Loss Leaders from Warner Brothers/Reprise: An album by album thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Seederman, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. izgoblin

    izgoblin Forum Resident

    Hmmm.... My memory is hard to rely upon this late in the game, but here's what I remember of my experience. I was *probably* about 12 years old when I ignorantly tried to send in one of the order forms and order these records probably around the same time (1986) if not a little earlier. I don't know if I expected that they'd still have them and was clueless that the '70s were a long time ago even then, or if I thought it was just worth a try. My recollection is that I received a letter back that said the program was terminated years ago, but they thanked me for giving the folks in the office a laugh.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2015
  2. Captain Groovy

    Captain Groovy Forum Resident

    Freedonia, USA
    When was this album released? Referring to an album that would come out in April 1970 - and talking about in the past tense and calling it a "breakthrough"?

  3. Seederman

    Seederman Forum Resident Thread Starter

    We all make little mistakes. Thanks for calling it to my attention, but I can't amend the post. I'm still getting used to how to write these, the newest one is better.
  4. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL, US
    1969. In the original pressings, the liner notes mention that the second Randy Newman album was still being produced, and they say that the title would be In A Mellow Mood.
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  5. Captain Groovy

    Captain Groovy Forum Resident

    Freedonia, USA
    By the way, if anyone has these 4 or any of below in VG+ condition and wants to sell these, please PM me!

    Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies
    Deep Ear
    Collectus Interruptus


  6. pickwick33

    pickwick33 Forum Resident

    This was actually a Top 20 hit on the R&B charts in 1966. Should have crossed over pop and made it to #1.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2015
  7. Folknik

    Folknik Forum Resident

    I'm not a hard core audiophile, but Side 2 sounds fine to me. Just crank up the volume a little more.
  8. renderj

    renderj Forum Resident

    I am too young to have bought any of these through mail-order at the time, but I always saw the ads in the inner sleeves of my '70s WB/Reprise lps. I have picked up a few of the early titles second hand, and I've always found something new to enjoy. Looking forward to reading about the rest of the series.
    Folknik likes this.
  9. Which version of Zapped! was the original - the 1 with Zapped! in black typeface over a pic of Zappa or the 1 with red typeface in a semi-circle over a collage of pix?
  10. Paver

    Paver New Member

    jamesmaya likes this.
  11. bRETT

    bRETT Forum Resident

    Boston MA
    And I believe it remains the second-longest ever. (Too soon to name the longest one, but it should be coming up soon).
    Folknik likes this.
  12. Michael P

    Michael P Forum Resident

    Parma, Ohio
    I recently heard the song "Willie the Wimp" for the first time on Sirius/XM's Deep Tracks. I never knew that Zappa's "Willie the Pimp" was a parody, I heard that song first on "Zapped!" Same for "WPLJ". Two songs that I heard first courtesy of the Loss Leaders.
  13. jamesmaya

    jamesmaya Forum Resident

    Mudwest, CA
    Here's an album insert advertising The Big Ball and the two earlier Loss Leaders titles....[​IMG]
    Michael P likes this.
  14. Dino

    Dino Forum Resident

    Kansas City - USA
    I think willardswormholes is probably correct.

    I ordered Zapped as soon as I saw an advertisement and received the collage cover. My cousin ordered it several months later and received the "Hot Rats" cover.
  15. He probably was wondering where his royalty check was.
    B. Bu Po likes this.
  16. Seederman

    Seederman Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Schlagers! (PRO359 -1970)

    Ahhh. Look at that cover. Now that looks like an exciting, mysterious album. The mystery begins with the title (German for Hits!), but that painting... A volcano that dwarfs the island of Manhattan, bursting through the earth somewhere near Hoboken with Biblical proportions...

    Remind you of something? Maybe this?


    Artist Joseph Smith (not Joe Smith, the affable Warner exec) is the common link, which the liner notes kindly point out in the fine print at the end.

    We've come a long way from timid pre-Woodstock packages. According to a 1973 Billboard article, the first fourteen Loss Leaders sold an average of 80,000 units each. That would have put them somewhere in the upper half of the charts, if they had qualified (Billboard didn't count mail-order distribution in its charts)

    Worth noting upfront a couple of changes. This album seems to be an appeal to the previous generation. Mostly gone are the rock groups and hippies. We get some jazz, some cajun, some grand pop in their place, with an emphasis on older performers. The Zappa-fueled weirdness side has been put on hiatus momentarily, and will be given a whole album to itself next. The whole feel of this album is one of nostalgia. The liner notes also tell us that if we're into that "stereo tape thing" that most of our favorites will now be available on cassette and 8-track.

