Jump to content
  • Sign Up
Tomo profile photo

Stock/Issue v’s Promo

Posted

Hi, 

Apologies no doubt this has been covered before.

Can anyone explain why on occasions a Stock Copy or Issue can be more desirable/expensive than a promo copy when I would have thought that on the whole there would be a lot less promo copies around. As an example The Four Pro’s Just another girl. Is it just luck on who wants a particular record at a specific time?

Tomo

 

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted

more promos were pressed than issues initially to promote the sound, when it became clear it was not going to be popular then no more issues were pressed - meaning more promos were pressed than issues, that's my understanding happy to be corrected

  • Thanks 1

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted

Thanks that makes sense!

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted

Tomo

If you're talking about US records on bigger labels from the 60s and 70s the rarity of some stock copies is down to what happened to them after they had finished selling. The record companies would send promos and stock copies to their distributors who would then try to get them on local radio or TV.Some  promo copies would be given away to DJs and stock copies could be ordered by local shops. If the record didn't take off stock copies still at the distributors could be sent back for credit but the promos were a write off for the label so might be thrown away or after a while end up in a warehouse or bargain bins.

When the stock copies got back to the record label they could sell them off , after drilling the deletion hole, or scrap them. For some labels I suppose they didn't want shops full of their flops so they destroyed a lot of stock copies, hence the rarity of some records.

Rick

  • Thanks 1

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted

There can be many reasons why a stock Issue is much rarer or sought after than the promo copy. In addition to the reasons stated in the previous posts for instance:

1. Smaller labels tended to focus and concentrate on local promotion and distribution with the hope of picking up airplay that may lead to a hit. It was a fine line decision whether to produce stock issues once the initial interest was there. Some got it right, but just as many got it wrong.

2. Some labels when promoting a record would place the preferred side (PLUG SIDE) on both sides. Along comes the record collector 40 years later and wants the stock copy rather that the promo so he has both sides of the record. There are plenty of examples of B Sides being more sought after than the Plug Side.

3. Record label 'shennanigans'.  EG.  A record for whatever reason is produced on a promo but (for nefarious reasons), record executives don't want the 45 to succeed and so inhibit the distribution of issued stock.  (Larry Clinton on Dynamo being a good example).

4. Major label distribution and promotion. Quite a lot of records that were picked up by national record companies got lost in the shuffle. With the amount of records being released on a weekly basis in the US some would fall through the cracks and end up victims of the system. RCA releases are a good example. The company released so much product that if the record didn't gain an immediate foothold then they'd 'move on to the next one' resulting in good records being around in quantity in the promo format with radio stations etc but the shop stock recycled.     

Probably lots more examples of the whys and wherefores too, hopefully others will post their thoughts.   

Regards,

Dave 

    

  • Thanks 1

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted

Promos are tax deductible (marketing and promotions expenses). Some record companies would take full advantage of that fact and press up as many promo copies as they could knowing that the tax benefits of doing so would offset the loss incurred by a 45 if it didn’t break out and become a success.

And if a 45 looked as if it wasn’t going to break out, then - and as mentioned by others above - there was no need for the record company to press up excessive stock.

  • Up vote 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted

Advance promotion copy? There's a clue..

Probably never cut an issue unless perceived demand was there... 

Plenty of stories of kickbacks for dj's who plugged certain tunes and bigger kickbacks for not playing them ( Del Larks).

Each company probably made a standard number of promos. Hence why, as mentioned, RCA white demos such as Lorraine Chandler seemed to be everywhere in the 70s.

Ed

  • Thanks 1

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted (edited)

I’m not certain but I’m sure you cannot press as many demos as you want.  You can do a certain percentage of the stock copies is what I think I read a long time ago. The likes of RCA probably pressed the issues but if they didn’t hit/sell they probably recycled the vinyl. They would also send out demos nationwide hence the number compared to the lack of issues. 

If you look at smaller local independant labels demos are more than likely to be a lot  more scarcer than issues. 

