What goes around, and around

I’m betting you remember something like this:

Columbia House ad

It probably won’t be exactly like this, but it’s (almost) back:

Cue up the sound of a record rewinding: Columbia House, the once-famous mail-order business that sold CDs for a penny, is looking to relaunch by selling vinyl records.

John Lippman, who bought the brand out of bankruptcy this month, revealed the plan in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. Citing millennials’ enthusiasm for vinyl, he said, “You can see a yearning and an interest to try a new format.”

Columbia House dates back to 1955, when Columbia Records, then a CBS subsidiary, saw an opportunity to market to customers who didn’t live near full-line record stores. The Columbia Record Club — RCA Victor and Capitol followed them quickly into the market — became the Columbia Record & Tape Club, and finally Columbia House. It somehow survived all manner of changes in the music industry, including the bloody dismemberment of both Columbia and RCA Records, but finally collapsed earlier this year.

(Via Fark, which notes: “This is not a repeat from 1979.”)


  1. Roy »

    26 December 2015 · 10:23 am

    Yeah, I remember it well. I also noticed that the stack of tapes shown in the ad are all 8-tracks.

  2. CGHill »

    26 December 2015 · 10:57 am

    More titles on the page with tape spines rather than reduced record-cover art. And as I hear things, Columbia made some 8-tracks for its members even after they’d quit issuing them to the general public.

  3. Life Precedes Dustbury – Musings from Brian J. Noggle »

    27 December 2015 · 5:32 am

    […] thought he meant Columbia, the recording label, but as Charles points out, the Columbia House record club is resurrecting and selling […]

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