I was flipping through an issue of Song Hits magazine from March 1985 today. For those that don’t remember (almost everyone), Song Hits was a magazine that, if it existed online today, would show up in every Google search for “lyrics” and would have a bunch of malware attached to it. Its primary focus was lyrics to songs that were popular on the radio six months earlier. There were also articles and album reviews as well as a nice dose of ads.

Among that issue’s ads was one of the ubiquitous Columbia House “11 for 1 cent” promotions:

Columbia House - March 1985

When I looked closer, I realized nine-year-old me had filled out the form, but never sent it in. Ignoring the fact that I wrote in album names instead of the ID numbers, as instructed, I decided to build a quick Spotify playlist of all the albums I would have gotten (on vinyl, take note) if I’d mailed the form in with $1.86. Only two albums (Rockwell’s Somebody’s Watching Me and The Stray Cats’ Rant N Rave were not available on Spotify).

(Another interesting bit: all selections except for classical or jazz albums were available on 8-track, even in 1985. This is because “1982 was the approximate year the 8 track tape disappeared from record stores yet Columbia continued to release new titles in the format until 1988” (Wikipedia). That’s why it is possible, though difficult, to find some hip-hop on 8-track today, if you look hard enough.)