Some releases may not have got passed the promotional stage.  

Edited by chalky
  • Thanks 1

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted
On 12/02/2019 at 08:59, tomangoes said:

Advance promotion copy? There's a clue..

Probably never cut an issue unless perceived demand was there... 

Plenty of stories of kickbacks for dj's who plugged certain tunes and bigger kickbacks for not playing them ( Del Larks).

Each company probably made a standard number of promos. Hence why, as mentioned, RCA white demos such as Lorraine Chandler seemed to be everywhere in the 70s.

Ed

Ed 

I've never been that keen on the theory that record companies would only press stock copies if the record took off. It doesn't make sense to spend all that money on a recording session, mastering, labels etc to not spend a bit more having something ready to sell. Pressing promos and stock copies could be done at the same time for hardly much extra, having a second press of stock copies later would cost more per disc. Possibly mono/stereo promos might be done separately as the machine would have to be set up again. I've never read any evidence for this and suspect the idea started as musings amongst collectors in the 1970/80s to explain why some records hadn't been seen on stock copies. Since then some of these records have turned up on stock copies,  such as Sam Williams  on Tower.  A few records are only known as promos but this is explained by special circumstances such as King pulling Junior McCants when he died just before the record came out. All the copies would have been destroyed , just a few promos escaping the crusher.  Similarly Darrell Banks on UK London stock copy was supposed to have never been made until the one copy turned up, the rest being destroyed.

It would be good to have some irrefutable evidence about how many records companies usually pressed but prior to the oil crisis in the 70s the cost of records was so cheap that they probably made a lot more than we might think. The only figures I've seen are for the Imaginations -Strange Neighborhood on Fraternity.  @ady croasdell's sleeve notes on the Kent CD Classiest Rarities quote "Interestingly 3500 regular labels and 5000 demo labels were ordered for the first pressing, indicating why issues are sometimes rarer than DJ copies". Still some confusion here as the figures are for labels not records and each record needs two labels. Maybe Ady has some more figures he could share with us. When I issued records on Cream in the 70s I'd order loads of extra labels as they were very cheap, the pressing company held these for us to avoid delay if a quick re press was needed.

Rick

  • Up vote 4
  • Thanks 1

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted
On 12/02/2019 at 10:54, chalky said:

I’m not certain but I’m sure you cannot press as many demos as you want.  You can do a certain percentage of the stock copies is what I think I read a long time ago. The likes of RCA probably pressed the issues but if they didn’t hit/sell they probably recycled the vinyl. They would also send out demos nationwide hence the number compared to the lack of issues. 

If you look at smalker local independant labels demos are more than likely to be a lot  more svare than issues. 

Some releases may not have got passed the promotional stage.  

Chalky

 I've read something similar but I think it was when the royalties were calculated 10% was deducted from the sales figure to allow for freebies, faulty or lost copies. 

Rick

  • Up vote 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted
23 minutes ago, Rick Cooper said:

Ed 

I've never been that keen on the theory that record companies would only press stock copies if the record took off. It doesn't make sense to spend all that money on a recording session, mastering, labels etc to not spend a bit more having something ready to sell. Pressing promos and stock copies could be done at the same time for hardly much extra, having a second press of stock copies later would cost more per disc. Possibly mono/stereo promos might be done separately as the machine would have to be set up again. I've never read any evidence for this and suspect the idea started as musings amongst collectors in the 1970/80s to explain why some records hadn't been seen on stock copies. Since then some of these records have turned up on stock copies,  such as Sam Williams  on Tower.  A few records are only known as promos but this is explained by special circumstances such as King pulling Junior McCants when he died just before the record came out. All the copies would have been destroyed , just a few promos escaping the crusher.  Similarly Darrell Banks on UK London stock copy was supposed to have never been made until the one copy turned up, the rest being destroyed.