    • Art Direction – Ed Thrasher
    • Artwork [Front Cover Painting] – Joseph (Joe) Smith
    • Gatefold cover opens to 4pg. booklet.
    • Not sure who wrote the liner notes to this one
    • sides do not have titles, but liner notes refer to side A as "the love song side"; every song on side A has "love" in the title. Side D is referred to in the notes as the "Cowboy-Western-Country-Cajun" side.

    A1 –Petula Clark Fill The World With Love 2:45
    A2 –The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band Love Land 3:02
    A3 –Peter, Paul And Mary The Song Is Love 2:46
    A4 –Ella Fitzgerald I'll Never Fall In Love Again 3:29
    A5 –Trini Lopez Love Story 3:11
    A6 –Glenn Yarbrough Sunshine Fields Of Love 3:15
    A7 –The Vogues P.S. I Love You 2:30
    B1 –Theo Bikel Urge For Goin' 4:10
    B2 –Joni Mitchell Chelsea Morning 2:30
    B3 –Gordon Lightfoot Pony Man 3:37
    B4 –Miriam Makeba For What It's Worth 2:30
    B5 –Dion You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover 3:39
    B6 –The Everly Brothers On My Way Home Again 2:25
    B7 –Arlo Guthrie Stealin' 2:48
    C1 –Harpers Bizarre Soft Soundin' Music 4:10
    C2 –Frank Sinatra Sabia 3:40

    C3a –The San Sebastian Strings Body Surfing With The Jet Set 2:30
    C3b –Rod McKuen Jean 2:54

    C4 –Herbie Hancock Fat Mama 3:45
    C5 –The Association Dubuque Blues 3:13
    C6 –Vince Guaraldi Alma-Ville 4:36
    D1 –The Neon Philharmonic Cowboy 2:21
    D2 –The Fifth Avenue Band Country Time Rhymes 3:41
    D3 –Mason Williams Cowboy Buckaroo 3:45
    D4 –The Mike Post Coalition Big Mouth Harp 3:17
    D5 –Kenny Rogers And The First Edition Reuben James 2:44
    D6 –Randy Newman Suzanne 3:15
    D7 –Doug Kershaw Diggy Diggy Lo 2:25

    Song Commentary:

    A1 –Petula Clark Fill The World With Love 2:45 Petula Clark's recording career dates back all the way to 1949 (and her acting career even further!), before some of her Loss Leader album-mates had outgrown diapers. She was pushing 38 at the time of this release, and had already seen many of her contemporaries' careers come and go. But the AM pop climate was largely unforgiving to women over 30 in 1970, and her star was receding. "Fill the World with Love" is from her then most-recent Just Pet, which peaked at #176 in 1969. It's a grand ballad very much in her typical tradition of "Don't Sleep in the Subway" or "My Love", but such ballads had become passe, and this one isn't nearly as memorable as those. The liner notes tell us that rock fans like her too, but that was more wishful thinking than a bankable reality. Still, she has released albums as recently as 2013, at the age of 80. So, she gets the last laugh.

    A2 –The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band This is the first appearance of Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, taken from In the Jungle, Babe, their third album for Warners. This Los Angeles based proto-funk band notched up three top-20 singles in 1969-1971 and were at their peak at this time. However, a wider audience, like that enjoyed by Sly & The Family Stone, eluded them. The band formed to back Bill Cosby on his album Silver Throat in 1966, but members had come and gone since then. "Love Land", is not one of their funk numbers, but a light pop love song with jazzy horns. Competent, but not especially memorable.

    A3 –Peter, Paul And Mary The Song Is Love 2:46 Warners reaches all the way back to 1967 for this one, taken from Album 1700. Peter, Paul and Mary had appeared once before in the series with a song from Peter, Paul and Mommy (1969), but broke up in 1970 (the liner notes appear unaware of this development yet) Now that new product would no longer be forthcoming (except in the form of solo albums), Warners had to push the catalog. It's a pretty, upbeat song, sung mostly by Mary Travers, and it was the closer to the album. Incidentally, Album 1700 gets its name from its catalog number.

