A couple young compatriots have wondered why I was waxing (“waxing” — geddit?) nostalgic about a record label that made money by selling vinyl without paying royalties to anybody anywhere.
The key word is “nostalgic” — were are talking about a different music-retail world, here. When I got the Parker sides on BYG, the seller himself — only store in Missoula that carried non-mainstream jazz — told me they were essentially boots but it was the only way in hell at that time I was gonna hear the music. When small record labels were out of business back then, they were Out. Of. Business. Forever, for all we knew.
Of course the world of popular music history changed when James Brown Live at the Apollo was reissued and before you knew it, operations like Rhino were relative powerhouses.
So my basic stance is this: buy a legitimate, royalty-paying release whenever available. And nowadays, just about everything is out there. Well, except Into the Unknown by Bad Religion — oh, wait …