Remember record stores? Each shop invariably had a "cutout bin," or a sale rack containing overstock LPs and cassettes. Manufacturers would punch a hole or cut a notch into the record cover or plastic cassette case, then send these leftovers to stores to resell at a deeply discounted price. Delving through these bins would uncover some obscure artists, or an album that failed to sell very well. Often the customer would be rewarded with a hidden gem.
Re-live those days through The Cutout Bin a column that digs through the music racks for lost treasures.
Robbie Robertson's 1987 single "Somewhere Down the Crazy River" retains its mystery and sensuality.
Isaac Hayes became famous as a dynamic performer, but was also a stellar songwriter, having penned songs for various artists.
John Hiatt's masterwork amazes with its deeply personal lyrics, bare bones production, and blend of rock, blues, country, and folk.
Mary J. Blige's powerful 1999 album cemented her status as the Queen of Hip Hop Soul and as worthy successor to past soul divas.
Bill Withers' under appreciated live album functions not only as a great listen, but as a master class to songwriters and performers.
Think you know everything about 80s band Level 42? Listen to their early material and gain a whole new perspective.
Think you've heard great bass playing? Listen to jazzman Jaco Pastorius's 1976 self-titled album and learn from a music visionary.
Massive Attack's first album challenges listeners with a unique combination of soul, hip-hop, trance, and reggae.
Released 10 years too early, this sophomore album challenges listeners with abstract lyrics and unusual instrumentation, yet emits pure sensuality and soul.
James Taylor experienced a creative renaissance in the 1990s, yet that work is frequently overshadowed by his classic hits.
This seamless fusion of jazz and R&B remains as fresh today as it did over 20 years ago.
This week's column uncovers The Monkees' unjustly overlooked film soundtrack, a collection of solid 60s rock and pop. It also shows the group at their most cohesive and polished.
Stevie Wonder 's unfairly neglected album shows an artist who still has something to say.
While not as famous as Sinatra or Cole, Johnny Hartman remains one of the greatest--and most under appreciated--interpreters of the Great American Songbook.
This week's Cutout Bin features Manhattan Transfer's Janis Siegel and her second solo effort, At Home.
The Cutout Bin looks at London Elektricity, an unusual electronica/dance artist that transcends the music genre.
Michael Franks's eloquent tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim remains an unappreciated gem.
Digging through the music racks for lost treasures.