Best Buy Series

Best Buy Series

Profile:
RCA budget series was introduced July, 1980 - Please don't state any earlier date !

Quote from Billboard 5. June 1982: RCA introduced its "Best Buy" series in July 1980. The catalog now has about 300 pop albums and 20 more are sheduled for August.

In 1975, RCA licensed certain titles from its RCA Camden label to Pickwick. Shortly before that, RCA created a midline LP series: the "Pure Gold" series - see Pure Gold (2). Records in this series were mostly reissues of older, out of print LP's, but also newly-created compilations of older material. The difference between these and the Camden albums were the extra $1 or $2 in price and rather than cut two or three tracks, the entire original album was presented. In many cases, artwork was altered, and, for the most part, the back cover was black & white, with the contents of the album and ads for other RCA "Pure Gold" LP's!

By 1980, RCA had an idea: why not reissue regular albums at budget prices? Thus the "Best Buy" series was born. A special slot in RCA's prefix matrix was reserved: AYL1-. The first Waylon LP to be part of this group of albums was "Are You Ready For The Country". Rather than edit its then-current catalog number (AFL1-1816), it was issued yet another (AYL1-3663). And there were other changes. The gatefold sleeve was scrapped in favor of a single-sleeve design, but the most upsetting was the "Best Buy" logo. At approx. two inches round, it took up a good portion of the sleeve. Both consumers and artists cried "foul!" and the logo soon found itself on a sticker on the album's shrinkwrap. After RCA Records was merged with BMG, the Best Buy series was extended to other BMG labels as well, notably Arista. It was not uncommon to see the new "Best Buy" sticker on catalog Arista releasaes by Barry Manilow or The Monkees.

In 1983, RCA started issuing edited versions of older albums in the "Best Buy" series. In general, albums that originally had 10-12 tracks were reduced to 8 tracks. Five years later, BMG/RCA carried this practice over to CD's and cassettes as well. For example, Waylon And Willie* - WWII, originally with 11 cuts, was slashed to 8. So was Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Jessi Colter, Tompall Glaser - Wanted! The Outlaws. These releases were issued with a "Sound Value CD" sticker. But soon it became well known that any CD with a "Sound Value CD" sticker was a butchered version of the original LP.

Oddly enough, when RCA began issuing Compact Discs in 1984, they utilized not only the complete album, but used the original LP catalog number. (For example, RCA issued Jefferson Airplane's "Surrealistic Pillow" on CD with the catalog number PCD1-3766 [the original LP number was LPM/LSP-3766] while the vinyl version retained its "Best Buy" number of AYL1-3738.

In the mid-1990's, BMG replaced the "Best Buy" series with the "Wise Buys" series, with apparently no special numbering system, the only indicator being a lowered retail price. Today, under Sony ownership, many former "Best Buy" and "Sound Value" titles became part of Sony's "Best Value" series, with many retaining their original catalog number but with a new UPC barcode.
Parent Label:
[l234938]

