Columbia House Is Dead. Long Live Columbia House
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Columbia House has filed for bankruptcy. Yes, that Columbia House. If you're old enough to remember the record and tape clubs of the 70s and 80s, you understand the nostalgia that this brings many of us.
I have both positive and negative memories of Columbia House. It was quite a rush to order 12 albums - probably on cassette or 8-track tapes - for just a penny or dollar or whatever the deal was. For next to nothing, you could get a truckload of new music in your mailbox.
The bad part of Columbia House came when you realized that now you were contractually obligated to buy another dozen albums for about $3 more per album than you could buy in a store. Oh, and one more catch. If you didn't return the monthly card in time, they automatically sent you the album of the month. As a KISS fan, it was quite traumatic to forget to send the card then have Michael Bolton's latest abomination sent to me.
You also had to buy a certain number of albums within a year or so. And, if you didn't fulfill your obligation, Columbia House could find you even if you were in the witness protection program.
Goodbye, Columbia House. The part of me that remembers you from my childhood will miss you. The part of me that you sent the full collection of New Kids On The Block albums will never forgive you.