I just recently bought Manfred Mann's greatest hits album, and it was what we used to call a "cutout". Shouldn't they let you know about that, or is it no big deal? To be honest, I don't remember much about cutouts, just that something ain't right. Anybody know? Thanks.
Well, by rights, yes, a seller should tell you about a cut out in their advertisement. However, unless you are the most anal retentive of record collectors, this shouldn't be something to lose too much sleep over. Cutouts are basically records that you would find in close out bargain bins, where perhaps the record shop of that time who carried the album, either had a surplus of copies, or they just didn't sell too well at the time. The appearance of a cut out either has a clipped corner, mostly on the top left near the spine, or the top right near the opening. Other times, you might find a punch out hole(other times with what is known as a drill hole) on the top left corner near the spine on the album cover. Finally, another sign of a cut out would be near the top right corner, where you may find a cut out notch, otherwise known as a sawcut on the top or bottom seam. The only other cut out that I can think of is the type that is known as a bb hole, although, the most likely you might see any of these is from the 1960's-1970's. None of this, again is a big deal, unless you are a serious record collector who wants their records 100% pristine with next to no flaws, and are willing to pay the $$$$. If this doesn't sound like what you expect from your records as a collector, then don't worry about it.
As to whether or not one person thinks something is right or wrong with cut outs, is usually up to each and every individuals perceptive belief. I know of many die hard collectors who would be pissed at the very thought there of being one single defect on any part of the album cover or record! It also depends on how much the record is worth, or say, the rarity/scarcity of the item. I say, if this is a record that you have been seeking out for a long time and have just found a copy, or if owning an album cover with cut out marks doesn't trouble you, then you shouldn't have any worries. Enjoy your record and just be glad you found it, unless again, you are really that truthfully anal retentive about your albums! Besides, there will come a time when you will be lucky if you even find a copy at all of original albums in decent condition. Can you believe that vinyl, even from the 1980's, is now over 20 years old? It may be hard to believe, but even records from that point in time are already worth money. Enjoy your records, and look at it like you are holding a piece of wonderful musical history from a bygone era to never return again! Happy hunting!
As VJ said, cutouts were usually a result over production of a title. In anticipation of a certain number of sales, a quantity of records were pressed and distributed. Then after the initial push, if a large number did not sell they were sent back to the distributor, a cutout would be made and then they would be redistributed to the bargain bins. There is nothing wrong with a cutout and many times a cutout would be a first pressing. Cutouts are not more valuable than the non-cutouts (at least to this collector) and sometimes are less valuable if the artwork is damaged. For example if the album included a poster and the poster was cut then the value may be diminished.
Sellers should disclose in their listing if a record is a cutout. Cutouts are NOT the same thing as promos. It annoys me when sellers identify a cut as a "promo cut". In other threads on this site promos have been discussed and they can be more desirable to a collector.
YES VERY WELL PUT. IM NEW TO MS AND ENJOY THESE POSTS. IM 58 YEARS OLD FROM THE BOSTON AREA AND A RECORD COLLECTOR FOR 45 OF THOSE YEARS. I CAN REMEMBER THE CUT OUT BINS AT THE HARVARD SQUARE USED RECORD STORES AND THE "COOP". DOWNTOWN WAS JORDAN MARSH AND EVEN FILENES. A VISIT TO KENMORE SQUARE NEAR FENWAY PARK WAS MUSIC CITY.EVEN REVERE BEACH HAD THE ARCADE BAZAAR.I HAVE FOND MEMORIES OF THOSE YEARS I JUST WISH I HAD THE FORESIGHT AND MONEY TO BUY ALL THOSE $1.99 LPS GREAT BUYS FOR THE AUDIOPHILE AND GREAT VALUE FOR RECORD DEALERS.
Promos can be cutouts as well. I worked extensively in radio in the 1970s/80s and sometimes we got promotional copies that were not white label copies but instead the label just notched the covers and sent them to us to use as promos. They did this so you couldn't take them to a record store and return/exchange them as new (a common practice at the time between radio & record store people). They were just like a stock copy but either had corners clipped/notched or had a drill hole through the corner to designate as a cutout.
From my work in the record business, not all labels moved product into cutout distribution when they had overpressed a title or deleted it from active stock. For example, CBS (Columbia/Epic & Associated labels) generally didn't put LPs into the cutout market. I know there was a place at the Pitman, NJ pressing plant where they destroyed the stock and buried it. For the labels that did generally put product into cutout distribution it was done for several reasons but the most likely ones were an overpressing of a title and deciding a title was going out of active stock. The labels at the time had a returns policy where sealed LPs could be returned for credit against future orders. Thus, when selling a record into the cutout distribution channel they needed to mark that item as one that had been cutout and not eligible for return. When labels sold off this product distributors bought it with no option to return it. In other words, you buy it, you own it, and that's final.
