1969
THE 1969 WARNER/REPRISE SONGBOOK (Warner Bros. PRO 331)
Like several of the early albums, at least one side was dominated by Frank Zappa and his musical allies. But also featured the Everly Brothers. Eclectic.
THE 1969 WARNER/REPRISE RECORD SHOW (PRO 336)
Subtitled “Son of Songbook”, it has one EXTRAORDINARY soul ballad by Lorraine Ellison called Stay with Me. Read about it here and listen to it here.
OCTOBER 10, 1969 (PRO 351)
Chaz wrote: “A single disc slipped into the mix while Warners was trying to decide if the doubles would sell.” By the time I was buying these albums, this disc was no longer listed.
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