Label


Cat#  Artist Title (Format) Label Cat#  Country Year
6422-2-R Christmas Time With The Judds  album cover The Judds Christmas Time With The Judds(CD, Album) Curb Records, RCA 6422-2-R US 1987 Sell This Version
7652-4-R The Best Of Glenn Miller  album cover Glenn Miller The Best Of Glenn Miller(Cass, Comp, RM, RP) RCA 7652-4-R US Unknown Sell This Version
109.4015 The Best Of The Guess Who   album cover The Guess Who The Best Of The Guess Who (LP, Comp, RE) RCA Vik 109.4015 Brazil 1981 Sell This Version
ACB6-8288 One Vice At A Time  album cover Krokus One Vice At A Time(Cass, Album) Arista ACB6-8288 Canada 1982 Sell This Version
ACB6-8313 The Monkees Greatest Hits  album cover The Monkees The Monkees Greatest Hits(Cass, Comp, RE, Dol) Arista ACB6-8313 Canada 1985 Sell This Version
ACB6-8326 Year Of The Cat  album cover Al Stewart Year Of The Cat(Cass, Album, RE, Dol) Arista ACB6-8326 Canada 1985 Sell This Version
ACB6-8335 The Greatest Hits On Earth  album cover The 5th Dimension* The Greatest Hits On Earth (Comp) ACB6-8335 Canada 1985 Sell This Version
ACB6-8349 Easter  album cover Patti Smith Group Easter(Cass, Album, RE) Arista ACB6-8349 Canada 1985 Sell This Version
ACB6-8354 Midnight Blue  album cover Midnight Blue (4) A Project With Louise Tucker Midnight Blue (4) A Project With Louise Tucker - Midnight Blue(Cass, Album, RE, Dol) Arista ACB6-8354 Canada 1985 Sell This Version
ACB6-8391 Look Back In Anger - Classic Performances By Graham Parker  album cover Graham Parker Look Back In Anger - Classic Performances By Graham Parker(Cass, Comp, RE, Dol) Arista ACB6-8391 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
AFK1-4194 Hooked On Classics  album cover Louis Clark conducting The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Louis Clark conducting The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Hooked On Classics(Cass, Album, RE, Dol) RCA AFK1-4194 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
AFL1-3299 Fresh Fish Special  album cover Robert Gordon (2) With Link Wray Robert Gordon (2) With Link Wray - Fresh Fish Special(LP, Album) RCA Victor AFL1-3299 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
AFL1-3766 Surrealistic Pillow  album cover Jefferson Airplane Surrealistic Pillow(LP, Album, RE) RCA AFL1-3766 US Unknown Sell This Version
AFL1-4650 Pure Prairie League  album cover Pure Prairie League Pure Prairie League(LP, Album, RE) RCA Victor AFL1-4650 US Unknown Sell This Version
AFL1-5136 Albedo 0.39  album cover Vangelis Albedo 0.39(LP, Album, RE) RCA Victor AFL1-5136 US 1982 Sell This Version
AGK1-3706 Classic Film Scores For Bette Davis  album cover Charles Gerhardt, National Philharmonic Orchestra Charles Gerhardt, National Philharmonic Orchestra - Classic Film Scores For Bette Davis(Cass, Album, RE, Dol) RCA Gold Seal AGK1-3706 US Unknown Sell This Version
AGK1-3707 The Sea Hawk (The Classic Film Scores Of Erich Wolfgang Korngold)  album cover Erich Wolfgang Korngold - Charles Gerhardt / National Philharmonic Orchestra Erich Wolfgang Korngold - Charles Gerhardt / National Philharmonic Orchestra - The Sea Hawk (The Classic Film Scores Of Erich Wolfgang Korngold)(Cass, Album, RE, Dol) RCA Gold Seal, RCA Red Seal AGK1-3707 US Unknown Sell This Version
AGK1-3782 Casablanca - Classic Film Scores For Humphrey Bogart  album cover Charles Gerhardt / National Philharmonic Orchestra Charles Gerhardt / National Philharmonic Orchestra - Casablanca - Classic Film Scores For Humphrey Bogart(Cass, Album, RE, Dol) RCA Gold Seal AGK1-3782 US Unknown Sell This Version
AGKI-3654 Great Scenes From Gershwin's Porgy And Bess  album cover Gershwin* / Leontyne Price, William Warfield, McHenry Boatwright, Skitch Henderson Gershwin* / Leontyne Price, William Warfield, McHenry Boatwright, Skitch Henderson - Great Scenes From Gershwin's Porgy And Bess(Cass, Album, Dol) RCA Gold Seal, RCA AGKI-3654 US 1980 Sell This Version
AGL1-3365 The Pachelbel Canon And Other Baroque Favorites  album cover Various The Pachelbel Canon And Other Baroque Favorites(LP, Comp) RCA Gold Seal AGL1-3365 US 1980 Sell This Version
AGL1-3367 Don Quixote - Der Rosenkavalier: Waltzes  album cover Richard Strauss, Antonio Janigro, Fritz Reiner, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Richard Strauss, Antonio Janigro, Fritz Reiner, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Don Quixote - Der Rosenkavalier: Waltzes(LP) RCA Gold Seal AGL1-3367 US Unknown Sell This Version