Singles worked pretty much the same way but certain labels did mark cutout singles with the letters "NR" (usually stamped on the label) meaning not eligible for returns. Singles sleeves were rarely marked as the typical universal mark for a cutout single was a small drill hole through the label. Why was this done? Simple, to save time. Often people in the warehouse just ran a drill through a stack of 45s so they could cutout large groups of them quickly and not drill them one or two at a time. You can often see the result of this drilling as often the excess plastic builds up on the label side opposite of where the drill came through. It built up on the opposite side because the 45s were stacked when drilled and the plastic was trapped by the record under it so the bits of plastic couldn't fall away.
Stan - great information from someone who has been "in the business!" So I stand corrected regarding my earlier emphatic statement that should be rephrased, some cutouts can be promos and not all cutouts are overstock. The reason that I tend to gravitate towards promos is that I understand that promos were made from first runs so typically they were of a little better quality. So I perk up when I see a white label promo or a gold embossed indication on the record jacket.
Would it be fair to say that if a promo had a cutout indication there would be no way of distinguishing it from an overstock cutout without firsthand knowledge of its origin? If so, I would still be suspect of a seller identifying a record as a promo cutout.
I personally dont mind cut outs or promos, I dont have a lot of cash to spend on lps that I want. That said I agree it should say in the posting if it is a promo or such. I just the sound of an lp on my old phonograph compared to cds. So if anyone has cut outs they want to sell reasonably price let me know. Keep music alive-bootleg it, life is too short so I say-Let it Ride!
Originally Posted By JOE GAUGHAN: THUNDERCLAP NEWMAN- INSECT TRUST- PARISH HALL- COWBOY WITH DUANE ALLMAN ON GUITAR THE HERD WITH 17 YEAR OLD PETER FRAMPTON. JUST A FEW GEMS THAT COME TO MIND FROM THE OLD $1.99 CUT OUT BINS.
Are any of those gems near mint? Most of the time, would it be safe to assume that when you stumble upon dollar bin specials, they aren't always near mint? Just curious............
THE ONES I MENTIONED I PURCHASED IN THE EARLY 70S FROM THE BIG RECORD STORES. ALL THE RECORDS WERE SEALED. EACH WOULD HAVE A CUT CORNER OR DRILL HOLE. I SEEM TO REMEMBER SOME WITH NO CUTOUTS BUT THEY WOULD HAVE A $1.99 STICKER ON THEM A LONG TIME HAS PASSED. AS I MENTIONED EARLIER.I WISH I HAD BOUGHT MANY MORE.A BIG THUNDERCLAP NEWMAN FAN I BOUGHT SEVERAL AND STILL HAVE A COUPLE.
Originally Posted By JOE GAUGHAN: THE ONES I MENTIONED I PURCHASED IN THE EARLY 70S FROM THE BIG RECORD STORES. ALL THE RECORDS WERE SEALED. EACH WOULD HAVE A CUT CORNER OR DRILL HOLE. I SEEM TO REMEMBER SOME WITH NO CUTOUTS BUT THEY WOULD HAVE A $1.99 STICKER ON THEM A LONG TIME HAS PASSED. AS I MENTIONED EARLIER.I WISH I HAD BOUGHT MANY MORE.A BIG THUNDERCLAP NEWMAN FAN I BOUGHT SEVERAL AND STILL HAVE A COUPLE.
Oh okay, never mind. In this case, nowadays, those days are long gone. I wish those days were back, but the last time I can ever recall dollar bin records being any good, was back in the 90's in used record shops. Gosh, those were the days for my youth, when you could find Led Zeppelin albums for less than $5.00 in near mint condition used! Hell, even thrift shops & flea markets suck nowadays. You got people out there catching on nowadays trying to sell Herb Alpert vinyl for like $20.00 at swap meets! No joke!
I have read with great interest the previous replies regarding Cut Outs/Drill Holes.
This is something that has never bothered me at all over the past 43 years of LP collecting.
While i dearly love the sleeve artwork i feel to much fuss has been made over the overall sleeve
condition. As far as i am concerned sleeve condition has been an excuse to hike up the prices on
secondhand market. Its the condition of the album that really matters as after all that is what
gets played and hopefully listened to.
A lot of my own LP sleeves are now looking a bit worn and tatty now even though they have been well
cared for. Thats because the albums inside them have been listened to quite a lot and not just sat
on the shelf looking pretty. Here in the U.K. the practice of Cut Outs/Drill Holes was never a widespread
thing. They would cover the sleeve with oversize stickers or sell the album in a plain white card sleeve.
Nothing wrong with a bit of natural wear and tear on the sleeve. It may be a sign that the record has been
loved and enjoyed through the years. Which is what its all about anyway. So in a way its a good thing to
see a sleeve has aged along with its music loving owner.
Disclaimer: The words and opinions expressed on this website are those of the author(s) of the postings and do not necessarily state or reflect the views of MusicStack and/or its employees. Publication on this website should not be considered an endorsement. MusicStack and/or its employees do not express or imply any warranty or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any information on this website. MusicStack and/or its employees will not be held liable for any direct or indirect loss or damage arising under this disclaimer or in connection with our website. By using our website, you accept this disclaimer in full.