[retro video alert] Columbia House Record Club Ads from the '70s and '90s

We recently ran a feature on COLUMBIA HOUSE, tracking its 40-plus year reign as king of mail-order record clubs, and its painfully slow demise in the 21st century climate. The record club's promotional tactics were as revolutionary as they were calculating, and the article suggests that Columbia House taught the youth of America how to "steal" music, long before BiTtorrent and Mediafire became everyday jargon. 

So if you're wistful for the days when taping a penny to a paper card and sending it off to Indiana meant that twelve free 8 tracks would show up on your doorstep (or like me, too young to grasp the concept), then you'll have to rely on these hilariously retro commercials for a glimpse of the Columbia House Record Club in its halcyon days. Feed your nostalgia with the grainy, VHS-quality clips below.


This 1977 advert includes shout-outs to Chicago, Barry Manilow, Peter Frampton... and "the list goes on and on."

This one even features an original composition, a Folgers-esque ballad that's nauseatingly sappy, yet dangerously catchy. Save the movie clips, the whole things feels like a commercial for some sort of STD-medication.

Check out the shots of an amusingly-dated Columbia House website as an archetypal ‘90s chick (complete with vest and edgy hairdo) urges you to "connect to the future of music."  (Side note: WTF is up with the buttons?)


Just when you think it can't possibly get better than a 1970s-era Dick Clark promising an exclusive music bonus, you're face to face with two Dick Clarks and a double music bonus. It's almost 2 much 2 handle.
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