Saturday, March 27, 2010

My Metal History Pt. 7: BMG Music Club Membership

I was bored recently and tried to look this club up and found that they no longer exist. At least not in the sense that they once did. You can be a member and download stuff from them, but you can no longer by CDs.

How many out there were members of this?

I remember early on in my formative metal days, I desperately wanted to join because it seemed like a good way to get lots of albums and not have to go to the stores. My friend was a member in late elementary/early middle school as well. I used to pour through his monthly catalogs and be envious that my parents would not let me join. They also had ads in music magazines and I would go through and circle all the albums I wanted.

My parents did not want me to be a member because they were once members of the Columbia House CD and movie clubs and had gotten a lot of stuff that they never really listened to or watched much afterwards. They also believed it to be too expensive for a young teenager. I forgot about for several years after that.

It was not until I moved to St. Paul after graduating from law school that I finally joined the club. I signed up and sent in my first order, which was the seven free CDs, with only the cost of shipping. When I finally got those (there was a problem with the delivery, it took a couple months to get my CDs), I pretty much immediately saw a decent deal and ordered three more albums. Then I had to purchase an album, and got three more free CDs at that time. At that point, I had fulfilled my membership obligations, but I did place four more orders before ending my membership.

There were several issues with this club:

First of all, if you ever had to pay the full price on an album, and according to your contract you did have to purchase at least one full price album, the cost was extremely high. Full price was about $18.00. That's insane. The best time to place an order was when they had a great deal. They had special offers frequently. Sometimes, you could order albums and get a number of free albums with it. Other times, the prices were discounted. Those were the most frequent times I placed orders.

Secondly, shipping cost was approximately $3.00 per album. So, even the seven free albums cost me $21.00. That is also insane.

Third, selection was terrible. By the time I was interested, much of the metal stuff was no longer carried or was to be discontinued soon. I managed to get quite a few CDs, but they were very mainstream metal albums. This club was great for people who listened to mainstream music, but their metal selection was sorely lacking.

Finally, one of the big problems with the club was the Selection of the Month tailored to fit your favorite genre of music. Essentially, they sent an email with this selection and if you did not respond within a certain number of days, they would send it automatically to you and bill your credit card for it. I think you only had 14 days to respond. I think for the entire time I was a member, I only got the selection of the month three times. I was pretty quick about rejecting it whenever I got the email. However, I wonder how this was handled before the internet?

You accumulated points by placing orders and after so many points, you could get a free CD. I might have gotten the points once, but I can't remember when I would have done this and which CD it was. It probably came in one of the larger orders for the special offer.

All in all, I bought several albums from the club. I will post the whole list. It was okay while it lasted, but I got out when it became evident that they were purging their metal inventory even more. All of the Iron Maiden and Judas Priest albums were being discontinued. It also became clear that they just were not getting good stuff in, as evident from the fact that I only got the Selection of the Month three times. It became obvious that I could get those albums cheaper elsewhere.

Membership in the club allowed me to fill in some holes in some of the more mainstream bands, but once that was accomplished, there was no reason to continue.

First Order-Seven free CDs
Annihilator: The Best Of
Anthrax: Among the Living
Black Sabbath: Master of Reality
Chimaira: Chimaira
Megadeth: The System Has Failed
Opeth: Ghost Reveries
Sepultura: Beneath the Remains

Second Order-Special Offer
Cynic: Focus
Dragonforce: The Valley of the Damned
Mercyful Fate: Don't Break the Oath

Third Order-Full price
Obituary: Frozen in Time

Fourth Order-Three Free CDs (Fulfill membership obligation)
Celtic Frost: Into the Pandemonium
Judas Priest: Screaming for Vengeance
Venom: Black Metal

Fifth Order-Special offer
Sepultura: Arise
Motorhead: The Very Best of Motorhead
Death: Symbolic
Black Sabbath: Heaven and Hell
King Diamond: Abigail
Judas Priest: Defenders of the Faith
3 Inches of Blood: Advance and Vanquish