AGL1-3649 Rhapsody In Blue / American In Paris  album cover Gershwin* - Fiedler* / Boston Pops*, Earl Wild Gershwin* - Fiedler* / Boston Pops*, Earl Wild - Rhapsody In Blue / American In Paris(LP) RCA AGL1-3649 US Unknown Sell This Version
AGL1-3650 Music From John Williams' Close Encounters Of The Third Kind / Star Wars  album cover John Williams (4) / Charles Gerhardt Conducting National Philharmonic Orchestra John Williams (4) / Charles Gerhardt Conducting National Philharmonic Orchestra - Music From John Williams' Close Encounters Of The Third Kind / Star Wars(LP, Album, RE) RCA Gold Seal AGL1-3650 US Unknown Sell This Version
AGL1-3652 Tchaikovsky The Nutcracker, Op. 71 (Excerpts)  album cover Tchaikovsky* / Boston Pops Orchestra* Tchaikovsky* / Boston Pops Orchestra* - Tchaikovsky The Nutcracker, Op. 71 (Excerpts) (Album) AGL1-3652 US Unknown Sell This Version
AGL1-3653 Bolero • La Valse • Pavan For A Dead Princess  album cover Ravel* - Boston Symphony Orchestra / Charles Munch Ravel* - Boston Symphony Orchestra / Charles Munch - Bolero • La Valse • Pavan For A Dead Princess(LP, Album, RE) RCA Gold Seal AGL1-3653 US Unknown Sell This Version
AGL1-3703 Joan Morris, Max Morath, William Bolcom Joan Morris, Max Morath, William Bolcom - These Charming People(LP, Album, RE, RM) RCA Gold Seal AGL1-3703 US 1980 Sell This Version
AGL1-3706 Classic Film Scores For Bette Davis  album cover Charles Gerhardt, National Philharmonic Orchestra Charles Gerhardt, National Philharmonic Orchestra - Classic Film Scores For Bette Davis(LP, Album, RE) RCA Gold Seal AGL1-3706 US Unknown Sell This Version
AGL1-3707 The Sea Hawk (The Classic Film Scores Of Erich Wolfgang Korngold)  album cover Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Charles Gerhardt / National Philharmonic Orchestra Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Charles Gerhardt / National Philharmonic Orchestra - The Sea Hawk (The Classic Film Scores Of Erich Wolfgang Korngold)(LP, Album, RE) RCA Gold Seal AGL1-3707 US Unknown Sell This Version
AGL1-3708 Carnaval De Rampal  album cover Jean-Pierre Rampal / Futaba Inoue Jean-Pierre Rampal / Futaba Inoue - Carnaval De Rampal(LP) RCA Gold Seal AGL1-3708 US Unknown Sell This Version
AGL1-3711 Saint-Saens: Symphony No. 3 ("Organ Symphony")  album cover Virgil Fox, The Philadelphia Orchestra / Eugene Ormandy Virgil Fox, The Philadelphia Orchestra / Eugene Ormandy - Saint-Saens: Symphony No. 3 ("Organ Symphony")(LP, Album, RE) RCA Gold Seal AGL1-3711 US 1980 Sell This Version
AGLI-3654 Great Scenes From Porgy And Bess  album cover Gershwin*, Leontyne Price / William Warfield Gershwin*, Leontyne Price / William Warfield - Great Scenes From Porgy And Bess(LP, RE) RCA Victor AGLI-3654 US Unknown Sell This Version
AHL1-0033-A My Tennessee Mountain Home  album cover Dolly Parton My Tennessee Mountain Home(LP, Album, RE, Gat) RCA Victor, RCA Victor AHL1-0033-A US Unknown Sell This Version
AHL1-1167 Chester & Lester  album cover Chet Atkins & Les Paul Chet Atkins & Les Paul - Chester & Lester(LP, Album, RE) RCA AHL1-1167 US 1980 Sell This Version
AHL1-3302 The First Nashville Guitar Quartet  album cover Chet Atkins The First Nashville Guitar Quartet(LP, Album) RCA, RCA AHL1-3302 US 1980 Sell This Version
ALB6-8288 One Vice At A Time  album cover Krokus One Vice At A Time(LP, Album, RE) Arista ALB6-8288 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
ALB6-8292 Now And Forever  album cover Air Supply Now And Forever(LP, Album) Arista ALB6-8292 Canada 1982 Sell This Version
ALB6-8314 Metal Rendez-vous  album cover Krokus Metal Rendez-vous(LP, Album, RE) Arista ALB6-8314 Canada 1980 Sell This Version
ALB6-8328 Give The People What They Want  album cover The Kinks Give The People What They Want(LP, Album, RE) Arista ALB6-8328 Canada 1981 Sell This Version
ALB6-8349 Easter  album cover Patti Smith Group Easter(LP, Album) Arista ALB6-8349 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
ALB6-8375 Sleepwalker  album cover The Kinks Sleepwalker(LP, Album, RE) Arista ALB6-8375 Canada 1981 Sell This Version
ALY1-3762(e) Peter Pan  album cover Mary Martin Peter Pan(LP, RE) RCA Victor ALY1-3762(e) US Unknown Sell This Version
ALY1-4555 Sally Can't Dance  album cover Lou Reed Sally Can't Dance(LP, Album, RE) RCA ALY1-4555 Canada 1980 Sell This Version
ANK1-1928 A Merry Mancini Christmas  album cover Henry Mancini, His Orchestra And Chorus* A Merry Mancini Christmas(Cass, Album, RE) RCA ANK1-1928 US Unknown Sell This Version
