$7 Haul: OK, I Guess Meet the Beatles! Is Worth Going Over Budget ... a Buck!

Not that I need any further convincing, but it's times like these that I'm reminded that one golden record is soooo much better than an armful of crap (I'm sure that, at the time, it felt right to bring home those Judy Collins records). Things have been a bit hit or miss lately around Everyday Music's bargain LP bins--where I do 99 percent of my record shopping--lately.

Highlights have included Ray Charles' instrumental album, Genius After Hours, that features David "Fathead" Newman doing things with the saxophone that are illegal in certain counties in west Texas. Ray doesn't sing, but his voice sure does ring through the ivories on that thing.

Since I strictly enforce a $7 budget--so that I can stop in frequently and still afford to eat--I've had to let a few gems stay put: That three-LP live Dead set is haunting my dreams, and I'm sure I'm never going to find that Herbie Mann album, The Inspiration I Feel, loaded with Ray Charles covers. However, I was lucky to find that $8 copy of Meet the Beatles still in the stack, and took the opportunity to fudge on my budget a little bit.

I'm definitely not one of those guys who fetishizes over Beatles LPs, and I've never considered myself a collector (just a cheap ass). But I've become acutely aware that The Beatles are woefully underrepresented in my crates at home. Picking this guy up for $8 is right up my alley.

I asked the checker why the record was going for just 8 bucks. Her response: Because it's so beat up. Lucky me I've got low standards AND it sounds great on my turntable. If I didn't want the pop and hiss, I'd have bought the CD!

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