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Looks like BMG Music Club has finally closed its doors to new members and is basically washed-up for good.
For those unfamiliar with BMG, when you signed up you got to pick 12 or so free CDs out of its catalog so long as you agreed to purchase one. This all played out over the course of a couple of months. After that was all over BMG would continue to mail you its CD of the month unless you sent them a card declining the offer. This CD was usually terrible and never free, which caused a little bit of household friction if you were too absent minded to keep up with the correspondence and wound up owing $16 for an unwanted copy of Eric Clapton’s Pilgrim.
Initially I was shocked that BMG had even made it this far into the new millennium. Twelve-for-one is a pretty good deal, but not as good a deal as the internet’s rather popular as-much-music-as-you-want-for-free counter offer.
But I gotta say, I feel a pang of grief at the institution’s passing. During high school 12 CDs deal gave me a chance to experiment with some records that wound up being very important for me, but I probably wouldn’t have bought at full price—Naked City’s first album, Talking Heads 77, Sonic Youth’s Washing Machine. Full disclosure, these were the only good CDs that I ordered. That leaves 9 more records and as I paw through the storage bin I realize that there was a reason that the cute punk rock girl in high school wasn’t into me and it probably had something to do with this copy of Phish’s Picture of Nectar, or this copy of Rusted Root’s When I Woke. Depressingly enough, hindsight indicates that BMG’s CD of the month—which included The Cars’ first record—was often way cooler than the hippie drivel that I was selecting myself.
Thanks BMG. I’ll miss you.