ANK1-1936 Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas  album cover Elvis Presley Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas(Cass, Album, RE) RCA ANK1-1936 US 1971 Sell This Version
ANK1-2933 The Roger Whittaker Christmas Album  album cover Roger Whittaker The Roger Whittaker Christmas Album(Cass, Album) RCA ANK1-2933 US Unknown Sell This Version
ANK1-3464 Nilsson Schmilsson  album cover Nilsson* Nilsson Schmilsson(Cass, Album, RE, Dol) RCA ANK1-3464 US Unknown Sell This Version
ANK1-3465 Neil Sedaka Sings His Greatest Hits  album cover Neil Sedaka Neil Sedaka Sings His Greatest Hits(Cass, Comp, RE, Dol) RCA ANK1-3465 US Unknown Sell This Version
ANL1-3874 Charley Pride I'm Just Me(LP, Album, RE) RCA Victor ANL1-3874 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
APL1-0097 A Little Touch Of Schmilsson In The Night  album cover Harry Nilsson A Little Touch Of Schmilsson In The Night(LP, Album, Gat) RCA Victor APL1-0097 Canada 1980 Sell This Version
APL1-0539 This Time  album cover Waylon Jennings This Time(LP, Album, RE) RCA Victor APL1-0539 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3659 Virgin Killer  album cover Scorpions Virgin Killer (Album) AYK1-3659 US 1976 Sell This Version
AYK1-3660 Red Octopus  album cover Jefferson Starship Red Octopus (Album) AYK1-3660 US Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3661 The Worst Of Jefferson Airplane  album cover Jefferson Airplane The Worst Of Jefferson Airplane (Comp) AYK1-3661 US 1980 Sell This Version
AYK1-3662 The Best Of The Guess Who  album cover The Guess Who The Best Of The Guess Who (Comp) AYK1-3662 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3664 Rock N Roll Animal  album cover Lou Reed Rock N Roll Animal (Album) AYK1-3664 US 1980 Sell This Version
AYK1-3666 Pure Gold  album cover Glenn Miller Pure Gold (Comp) AYK1-3666 Canada 1982 Sell This Version
AYK1-3667 Pure Gold  album cover Henry Mancini Pure Gold (Comp) AYK1-3667 US Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3668 Mancini Country  album cover Henry Mancini, His Piano, Orchestra & Chorus* Mancini Country(Cass, Album, RE) RCA Victor AYK1-3668 US Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3673 American Woman  album cover The Guess Who American Woman (Album) AYK1-3673 US Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3675 The Best Of Eddy Arnold  album cover Eddy Arnold The Best Of Eddy Arnold (Comp) AYK1-3675 US Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3677 Jerry Reed East Bound And Down(Cass, Album) RCA AYK1-3677 US Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3678 The Best Of Jim Reeves  album cover Jim Reeves The Best Of Jim Reeves (Comp) AYK1-3678 US Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3679 Cool Water  album cover Sons Of The Pioneers* Cool Water(Cass, Album, RE) RCA AYK1-3679 US Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3680 The Best Of The Youngbloods  album cover The Youngbloods The Best Of The Youngbloods (Comp) AYK1-3680 US Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3681 South Pacific  album cover Rodgers & Hammerstein South Pacific (Album) AYK1-3681 Australia Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3681-F South Pacific  album cover Rodgers & Hammerstein South Pacific(Cass, RE) RCA Victor AYK1-3681-F US Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3682 Chester & Lester  album cover Chet Atkins and Les Paul Chet Atkins and Les Paul - Chester & Lester(Cass, Album, RE, Dol) RCA AYK1-3682 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3683 Blue Hawaii  album cover Elvis Presley Blue Hawaii (Album) AYK1-3683 Canada 1987 Sell This Version
AYK1-3730 Smooth Talk  album cover Evelyn "Champagne" King* Smooth Talk(Cass, Album, RE, Dol) RCA, RCA AYK1-3730 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3732 Elvis Presley Pure Gold  album cover Elvis Presley Elvis Presley Pure Gold (Comp) AYK1-3732 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3734 Harum Scarum  album cover Elvis Presley Harum Scarum(Cass, Album, RE, Dol) RCA AYK1-3734 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3735 G. I. Blues  album cover Elvis Presley G. I. Blues (Album) AYK1-3735 US Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3738 Surrealistic Pillow  album cover Jefferson Airplane Surrealistic Pillow (Album) AYK1-3738 Canada 1988 Sell This Version
AYK1-3739 Takes Off  album cover Jefferson Airplane Takes Off(Cass, Album, RE, Dol) RCA AYK1-3739 US 1980 Sell This Version