    A4 –Ella Fitzgerald I'll Never Fall In Love Again 3:29 Fitzgerald was a two-album interloper at Warner/Reprise. This Bacharach/David chestnut is the second of her songs to make the series, and the second one taken from her 1969 Reprise debut, Ella. More a pop album than a jazz album, this features a lush orchestral pop arrangement. It is a perfectly pleasant recording, but not something that would make anyone understand how she had earned her legend. At 53, her commercial fortunes were declining at this point; all of her top-10's had come in the 1930's and 1940's, and she hadn't broken the Hot-100 since 1963. Her signing was probably more of a prestige thing than a serious attempt by the label to turn a big profit. I won't say anything bad about it though; she's still Ella Fitzgerald.

    A5 –Trini Lopez Love Story 3:11 For our fifth "love" song of the side, we turn to Trini Lopez, making his first appearance on a Loss Leader. It is almost tempting at this point to say that this side could also be called the "fading stars" side. Lopez had a smash in 1963 for Reprise with "If I Had a Hammer", and had a string of moderate, mid-chart hits for the label through the mid-60's. His time was passing; The Whole Enchilada (1969) would be his last album for the label, after which his recording became sporadic. I suspect that Lopez isn't the real story here, but Randy Newman, who wrote the song, is. Warners will be happy if you pick up that last Lopez album, but they'd really love it if you pick up Randy Newman's languishing 1968 debut, home to the original. As for this recording...Randy does it better. This may be exclusive to Loss Leaders; it wasn't on a Lopez album.

    A6 –Glenn Yarbrough Sunshine Fields Of Love 3:15 Yarbrough was a folkie who spent time in the Limeliters in 1959-1963. His first album dates back to 1951, and he was one of the first artists ever signed to Elektra records, back in 1957. He had a string of albums that charted in the upper half of the Billboard 200 through most of the 60's, but had been missing the charts for a few years when Warner signed him for a five album stint in 1969. The deal paid off initially, when the first album, Each Of Us Alone, became his briskest seller ever, peaking at #18. However, the next two didn't chart. "Sunshine Fields of Love" was taken from his fourth Warner album, Let Me Choose Life, which also failed to chart. A pity, because this is really quite good; it's an eerie, atmospheric song with a lilting arrangement that probably did deserve a wider listen. Yarbrough, now 85, hasn't been active much lately, but he continued to release albums for a variety of labels through the 70's.

    A7 –The Vogues P.S. I Love You 2:30 This is not the Beatles song. It is a heavily orchestrated vocal pop number so lush, it probably belonged on what were once called "beautiful music" radio stations at the time. The Vogues are best known for "Five O'Clock World" from 1965, which sounds nothing like this. From the album Memories, released in 1969, it was also the B-side to their cover of "Earth Angel", which made it to #42 that year. Despite the liner notes promising to put out "lots more" albums by the group, by the end of 1970, they'd be off the Reprise roster.

    B1 –Theo Bikel Urge For Goin' 4:10 Loss Leaders dips into A New Day (1969) for its second Bikel appearance. This one is a Joni Mitchell song, setting up her appearance next. Bikel gives it a wistful, romantic reading, and delivers the choruses in rousing voice. The liner notes call the actor/folkie/activist a teenage heartthrob, which may be a joke, as the somewhat portly 46-year-old doesn't have classic matinee looks. Bikel actually had a fascinating life, and had a hand in a lot of interesting folk moments of the early 60's. Jim (later Roger) McGuinn had been in his band at one point. He passed away in July of this year.

    B2 –Joni Mitchell Chelsea Morning 2:30 Mitchell is back again with her sixth Loss Leaders appearance (fourth song). This one doesn't need much introduction, as it is one of her most well known early songs, the second taken from her 1969 album Clouds. Mitchell was the type who could appeal to young people, but also potentially to somewhat older ones whom this collection seems to be targeting. "Chelsea Morning" would be a pretty accessible way in.

    B3 –Gordon Lightfoot Pony Man 3:37 Lightfoot, a new signee who was starting to break out in a big way, makes his second appearance in a row with "Pony Man", taken from the "upcoming" album Minstrel of the Dawn. Actually, there was no Minstrel of the Dawn album, it is really the second dip into the Sit Down Young Stranger album that was soon to be re-titled If You Could Read My Mind. Randy Newman did a couple of orchestrations on the album, including the song "Minstrel of the Dawn", but not on this one. "Pony Man" is a pastoral folk song, likable and sweet.

    B4 –Miriam Makeba For What It's Worth 2:30 Exiled South African Miriam Makeba makes her second Loss Leader appearance with a cover of the Buffalo Springfield hit. This is taken from her next-to-last Reprise album, Keep Me in Mind (1970). which mixed in a few pop covers with traditional African material, after which she'd depart for RCA. It's a good cover, with a funky bass, and a slightly psychedelic production job, with heavily distorted pedal steel (I think...), weird sound effects, and jazzy horns. Lewis Merenstein produced; he was also responsible for Astral Weeks.

    B5 –Dion You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover 3:39 Dion is back for his second appearance in as many albums, with another song from Sit Down Old Friend (1970). This one is much more of a grabber than his somewhat morose offering on the previous album. This one is a sprightly, jagged rocker, done solo on acoustic guitar, with wailing bluesy vocals. Dion's vocal on this is rather remarkable in how it soars and pauses and gets rhythmic and runs a gamut of emotions. It's the kind of song that makes it easy to see why people kept believing in him long after his commercial potential was gone. This is probably one of my favorites on this collection, it won me over in an instant. Now I feel bad for being underwhelmed by his last song; maybe I should check out the album. Loss Leaders still works, all these years later.

    B6 –The Everly Brothers On My Way Home Again 2:25 Loss Leaders keeps pushing the Everly Brothers, hoping something will stick. This is their fifth appearance in five albums, and this time someone goofed (or maybe they wanted to try it out on an older audience): this same 1969 single also appeared on The Big Ball. It's still as good as it was the last time, a rollicking and satisfying country rocker with lots of chiming guitar and harmony. But it still didn't chart.

    B7 –Arlo Guthrie Stealin' 2:48 Arlo Guthrie, making his fourth appearance, is represented by the third draw from Running Down the Road (1969), the first album from which three complete songs have been selected. (Uncle Meat was also tapped three times so far, but not three complete songs) This one is a cover of an old Gus Cannon song, with a hippie singalong chorus. Guthrie has emerged as an early Loss Leader favorite, but his new album was still not quite ready yet when Schlagers! came out.

    C1 –Harpers Bizarre Soft Soundin' Music 4:10 Best known for their rather fruity version of The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy), the band was actually a pretty good revival group of nostalgic vaudeville and pop standards of the 30's and 40's. They were nearing the end of the line; this song was the leadoff to Harpers Bizarre 4 (1969), their final Warner album and the last word from the group until a partial 1976 reunion album. Lenny Waronker worked closely with them, after refashioning them from the Tikis, a mid-60's American "British Invasion" style group. This one has a more contemporary sound, with a rock arrangement that sounds like a funkier Boyce and Hart and nostalgic lyrics about old time music.

    C2 –Frank Sinatra Sabia 3:40 Finally, the Chairman of the board and founder of Reprise Records checks in with his first appearance. I am almost surprised he agreed to it; I'd like to imagine he'd be disgusted at the prospect of being called a "loss leader" on an album full of long haireds. However, he was a businessman too, and maybe this made sense to him. For his first appearance, we have what was a bona-fide rarity at the time. Recorded with Brazilian arranger Antonio Carlos Jobim, the song was unreleased when it appeared here. Later in the year, it would turn up on Sinatra-Jobim, a 1970 8-track only release that was quickly pulled from the market. It would eventually get a legitimate release in 1979 on The Sinatra-Jobim Sessions. It is a lovely, autumnal track. Sinatra's voice, while showing signs of age, is still supple and expressive. Another sign that this album wasn't really meant for the youngsters.

    C3a –The San Sebastian Strings Body Surfing With The Jet Set 2:30 Here, we have a Rod McKuen medley. The San Sebastian Strings provided backing on several of poet Rod McKuen's albums. McKuen provides a slightly bizarre rumination on surfing over a muzak-like accompaniment. It's hard to tell if he's being condescending here or just being funny. The poetry of McKuen is one of the few relics of the 60's which probably should remain in the 60's. From McKuen's The Soft Sea (1969), part of a sea-themed trilogy of albums.

    C3b –Rod McKuen Jean 2:54
    McKuen sings this familiar, self-penned sentimental ballad which made #1 in Canada in 1969. Oliver, of "Good Morning Starshine" fame, had a #2 hit in America covering this. McKuen's version was the theme to the 1969 film The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. His version didn't chart, but it was nominated for an Academy Award.

    C4 –Herbie Hancock Fat Mama 3:45 This is from Fat Albert Rotunda, from 1969. This is the closest we've gotten to real jazz throughout the series, although this album was an atypical one for Hancock, because he was working from a soul structure more than a jazz one. It comes across as a funkier, jazzier version of Booker T., with Hancock's signature sound front and center. It is actually the launching pad for some of his harder funk-jazz work that he'd explore in the next few years. The album peaked at #15 on the jazz charts; it didn't make the pop charts.

    C5 –The Association Dubuque Blues 3:13 The Association are yet another artist featured in this edition who was on the way down instead of up. "Dubuque Blues" is taken from The Association (1969) which peaked at #32 but was also the band's final album to chart. The song represents a change in their core sound. Gone are the close harmony vocals (except a little on the choruses), and the song has some arty elements atop a vaguely countrified basic song. Ambitious, and even good in places, it doesn't quite fully work. Their subsequent decline would come so fast, it left people wondering literally what happened.

    C6 –Vince Guaraldi Alma-Ville 4:36 Best known for his Peanuts scores, Guaraldi had a respectable career making light jazz albums with his trio. "Alma-Ville" is the title track from Alma-Ville (1969). Musically, it is exactly what you'd expect from Guaraldi; a sprightly piano-based instrumental with cool-jazz elements and familiar rhythm shifts. Guaraldi lasted for one more album at Warner/Reprise. He passed away from a presumed heart attack in 1976.

    D1 –The Neon Philharmonic Cowboy 2:21 Neon Philharmonic were a relatively tame psychedelic pop group, whose The Moth Confesses (from which this was taken) was an ambitious pop opera, released in 1969. This is a swinging, dizzying, strange song, with dozens of tossed off lines like "would you marry me? or mother me?" and a loopy horn arrangement. A follow-up album appeared later in 1969, but they were already a spent force by the time Schlagers! appeared.

    D2 –The Fifth Avenue Band Country Time Rhymes 3:41 Back with their third song in as many albums, again taken from their debut (tying the three taken from Running Down the Road by Arlo Guthrie) The Fifth Avenue Band tries to get a nibble. The Lovin' Spoonful connection has already been mentioned in previous write-ups, and I hate to make too much of it. However, this is another Spoonful-esque number, better than the one on The Big Ball, and not quite as good as the one on October 10, 1969. Time, however, was running out. The album was approaching a year old and it still hadn't caught fire. With John Sebastian releasing records again, Warner had another faux-Spoonful on their hands, and lost interest in this one. They received the shortest blurb of all in the Schlagers! liner notes.

    D3 –Mason Williams Cowboy Buckaroo 3:45 For those of you who have heard "Natural Gas" a million times but nothing else by Mason Williams, the answer to the unspoken question is "Yes, he sang". Yodeled too, as it turns out. It is a song that throws in almost every cowboy cliche you can think of, but there's also something homey and nice about it. From Music by Mason Williams (1969)

    D4 –The Mike Post Coalition Big Mouth Harp 3:17 Mike Post makes a second appearance here, another song from Fused (1969). This is a harmonica driven instrumental with a fat horn section, again with TV-theme potential, although not as overt as last time. Kind of a more cowboy-themed "Rockford Files", perhaps. Post would not stay with Warner much longer, and would release albums for a variety of labels in the 70's.

    D5 –Kenny Rogers And The First Edition Reuben James 2:44 Rogers makes his first appearance, along with The First Edition. "Reuben James" is taken from the album Ruby Don't Take Your Love Into Town (1969). A rather daring country song about a black man raising a white boy, it was not a big hit but did become a fan favorite. The band lasted through the mid-1970's before splintering. Rogers went on to considerable success as a solo act in the late 70's and early 80's.

    D6 –Randy Newman Suzanne 3:15 12 Songs becomes the third album to be poached three times for Loss Leaders, as Warner continues to push hard for acceptance for Randy Newman, who at least was paying his way by writing big hits for others (and helping out with arrangements when he could) As if the company can't fathom his lack of success, in a move that is a first for Loss Leaders, the lyrics to "Suzanne" are printed in the liner notes, making Newman the only artist given such treatment so far. As for the song, it makes a very nice anthem for stalkers, with its creepy stalker lyrics and veiled threat of violence. Yes, just another Newman "character", but he's so good at characters when he's on that it's hard to separate him.

    D7 –Doug Kershaw Diggy Diggy Lo 2:25 Cajun Doug Kershaw is back for his second appearance on Loss Leaders. A rousing and colorful dance number, this is a new 1969 version of a song Kershaw had recorded in 1961 as part of the duo Rusty & Doug. The new version peaked at #70 on the singles chart, not bad for a slice of pure cajun. For his solo debut, The Cajun Way.

    And now a word from our competitors:

    Normally, I've been posting advertisements for each album in this space (thanks again to Willard's site, which is an incredible resource that deserves to live for ages) There doesn't seem to be a Schlagers!-specific ad available. So, I'm posting these interesting ads that appeared in 1970, right around the time of Schlagers!, from competing companies:

    A&M Records:


    Mercury Records:


    Those leeches! A&M tried the free approach with a single LP and used some of the tone of the Loss Leaders' promotion copy. Mercury matched the Loss Leader deal of a double album for two bucks. I don't believe either promotion went any farther than this. But looking at the lame competing ads is a good way to see how special the Warner series really was.

    Additional Thoughts:

    Although nothing in the liner notes comes right out and says so, I am convinced that this album was conceived for the over-thirty crowd. No weirdness, a lot of sentimental old favorite artists, an absence of hard rock. No Jethro Tull or Jimi Hendrix. While lush pop balladeering is not my preferred mode of music, the album is still an enjoyable one, and a chance to finally hear some music by names I recognized, but knew little about. It's a fun listen, and many of the names included deserve some exploration into their back catalogs and peak years.

    Next up: Zappéd Probably tomorrow (Friday) if my schedule works out the way I want it to.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
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  17. Dino

    Dino Forum Resident

    Kansas City - USA
    This reminds me of something that happened with my Mom around that time. I discovered National Lampoon magazine near the end of it's first year or the beginning of the second year. I loved that magazine! I ordered all of the back issues at considerable cost. After they did not show up for a long time, I asked my Mom if I had received a package that wasn't given to me.

    She seemed like she had been waiting for a question like this. She pulled the box out of her closet and started screaming at me. "What kind of magazine is this?! What kind of a person have you become?! A pervert, that is the kind of person that you have become!". This seemed like it was going on in the background of the experience while my thoughts: "Oh boy, I got my National Lampoons!" was in the foreground of my mind. I think she picked up on this and it made her even more angry. She was flipping through the magazines and expecting for me to explain/apologize for the pages she was stopping on. I was worried that she was going to wrinkle some of the pages. :)

    She went on a particularly intense rant on a pictorial of lingerie for deformed women. She demanded an explanation. I told her it was humor. All of this stuff is humor. She said it was not funny in any way and threw the box at me. At that point I was very happy!

    Back to Warner Brothers Loss Leaders. I ordered all of them as they came out, starting with The Warner/Reprise Songbook through All Singing – All Talking – All Rocking with the following exceptions:

    Schlagers! - I remember not being interested in this one.

    October 10, 1969 - this escaped my attention somehow. October 10, 1969 looks like something I would like in my collection.

    After All Singing – All Talking – All Rocking I bought a few others but I lost interest in trying to keep up with them.

    I think these releases really achieved their intentions with me. I was always excited to get a new one and listen with the thought that I was going to find new artists that I wanted to buy albums by. I also formed an image of Warner Brothers as a cool/hip record company as a result of these Loss Leaders and the advertisements for them.

    Someone asked, earlier in this thread, whether these came in boxes or envelopes. This is the kind of thing that I would think I would remember, but I don't. They must have been well packaged (boxes or cardboard stiffeners in envelopes?) because all of my records are without cover creases. The top cover of my Looney Tunes And Merrie Melodies is slightly bowed, but it is very minor. I think it was the way it was made. (Maybe others have one without that slight bowing.)
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  18. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL, US
    Not surprisingly, a much lighter version than Newman's, but he does include the lyric about the couple spending their last years playing checkers in a nursing home until death arrives.

    Trivia note: Schlagers includes a different mix of this song than Lightfoot's album, where a harmonica part by John Sebastian was added.

    As Seederman mentions, this was the end of the line for this band, but member Ted Templeman would become a producer of many later Warners albums.

    McKuen had many fans, and many detractors. I "discovered" him (a few years ago) through the Loss Leaders and have ended up with several of his albums, which you can buy for 25 cents to a dollar at almost every thrift store or Half Price Books in the land. (I also have a CD from Real Gone Music with his autograph.)
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  19. Folknik

    Folknik Forum Resident

    I ordered Schlagers! in 1975 when I was 21 and loved it from the first listening, and I still do. It was assembled for the older and more mellow-minded younger listeners who didn't care for a lot of hard rock and were offended by some of the explicit lyrical content by artists like the Mothers and the Fugs. As the later ads for Loss Leaders said, "If you have serious reservations about youth, artistic license, and hard rock, we recommend you stick to our Schlagers! epic. We suggest this mainly because we hate getting nasty letters." However, those who passed on Schlagers!, feeling it was "too safe" missed out on some wonderful music. The love song side is quite pleasant and eclectic. Petula Clark's "Fill the World With Love" made a nice opening song (although Richard Harris did the song much better). Glenn Yarbrough's rendition of Hoyt Axton's "Sunshine Fields of Love" is one of his finest moments and the Let Me Choose Life album is very good. For the 3rd time in a row, we get a nice folky side, beginning with Theo Bikel's superb rendition of Joni Mitchell's "Urge For Going" from his A New Day album which is a true lost classic. Gordon Lightfoot's "Pony Man" is unique in this particular version which is entirely solo with Lightfoot whistling instead of John Sebastian on harmonica (which appeared on the Sit Down Young Stranger album). Dion's Sit Down Old friend album is definitely worth seeking out. The whole album is solo acoustic and it's a fine one. Listener advisory: Despite the safe format of Schlagers!, "Body Surfing with the Jet Set" contains the word "bitchin'."
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
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  20. Folknik

    Folknik Forum Resident

    I have that Mercury Zig-Zag Festival double album. It's actually quite good. Yes, it was a Loss Leaders imitator, but I wish more record labels had followed Warner/Reprise's benevolent lead.
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  21. GLENN

    GLENN Forum Resident

    Kingsport,TN, USA
    I was a preteen when Schlagers came out, and I too had a mother who paid close attention to what I was listening to, so it was the first Loss Leader I felt safe ordering. As a budding rock fan I felt a bit unhip playing the likes of Trini Lopez, but Schlagers did have that cool cover and I had to admit a lot of the music was good too.

    As for shipping I'm pretty sure these came in cardboard boxes.
    Dino likes this.
  22. Hot Ptah

    Hot Ptah Forum Resident

    Kansas City, MO
    Not to be too picky or anything............BUT..........

    Do you mean "Classical Gas" by Mason Williams?
  23. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    The Neon Philharmonic actually had a big (#12) and great hit single off The Moss Confesses--"Morning Girl". I'm not sure I'd call them psychedelic pop, but rather ambitious, grandly orchestral pop. Cowboy is an odd choice for inclusion, and is one of the weaker tracks on The Moth Confesses. The followup album was just as good, but didn't sell, and outside of a few stray singles, that was that. They got two Grammy nominations for the first album/single, by the way.

    The Neon Philharmonic comprised Tupper Saussy (writer/arranger) and Don Gant (singer). Tupper had released three jazzy albums on Monument prior to The Neon Philharmonic, and also did some arranging (he later arranged Roy Orbison's weird and wonderful epic for MGM, Southbound Jericho Parkway). He wrote a play, wrote for the orchestra, and was a really interesting artistic guy. And then he had a whole second chapter to his life when he became an author of some notoriety, and went to prison for a while for tax evasion.

    Don Gant worked in Nashville after the Neon Philharmonic broke up, and among other accomplishments, produced Jimmy Buffet's first couple of ABC album (arguably Buffet's best), did some songwriting, etc. He died young, in his 40s, from a boating accident.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
  24. Seederman

    Seederman Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yes, of course. I try to catch typos like that, but a few sneak by. When I finish this thing, I plan to maybe put it somewhere more permanent, and will go through it and make corrections. I actually want to completely redo the first two album write-ups as well.
  25. bRETT

    bRETT Forum Resident

    Boston MA
    Note that it wasn't actually McKuen reading on the San Sebastian Strings albums, which employed a different (unidentified) guy doing the readings.

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