The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Time-Life CD's


3-11-08 Time-Life CD’s

V.A. – SOUNDS OF THE 70's – TAKE TWO 1970 – 1979, TIME – LIFE US 9CD’s

V.A. – ULTIMATE 70's – 1970 – 1979, TIME – LIFE US 9CD’s

I recently found some very inexpensive Time-Life compilation CD’s – brand new, unopened…for $3 each. There were 18 of them, so they were $54 + plus tax for approx. 360 x 70’s songs on CD. And a lot of those songs, I did not own in any form (LP, single or otherwise). I think the Time-Life company gets upwards of $18 each for these (plus tax, plus shipping etc.)

It is worth noting that I found the “Take Two” series of their “Sounds of The Seventies” – that means there are 9 more volumes I do not have (approx. 180 more songs). And I think the “Ultimate 70’s” series is much newer than the late 80’s / early 90’s “Sounds Of The 70’s” series – yet no tracks repeat between the 18 CD’s I found. And I bet no tracks repeat from the “Take One” version of the 70’s series. Someone’s got to keep track of everything…

I remember working in an import / export distributor in the 90’s – the owner was ‘subscribed’ to one of the Time-Life CD series – I don’t remember which one. I do remember him being somewhat frustrated that the volumes kept on coming – the “Take Two” aspect etc. “When are they going to stop?”, I remember him wondering aloud.

Actually, they’re pretty good collections. Everything I’ve heard thus far (and I’m not all the way through them) is the ‘right version’, no unnecessary edits or ‘wrong’ stuff. Most discs have 22 or 23 tracks (none have less than 20 tracks) – so they’re nice, full discs.

A few years ago, I would never have considered buying something like these discs – and I certainly still wouldn’t have bought them at $18 per disc! It’s fun to drive around listening to a bunch of ‘chart songs’, roughly grouped together by year. When I make my MD’s of these, approx. 2 CD’s can fit onto one MS (45 tracks). For the years of 1970 – 1972, I am familiar with darn near 100% of the material. I might’ve been an esoteric young adult listener, but I (sort of) kept up with the charts until I was about 14 or so.

I can supplement these discs with the Rhino Records “Didn’t I Blow Your Mind This Time” series – of which I have the first 15 volumes on CD – but those fine R&B discs only have 12 tracks per disc (certainly no more than 15 tracks, I don’t instantly recall).

I find myself strangely attracted to large collections/ sets / series of oldies LP’s / CD’s. Only recently, I completed my set of the 20 volume MCA Records “Vintage Music” LP series. I believe when they made CD’s of those, they put 2 volumes per CD (so, a 20 track CD vs. a 10 track LP volume). 200 oldies over 20 LP’s (mostly late 50’s – late 60’s, substantially different to the 70’s Time-Life CD’s I found recently).


2 Comments:

Anonymous Jim Donato said...

I grew up with 70s pop cr*p so I am not very nostalgic for it! The only music of the 70s I am enthusiastic about is music that I never heard back then... because it was too good to get top 40 airplay! Heck, until 1979, I had only heard 3 David Bowie songs! David -freaking- Bowie!

But kudos on the price!

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have recently purchased a number of Time Life sets off ebay. Even in genres I don't normally listen to. They are all great. Though some CDs, usually the later ones in a series, are rare and go for as much as $260.00. You can find a listing of some of the older sets, including the Sound Of The Seventies series at http://www.bsnpubs.com/discogs-z.html. Enjoy.

6:41 PM  

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