It would be good to have some irrefutable evidence about how many records companies usually pressed but prior to the oil crisis in the 70s the cost of records was so cheap that they probably made a lot more than we might think. The only figures I've seen are for the Imaginations -Strange Neighborhood on Fraternity.  @ady croasdell's sleeve notes on the Kent CD Classiest Rarities quote "Interestingly 3500 regular labels and 5000 demo labels were ordered for the first pressing, indicating why issues are sometimes rarer than DJ copies". Still some confusion here as the figures are for labels not records and each record needs two labels. Maybe Ady has some more figures he could share with us. When I issued records on Cream in the 70s I'd order loads of extra labels as they were very cheap, the pressing company held these for us to avoid delay if a quick re press was needed.

Rick

For sure my theoretical synopsis cannot supercede your practical experience. 

Thanks for bringing a practical working example to bare.

By the way, I bet you had a ball with cream..

My personal fave, and one I bought long before I got a brunswick demo!

 

Ed

  • Thanks 1

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted
21 hours ago, tomangoes said:

For sure my theoretical synopsis cannot supercede your practical experience. 

Thanks for bringing a practical working example to bare.

By the way, I bet you had a ball with cream..

My personal fave, and one I bought long before I got a brunswick demo!

 

Ed

Ed

There's a story behind Purple Haze that ties in with this thread. The deal to issue the record on Cream was done with William Bell who produced the song via his Wilbe Productions. We issued the record but two weeks later it came out on UK Brunswick through Decca. After a few strongly worded letters and solicitors intervention we had to pull the record as we couldn't get the required documents from William Bell to prove the US Brunswick deal had expired. It's probably just as well as Decca had more money for lawyers and you wouldn't want to mess with Nat Tarnopol in the US, if you know what's good for you and don't want to have an "accident".

The promos would have been sent out about 7 to 10 days before the release date so had Decca issued their record earlier we might have never been able to sell stock copies, but the promos would have been out there, a bit like the Darrell Banks on London v Stateside story. I think the Cream version probably sold about 5 to 6 hundred.

Like almost everyone else I thought there was a line in Purple Haze that goes "Scuze me whilst I kiss this guy" but apparently it's "Scuze me whilst I kiss the sky", which may have made sense to Jimi Hendrix under certain circumstances.

Rick

  • Thanks 1

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted

th?id=OIP.Nj6Wq3OJ0d85K8b0klzsuQHaFj&pid=15.1&P=0&w=241&h=181

60s issues usualy ended up like this before going in the trash,  the promos were filed away in radio station libaries making them easier to find and in better condition , just a thought. 

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted
38 minutes ago, Rick Cooper said:

Ed

There's a story behind Purple Haze that ties in with this thread. The deal to issue the record on Cream was done with William Bell who produced the song via his Wilbe Productions. We issued the record but two weeks later it came out on UK Brunswick through Decca. After a few strongly worded letters and solicitors intervention we had to pull the record as we couldn't get the required documents from William Bell to prove the US Brunswick deal had expired. It's probably just as well as Decca had more money for lawyers and you wouldn't want to mess with Nat Tarnopol in the US, if you know what's good for you and don't want to have an "accident".

The promos would have been sent out about 7 to 10 days before the release date so had Decca issued their record earlier we might have never been able to sell stock copies, but the promos would have been out there, a bit like the Darrell Banks on London v Stateside story. I think the Cream version probably sold about 5 to 6 hundred.

Like almost everyone else I thought there was a line in Purple Haze that goes "Scuze me whilst I kiss this guy" but apparently it's "Scuze me whilst I kiss the sky", which may have made sense to Jimi Hendrix under certain circumstances.

Rick

Rick

More more more...

Tell us more about the record industry. 

Just my luck to have sold the original UK issue of PH as I got a less rate USA issue..

Obviously Jimmy H had the advantage of an enhanced metabolism when he made his songs... 

Indeed the sky and guy confused many, including me. 

Johnny's take is brilliant though, and probably fitted the era of uppers and downers, so to speak.