AYK1-3745 Piano Masterpieces 1900-1975  album cover Floyd Cramer Piano Masterpieces 1900-1975 (Comp) AYK1-3745 US Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3746 The Greatest Of The Guess Who  album cover The Guess Who The Greatest Of The Guess Who (Comp) AYK1-3746 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3748 The Best Of Spike Jones  album cover Spike Jones The Best Of Spike Jones(Cass, Comp, RE) RCA AYK1-3748 Canada 1983 Sell This Version
AYK1-3749 Schoolboys In Disgrace  album cover The Kinks Schoolboys In Disgrace (Album) AYK1-3749 US Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3752 Lou Reed Live  album cover Lou Reed Lou Reed Live(Cass, Album, RE) RCA Victor AYK1-3752 US Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3753 Walk On The Wild Side - The Best Of Lou Reed  album cover Lou Reed Walk On The Wild Side - The Best Of Lou Reed (Comp) AYK1-3753 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3756 Brass On Ivory  album cover Henry Mancini & Doc Severinsen Henry Mancini & Doc Severinsen - Brass On Ivory(Cass, Album, RE) RCA Victor AYK1-3756 US Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3757 A Warm Shade Of Ivory  album cover The Piano, Orchestra And Chorus Of Henry Mancini* A Warm Shade Of Ivory(Cass, Album, RE) RCA Victor AYK1-3757 US Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3759 Glenn Miller Plays Selections From "The Glenn Miller Story" And Other Hits  album cover Glenn Miller And His Orchestra Glenn Miller Plays Selections From "The Glenn Miller Story" And Other Hits (Album, Comp) AYK1-3759 US Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3761 A Little Touch Of Schmilsson In The Night  album cover Nilsson* A Little Touch Of Schmilsson In The Night (Album) AYK1-3761 US 1981 Sell This Version
AYK1-3762 Peter Pan (An Original Cast Recording)  album cover Mary Martin Peter Pan (An Original Cast Recording)(Cass, Album, RE) RCA Victor AYK1-3762 US Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3764 Dolly Parton My Tennessee Mountain Home (Album) AYK1-3764 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3768 Guitar Boogie  album cover Eric Clapton / Jeff Beck / Jimmy Page Eric Clapton / Jeff Beck / Jimmy Page - Guitar Boogie (Comp) AYK1-3768 US 1980 Sell This Version
AYK1-3797 Crown Of Creation  album cover Jefferson Airplane Crown Of Creation(Cass, Album, RE) RCA Victor AYK1-3797 US Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3798 Bless Its Pointed Little Head  album cover Jefferson Airplane Bless Its Pointed Little Head (Album) AYK1-3798 US Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3799 Baron Von Tollbooth & The Chrome Nun  album cover Paul Kantner, Grace Slick & David Freiberg Paul Kantner, Grace Slick & David Freiberg - Baron Von Tollbooth & The Chrome Nun(Cass, Album, RE) Grunt (3) AYK1-3799 US Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3802 Como's Golden Records  album cover Perry Como Como's Golden Records (Comp) AYK1-3802 US Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3806 Transformer  album cover Lou Reed Transformer (Album) AYK1-3806 US Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3807 Coney Island Baby  album cover Lou Reed Coney Island Baby(Cass, Album) RCA AYK1-3807 US Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3808 Paul Anka's 21 Golden Hits  album cover Paul Anka Paul Anka's 21 Golden Hits (Comp) AYK1-3808 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3810 The Best Of Glenn Miller Vol. III  album cover Glenn Miller The Best Of Glenn Miller Vol. III(Cass, Album, Comp, RE) RCA, RCA Victor AYK1-3810 US Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3811 Nilsson* The Point! (Album) AYK1-3811 Canada 1983 Sell This Version
AYK1-3812 Son Of Schmilsson  album cover Nilsson* Son Of Schmilsson (Album) AYK1-3812 US Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3814 Hello, Dolly! (The Original Broadway Cast Recording)  album cover Carol Channing Hello, Dolly! (The Original Broadway Cast Recording)(Cass, Album, RE) RCA Victor AYK1-3814 US Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3822 The Best Of Mancini  album cover Henry Mancini The Best Of Mancini (Comp) AYK1-3822 US Unknown Sell This Version
AYK1-3838 Disco Gardens  album cover Shalamar Disco Gardens(Cass, Album, RP) Solar AYK1-3838 US 1980 Sell This Version

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August 29, 2018
What is the verdict on the sound quality of these "Best Buy" series LPs? Are they generally worth the discounted price or not?