Sound Analysis

Evolution of the Bargain Bin

When the CD was introduced in 1980, it was viewed as the future of physical music. As with any technology, the general public was a bit slow to adopt the format. Eventually, the sound quality began to meet expectations, and when players became more accessible, the end of vinyl appeared near. Or so we thought. Several decades later, well into the era of digital music, vinyl’s resurgence is going strong, alongside (to a much lesser extent) that of the cassette.

The practicality and tangibility of CD’s will probably mean that the format will live on for some time, as it continues its gradual decline into the abyss. However, more and more people are abandoned their CD collections as they transition to either digital downloads or streaming, which is leading to a silver lining for CD fans: more (& better) bargain bins. Since high school, I have been an avid CD collector. I have always liked holding a physical format, but I also appreciate their practicality, especially for the car. My basic 2008 hatchback doesn’t even have an audio in connection, so CD’s will continue to soundtrack my commute for years to come. I never thought I’d reach an age where I no longer felt the need to physically own music, but that day has come. I continue to return to my favourite southern Ontario record stores though for the practicality of CD’s, the warmth of vinyl and because there are some things you just can’t find online (especially local).

This year’s travels have led to some surprising discoveries in cheap CD bins, $1 CD bins, and in the case of Dr. Disc, the 3 for $1 bin. Sure, most stores with cheap CD bins offer the same terrible selection, but the right places offer plenty of gems. Some of these albums I haven’t heard in years, and others I’ve always wanted to listen to but just never got around to doing so. The coldness of CD’s (in comparison to other physical formats) may mean that they’ll never benefit from any sort of mainstream resurgence through nostalgia. But, as the format I properly discovered music on, and one I can still easily enjoy, I’m going to be searching deep through these bargain bins, for many years to come.

A few of this year’s bargain CD finds:
Calla – Televise
The Dears – No Cities Left
Gliss – Devotion Implosion
LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening
The Little Ones – Sing Song EP
The Lowest of the Low – Shakespeare My Butt
New Radicals – Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too
Novillero – Aim Right for the Holes in Their Lives
The Presidents of the United States of America – The Presidents of the United States of America
Sianspheric – The Sound of the Colour of the Sun
The Stills – Logic Will Break Your Heart
Tapes ‘n Tapes – The Loon
Travis – The Invisible Band
Waterbodies – Sleep Like Submarines
Willy Mason – Where the Human Eats

And a few places you’ll find quality bargain bins:
Dr. Disc (Hamilton)
Hobo Music (Waterford)
Mindbomb Records (St. Catharines)
The Record Score (Woodstock)
That’s Entertainment (St. Catharines)
Video Plus Books (Stratford)



One comment on “Evolution of the Bargain Bin

  1. Pingback: Great Album Art: LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening | Sound Analysis

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