 

Ed

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted
20 hours ago, concrete said:

th?id=OIP.Nj6Wq3OJ0d85K8b0klzsuQHaFj&pid=15.1&P=0&w=241&h=181

60s issues usualy ended up like this before going in the trash,  the promos were filed away in radio station libaries making them easier to find and in better condition , just a thought. 

A rack... luxury.....what's wrong with the floor. 

 Yes, records were usually mistreated by teenagers and end up in the bin however some radio stations weren't much better. The only US radio station I got to visit had the records for that show lying around on the desk and the rest skewered on short poles on the wall, all unsleeved. They didn't have a library but were only a tiny station in the middle of nowhere.

Rick

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted
20 hours ago, tomangoes said:

Rick

More more more...

Tell us more about the record industry. 

Just my luck to have sold the original UK issue of PH as I got a less rate USA issue..

Obviously Jimmy H had the advantage of an enhanced metabolism when he made his songs... 

Indeed the sky and guy confused many, including me. 

Johnny's take is brilliant though, and probably fitted the era of uppers and downers, so to speak.

 

Ed

Ed

The unsold copies of Purple Haze on Cream weren't destroyed and I think after a few years were sold off. It seems to be fairly common, selling for around £15. If you've got a US Brunswick demo that is probably a lot rarer and worth more. Brunswick seems to be one label where promos are scarcer than stock copies and a lot more collectable. 

Rick

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted

The advantages of a record shop dealing direct with the record company were minimal except for ' sale or return' on stock copies,and this practice goes back to the 78 days. This allowed shops to gamble every week and the only way to avoid shops becoming overwhelmed with unsold items. Shops could literally hand back 100's and be immediately credited against 100 of next weeks new records. Shops had paid upfront for the first orders so the companies were always holding their money, and didn't have to operate an expensive credit note system. Transporting the unsold stock around the country was impractical and the various deletion practices started occurring, drill holes, gold paint splodges etc. Companies realised they preferred dealing through wholesale distribution, so they had to offer a similar deal via the wholesaler. This is one more factor to add to the ones above.
Another thought comes from the artist contract disputes mentioned in numerous biographies. Depending on the company the wording of the contract could contain clauses where the artist bore all expenses incurred, and these were deducted before any money from sales was paid to them. Amongst these expenses were the costs of producing the promos, in some cases every cost involved in producing the promo inc mastering and distribution shipping etc. All this led to the artists believing they'd been ripped off when they heard their record was number 5 in the charts and they still owed the record company money on the deal.
The various payola cases that came to light suggested that certain DJ's, especially certain well known Radio personalities, were given hundreds of promo copies of a title and they sold these at a discounted price at their DJ shows and kept the money and this was deemed a bribe for playing the labels new releases. Sometimes they'd bother to cross out the not for sale promo wording, but most times didn't bother. Similarly some bands would be given promos of their record to take to their shows to sell as a way of offsetting the costs of touring and promotion.
One other thought that needs mentioning. The larger companies with nationwide organisation knew how to sell and promote white pop music and caught up with the whole rock and roll wave quite quickly. They were out on a limb when it came to getting into the black market. Once a soul record got high enough in local radio charts they'd bother to work it nationally using their relationships with distributors, Radio Stations, DJ's, sales reps etc, but they were not about to put the effort into pushing something like Bobby Bell's Drop Me A Line when they had a new Beatles or Beach Boys single to work on.
All these things contribute to the whole stock issues can be rarer belief, and it makes perfect sense to have the promos pressed up, leave the master at the plant and then if required as many orders and reorders can be asked for. Gambling even a few hundred at a time on every release by having the promos and the issues made at the same time might mean the cash flow isn't there for as many releases, and that applies whether you're a small independent as it does when you're a major label. 
I'm sure there's other reasons that haven't been mentioned yet.