Sixth Order-Selection of the Month plus special offer
Shadows Fall: Threads of Life (Selection of the Month)
Anthrax: Persistence of Time
Corrosion of Conformity: In the Arms of God
Iron Maiden: The Number of the Beast

Seventh Order-Selection of the Month plus special offer
Black Sabbath: The Dio Years (Selection of the Month)
King Diamond: "Them"
Opeth: Deliverance
Queensryche: The Warning

Eighth Order-Selection of the Month
Megadeth: United Abominations

I think I kept the membership active for a few more months after receiving the final order before I just canceled the membership.


  1. I was a member of one or the other of those clubs, I can't remember which. As I recall, I only had to get the initial order and then was able to discontinue the membership (with no small hassle). This was about the time I was first getting into metal, early in high school. As I recall, these were the albums I got:

    Danzig -- Danzig

    Black Sabbath -- Paranoid

    Masters of Misery (a Sabbath tribute album by some very extreme bands like An*l C*nt)

    Nativity in Black (another Sabbath tribute album, but by more mainstream groups such as Ugly Kid Joe, Faith No More, etc.)

    Korn -- ADIDAS

    Metal Massacre XII (the compilation album by Metal Blade)

    Those are the only ones I can remember for sure. I think I may have also gotten Chaos A.D. by Sepultura and Ride the Lightning by Metallica, and probably at least one more, but I'm not sure. For me, it was the shipping that was the problem, and also the fact my income was very sporadic at that time in my life, so I couldn't guarantee I would be able to buy more albums.

  2. I have the Nativity in Black album and even covered in a Black Sabbath cover song blog. I like that one quite a bit. I have not heard of the Masters of Misery one and I would be interested in knowing what was on the Metal Massacre album. I have one of their other comps and have usually liked Metal Blade as a label.

  3. There was also a Nativity in Black II released several years later, which has Slayer doing an excellent "Hand of Doom" and Static-X and System of a Down doing bizarre versions of "Behind the Wall of Sleep" and "Snowblind," respectively. I'm looking it up right now, and apparently there is a 3rd one which I will now have to get, but Wikipedia only mentions it exists and doesn't provide a playlist.

    Sadly, I ended up parting with both Metal Massacre XII and Masters of Misery. I don't think I was ready for extreme metal at that time. It wasn't until about 5 years ago I really got into any extreme stuff, and maybe 2 years ago that I started to prefer the extreme.

    According to the Wikipedia article on Metal Massacre, this is the tracklisting:

    "Paingod" - Paingod – 4:02
    "Sweething" - Crisis – 3:45
    "Exhume Her" - Pist.On – 4:14
    "Godlessness" - Avernus – 7:37
    "Det Glemte Riket" - Ancient – 6:56
    "The Allknowing" - Level – 5:12
    "Wolf" - Tipper Gore – 3:55
    "Rain Dance" - Gunga Din – 3:52
    "Cry to Heaven" - Divine Regale – 3:58
    "#3" - Pervis – 3:01
    "Anti [Coat Hanger Mix]" - And Christ Wept – 4:03
    "The Wounded" - Amboog-A-Lard – 4:52
    "Human Harvest" - Eulogy – 4:57
    "Twodegreesbelow" - Overcast – 4:48
    "Arizona Life" - Big Twin Din – 3:13

    There's nothing really notable on that. I recall liking the Pist.On song; they sound a lot like Life of Agony.

    Amazon has the playlist for Masters of Misery:

    1. Wheels of Confusion - Cathedral
    2. Snowblind - Sleep
    3. Zero the Hero - Godflesh
    4. Hole in the Sky - Confessor
    5. Killing Yourself to Live - A.C.
    6. Changes - Fudge Tunnel
    7. Who Are You? - Old
    8. Lord of This World - Brutal Truth
    9. Paranoid - