Ah, the Bargain Bin. Although almost any album you could ever want is now available on the Internet whether it be through Amazon, iTunes or any of the other digital music providers, nothing beats the feeling of digging through the bargain bin (or used bin if you prefer) at a brick and morter record store and finding a great album. I remember when I was younger I used to go with my dad to a store called Disc-Go-Round, at least I am pretty sure that was what it was called, and spend hours upon hours digging through the racks of CDs that lined the walls. Although the store was mostly used CDs, there was a few new releases toward the front of the store and some of the used CD's were pretty cheap, but still relatively expensive. However, if you got lucky, you would stumble across a great album that was literally only a few dollars. I miss the feeling of making these great discoveries and of going to a place that was all about music and talking to the people who worked there about what they thought of a record and asking them for recommendations.
In honor of record stores and the thrill of finding an album you love for dirt cheap, I present a list of my favorite "Bargain Bin" finds.
1. Harvey Danger "Where Have All The Merrymakers Gone?" - Ah, good ol' Harvey Danger. I am sure most of you are vaguely familiar of the band and their one hit "Flagpole Sitta" which was in heavy rotation towards the tail end of the '90s. Unfortunately, most people bought the album for that song alone and copies began flooding into used record stores everywhere. I grabbed my copy for about $3 and it was one of the best purchases I have made. Sure, I still absolutely love blasting "Flagpole Sitta" from time to time, but the album as a whole is full of great, fuzzed out indie-rock from start to finish.
2. New Radicals "Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too" - Another album that seemed to flood used bins across the country. The band had a few hits, but they are probably best known for their song "You Only Get What You Give" where singer Gregg Alexander name dropped a few celebrities at the time and calling them fakes, which did not sit well with those mentioned (though Alexander later said he only did it to see if that is the only part of the song the media would focus on and, surprise!, it was). You can sometimes find this album for like $2, which is a steal because this is one of the best pop-rock albums I have heard in a long time.
3. The Verve "Urban Hymns" - Another great purchase I have made after spending an eternity rifling through the used bin. Although "Urban Hymns" is an excellent album in it's own right, this album is worth whatever you pay for it based on the strength of "Bittersweet Symphony" alone. Although the song gained noterity due to the band being sued over the use of a sample of an orchestra version of The Rolling Stones "The Last Time", the fact remains that is still one of the greatest songs I have ever heard and still sounds timeless 14 years after it first hit the airwaves.
What are some of your best "bargain bin" purchases? Do you miss going to record stores or do you prefer the convenience of shopping online?