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted
On 15/02/2019 at 18:17, purist said:

The advantages of a record shop dealing direct with the record company were minimal except for ' sale or return' on stock copies,and this practice goes back to the 78 days. This allowed shops to gamble every week and the only way to avoid shops becoming overwhelmed with unsold items. Shops could literally hand back 100's and be immediately credited against 100 of next weeks new records. Shops had paid upfront for the first orders so the companies were always holding their money, and didn't have to operate an expensive credit note system. Transporting the unsold stock around the country was impractical and the various deletion practices started occurring, drill holes, gold paint splodges etc. Companies realised they preferred dealing through wholesale distribution, so they had to offer a similar deal via the wholesaler. This is one more factor to add to the ones above.
Another thought comes from the artist contract disputes mentioned in numerous biographies. Depending on the company the wording of the contract could contain clauses where the artist bore all expenses incurred, and these were deducted before any money from sales was paid to them. Amongst these expenses were the costs of producing the promos, in some cases every cost involved in producing the promo inc mastering and distribution shipping etc. All this led to the artists believing they'd been ripped off when they heard their record was number 5 in the charts and they still owed the record company money on the deal.
The various payola cases that came to light suggested that certain DJ's, especially certain well known Radio personalities, were given hundreds of promo copies of a title and they sold these at a discounted price at their DJ shows and kept the money and this was deemed a bribe for playing the labels new releases. Sometimes they'd bother to cross out the not for sale promo wording, but most times didn't bother. Similarly some bands would be given promos of their record to take to their shows to sell as a way of offsetting the costs of touring and promotion.
One other thought that needs mentioning. The larger companies with nationwide organisation knew how to sell and promote white pop music and caught up with the whole rock and roll wave quite quickly. They were out on a limb when it came to getting into the black market. Once a soul record got high enough in local radio charts they'd bother to work it nationally using their relationships with distributors, Radio Stations, DJ's, sales reps etc, but they were not about to put the effort into pushing something like Bobby Bell's Drop Me A Line when they had a new Beatles or Beach Boys single to work on.
All these things contribute to the whole stock issues can be rarer belief, and it makes perfect sense to have the promos pressed up, leave the master at the plant and then if required as many orders and reorders can be asked for. Gambling even a few hundred at a time on every release by having the promos and the issues made at the same time might mean the cash flow isn't there for as many releases, and that applies whether you're a small independent as it does when you're a major label. 
I'm sure there's other reasons that haven't been mentioned yet.

Purist

Some good points here, but a few things in the last paragraph I'm not in complete agreement with. Taking your example of Bobby Bell , RCA made a decision to sign him, pick some songs, rehearse him, pay session musicians, arranger, producer and studio time. Then have a record made with all the production costs, maybe have some photos done, perhaps buy a stage outfit, arrange a few live shows and mail out loads of promos. All this could be charged against Bobby's sales royalties but still had to be paid for even if some were in-house. This must amount to a large investment by RCA but then you state that to spend a couple of hundred dollars on stock copies would affect cash flow. I can't quite see how this makes sense for any company as they only get cash flow by selling records.

If they then only press stock when they get orders how many orders do they want before pressing the record, 500 ,700 ,1000? Then if these sell what would the next press be 300, 500? What would happen to the orders from shops and distributors if they never pressed any stock? I can't see shop owners being too pleased to order a record without any idea when and if they would get it or not and the artist and his manager would be livid. 

Having imported, exported, sold wholesale and retail records for a few companies in the UK from 1972 to 1990 the main lesson I learnt was to get the stock in as many shops as possible as quickly as possible. The average customer would have a few pounds to spend and maybe three or four singles they wanted. If the shop didn't have their first choice they might settle for second or  third choice but if the shop didn't have those they would go somewhere else. Almost no one would be prepared to wait whilst the shop ordered a record that might take weeks to arrive ,if at all. By next week there would be some other records they want. So every record shop would make an effort to get records in stock before the customers asked for them. Also record companies would go to great lengths to get their product in store. Although the Virgin shop I worked for was not on the chart returns list we still got reps calling in with new stock or phone outs from the company sales department. I can't see US teenagers being any different to here and record companies would be just as keen to get their releases in stores, even offering sale or return facilities.

One other point is, if the companies held back on pressing stock until a record took off there would be a lot more titles, probably hundreds, on promo only and it would happen across every label. The handful of titles known on promo only are down to exceptional circumstances, such as legal problems , artist army call up, fraud , Dave's "shenanigans" or something else unusual.

Rick

 

 

  • Up vote 1

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted
On ‎14‎/‎02‎/‎2019 at 20:23, Rick Cooper said:

Ed

There's a story behind Purple Haze that ties in with this thread. The deal to issue the record on Cream was done with William Bell who produced the song via his Wilbe Productions. We issued the record but two weeks later it came out on UK Brunswick through Decca. After a few strongly worded letters and solicitors intervention we had to pull the record as we couldn't get the required documents from William Bell to prove the US Brunswick deal had expired. It's probably just as well as Decca had more money for lawyers and you wouldn't want to mess with Nat Tarnopol in the US, if you know what's good for you and don't want to have an "accident".

The promos would have been sent out about 7 to 10 days before the release date so had Decca issued their record earlier we might have never been able to sell stock copies, but the promos would have been out there, a bit like the Darrell Banks on London v Stateside story. I think the Cream version probably sold about 5 to 6 hundred.

Like almost everyone else I thought there was a line in Purple Haze that goes "Scuze me whilst I kiss this guy" but apparently it's "Scuze me whilst I kiss the sky", which may have made sense to Jimi Hendrix under certain circumstances.

Rick

Hi Rick

I got a copy of this from Global Records, pretty sure it was when Derek Howe worked there. Anyway, took it to the Mecca that Saturday and the rest is history!

Share this forum post


soul source url
Posted

This is my (probably very flawed) logic on majors pressing stock copies figures. You can tell I've thought about this waaaay too much down the years :D  

