Music Discussion #20: Bargain Bin Treasures

Let’s discuss any and all music here. You’ve got a new artist who’s rocking your boat that you want to talk about? Post a video! Found out about that unearthed Coltrane album that has the jazz freak in you losing your mind? Lay it out for us! Do you have a theory about what your favorite band might do for their next album? Let’s hear it! Anything and everything music-related goes here, but do please remember to also pay attention to the more niche threads; if your post would either fit better or equally well in one of them, please post it there as well. I absolutely do not want to steal traffic from those threads.

This week’s prompt: Tell us about that time you found something awesome or unexpected in the bargain bin. Was it something you’d been hoping to find for ages? If it was something completely unfamiliar, did you buy it solely for the cool cover art, weird song titles, or for some other reason? What did you think of it? Was it worth way more than what you paid for it? Did you resell it, or did it become an indispensable part of your collection?

Once again this week’s header image is a bit of a misdirect, as Monster has been the poster child for bargain bin CDs since the late nineties and therefore not a remarkable find by any stretch of the imagination. But I love Monster. There are probably eight to ten R.E.M. albums I rate more highly, but it’s full of good tracks: “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?” (overplayed at the time, but enough time has passed that it’s enjoyable to listen to again), “King of Comedy”, “In My Sleep I Dream”, “Strange Currencies”, “Tongue”, “Bang and Blame” and “Circus Envy” (which is the second song I heard from the album and couldn’t even tell was R.E.M. until over halfway through). But my favorite is “Crush with Eyeliner” – that riff is hypnotic.

Stipe’s voice is recognizable on this track (as is Thurston Moore’s), but nonetheless I used to wonder if R.E.M. would have fooled anyone had they released this under a pseudonym with the video above (minus the cameos*, of course), as musically it’s so far removed from their other releases up to that point.

I was planning to use this space to discuss a couple of my more recent finds, but these past couple of weeks turned out to be a lot busier than I expected so I didn’t have time to get my thoughts together – hence, the hastily-written bit about Monster (which some of you may have noticed is partly recycled from a comment I made in last week’s thread – my apologies for doing such a half-assed job this week).

Anyway, feel free to let us know about some of your best bargain bin finds (or how many copies of Monster you own) below!

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*With the exception of Berry – he’s only visible for a split second, and I love the thought of someone watching this video purportedly by a Japanese band called sad tomato (no caps) and thinking they spotted Bill Berry…without realizing it’s actually an R.E.M. song.