I thought about the UK ( I worked in a chart shop for a while btw) The rep's wouldn't want to take an order if it was for less than 6 copies, 3 or less and they'd sulk and stamp their feet, and almost always the discount breaks were done on quantity, climbing percentages and the order size grew, depending on product. One in Six meant you'd receive multiples of 7 copies but only be charged for multiples of  6, so an order for 35 meant you'd be invoiced for 30, with probably 50% returns on unsold stock for example. The unsold returns was always a mystery to me, until many years later when I was working in a sister industry, videos. I was taken into one of many warehouses and on pallets were massive overstocks. I picked up one item, Private Benjamin, a semi successful Goldie Hawn movie. The seller represented a bankruptcy stock seller. " How many will you take of that" He said, " Take them all, I'll do you a great deal". I couldn't believe how many copies of this one movie they had, row upon row, hundreds of thousands, of just this one title. I assumed it was some mega cock up, but then he showed me another title with similar quantity. Why anybody thought they'd manufacture 900,000 copies of a semi successfull movie and the UK public would all want to buy one for 9.99, bonkers.
All this dead money, crazy. How many of our precious 45's sat around for a decade in similar warehouses before going to landfill or other disposal methods?
At the time the common belief was that there were approx 200 cities and larger towns in the UK (with 50,000 or more population) My home town was near 4 times that in 1970's, or 1/300th of the total population of urban areas. I can remember the record departments in stores such as Co-op, Boots, WH Smiths, Beatties, Woolworths (two stores with record counters) and they took a large slice of the sales pie being town centre based. Then the independent shops, I can remember 6 dept stores, then probably 6 stand alone shops, but pretty sure there were more ( I only knew the city centre and the north & west half of the city well then) I'm not counting outlets that were located in other stores where you could order records, like the larger newsagents/general stores etc. So if we multiply the minimal 12 shops by 300 we'd get 3600 outlets in the country, so if you placed just 3 copies in each the minimum you'd need to press would be 10,800.  (You can see in the USA if it was only a local release they'd only press up 1000 for the one city, but I thought we were talking about serious major labels, and I'm trying to extrapolate the USA from what I'm surmising about Britain? Was there ever local city wide pressing done in the UK, other than stock which club bands would order for themselves to sell at working men's club gigs) So continuing, If we then assume that the USA had 5 times the population of Britain, you'd be talking 54, 000 of one title in order to place just 3 copies at each store nationwide, so if you are a major label and you've got 3 releases this week by your stars then you're going to press initially 30000-50000 per 45 so you can get enough stock into the shops to grab initial sales and chart maybe? but you've also got your lesser artists and the deals would be " take 500 of Neil Sedaka's guaranteed new hit, 300 Diana Ross, 10 copies of each of these other 4 and we can give you this many free copies of Tom Jones" - you have to imagine fishermans arms here, where the gap changes size depending on who they are talking to.  Now we are talking serious cash flow if they're pressing 100,000-200,000  records in one week, even on a 30 day credit account you can stretch it up to 9 weeks of deliveries before paying for the first months sales, and I'm guessing the large wholesale distributors probably got 90 day accounts . Even allowing for bi coastal pressing plants the shipping costs, labour, packaging, invoicing, it's gotta be scary, so the companies are trapped, press and distribute too few on their main artists and they won't hit and you're in trouble, press too many and the shops will reduce their orders on that artists next new single because they'll remember sending back loads of unsold stock. Add into these frightening costs that horrendous creation, the album. Imagine having to fund the cash flow for a new album by say, Led Zeppelin. It might sell 20 million in the US alone, but take 6-12 months  to sell that many, and 18 months to recoup the costs. So I do think the lesser artists like Bobby Bell had a very minimal pressing. A token gesture in the hope that the bigger shops might take a punt every week on a 45 purely whether they liked the sound and order 10, but in total across the nation these sales wouldn't amount to 500-1000, or even half that. Surely RCA's thinking would have been ' we spend a small amount on each new artist figuring that one out of a hundred might be the next Beatles, and 10 might be artists who sell enough to create enough profit to carry the entire set up, so any income from any of these small fry artists is pure bonus, and losses on promotion will be tax written off???
(incidentally, I know Popsike isn't a perfect measure, but over 15 years of it recording Ebay sales there's 52 WDJ's of Bobby Bell, and 1 copy on stock. In that same period there's 7 Magnetics on Ra Sel for instance. Everybody would call the Magnetics a rare 45, but how many would recognise Bobby Bells stocker in that same class of rarity? I've collected RCA's for many years and some rarely come up for sale, say less than 10 times in the time Ive been chasing them, and we'll never know how many of those 10 were the same copies changing hands multiple times? I don't want to hurt my label collecting by saying which I think are the rarest, plus I'm not the expert. I paid waay too much for some. Stone Crushers for example, 52 copies on Popsike today, but when I bought mine I'd not seen 3 copies ever. Oh, that's an example of the era when RCA wasn't issuing WDJ's, so only stock label copies exist, same as when Capitol stopped doing promos - or so we believe !?!?)
Sorry I was off on a tangent then. The first time I went to the states I tore out the yellow pages in each city, thinking I'd write to them all later. Often there'd be two or three pages in each phone book, more in some. These were only record shops and not outlets like Woolworths, so there must have been a huge amount of independent shops in all the urban areas. What the criteria was in order to deal direct with the record companies in the US might be very different, the UK labels seemed to like a mixture of direct accounts with larger shops and mini chains and via distributors. Personally I found once I got an account with Warner Brothers I was all of a sudden offered accounts with all sizes of companies, many of whom wouldn't even return my calls weeks before. If they thought you could shift the stock then I think you were more manipulable if they dealt direct with you possibly -tangent again 😞
( a word on chart shops. I saw a lot of winking going on. Rep's would leave a pile of promos on the counter on their way out. They'd nod and wink and say things like " Donny Horsesmond is going to chart high this week, what do you reckon". My boss would laugh, wink and generally act as though he was going to do the reps a big naughty favour, but I honestly believe he never ever put through one single sale that wasn't genuine. He'd tell me " it's what the rep's think that matters. They think I'm helping them with false figures and they give me all sorts, but I don't and never ever would. It's just not worth it to lose my chart shop status". Frequently he'd have these market sellers from far away areas come to the shop and take away tens of thousands of singles for pennies on the pound. If he hadn't that shop would have sunk with overstocks of free stock he'd been given or so heavily discounted it might have well been free. Maybe this shop was the exception to the rule, but maybe not)
Now obviously not every store orders every title, but there's stores that would order vast amounts. The shop I'm talking about had at it's height 200+ regular DJ's who did the bulk of their shopping at this one shop. An item that was getting hot from advance plays in the clubs the week before release was guaranteed to sell to every one of those DJ's before the public bought a single copy. When the orders arrived we'd spend ages putting a copy of every potential hottie into a shop bag with the DJ's name on it. These bags were done in order of importance. so if the first order arrived with 100 copies (50 from the record company, 50 from the wholesaler maybe, depending on how much you had left on your credit limit with each company) then they'd go into the top 80-90 DJ's bags, and 10-20 would be kept for the public. As the reorders came in thick and fast on some hot items, 5 deliveries some days, we'd be putting more aside into bags but needed to keep more out for the public. Top up orders attracted much smaller discounts but the boss knew that over ordering was dead money, so orders would be mixed through the companies and wholesalers like Terry Bloods. The DJ's, at least the better ones, operated on trust. They knew what was in their bags each week was what they needed, plus a few that might get requested and the odd punt. They simply ask, " how much this week" and take their bags away. Occasionally they'd bring the odd thing back when we'd given it to them twice, but often any mistakes were used as prizes at Discos. They were generally people who held down other jobs so didn't have the time to wait around record shops for hours to hear this weeks new releases, plus of course the imports. 250 copies of "There's No Stopping Us Now" and 2 days later another 200 sticks in my mind, all sold in a week. Couldn't get any more before it got dropped for being overplayed, even pop soul discos could be fickle :DThe rep's would despair when they saw a steady stream of kids coming in asking for the next big import.
The rep's would offer other incentives, for example giving promo copies based on order size. Of course these promo copies went into the DJ's bags and they paid full whack for the contents of their bags each week, but then the boss would knock some off, or throw them another promo or two of some other tune the reps had asked us to try to get some interest in. Some larger companies were very tight, but some were lax and gave away huge quantities. A collector market already existed and we had regular customers who'd come in just to buy the latest promos. They didn't care if it was a Tamla Motown promo or Shakin Stevens. Pretty soon these promos started to sell for a lot more than the stock copies, and once they started with special sleeves, weird shapes and colours then the prices went up and up. Some rep's would bring what they said was their own copies of some promos for the shop to sell for them, and a little bag was put aside for their money from these sales. Wheels within wheels. 
Blimey I've rambled on a bit there, but maybe this snapshot might one day help people understand it's not all black and white, although that's how I prefer my stockers and promos :D:D
feel free to totally destroy my maths theories btw :D it's just 
supposition for the fun of it 😉

  • Up vote 2

Share this forum post


soul source url

All About the SOUL - Source Forum

Jump into the northern soul music & beyond talk now!

Join Soul Source

A free & easy soul music affair!

Get started now!
Log into Soul Source

Get max use of the forums

Log in now!

    • 2 posts
    • 500 reads
    • sepia
    • 04 Nov 2007
    • 1 posts
    • 748 reads
    • tykarim
    • 30 Jan 2010
    • 1 posts
    • 368 reads
    • PeteDillon
    • 15 Jun 2014
    • 1 posts
    • 856 reads
    • 08 Oct 2003
  1. Roger Hatcher Promo & Sales

    • 7 posts
    • 1110 reads
    • nordic soul
    • 15 Apr 2005
  2. Ebay:some Northern Soul Promo 45s

    • 1 posts
    • 522 reads
    • 23 Apr 2005
  3. Eddie Holman - Laughing At Me - Ascot Promo

    • 1 posts
    • 553 reads
    • northwest vinyl
    • 09 Jun 2005

Source Adverts



×
×
  • Create New...

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.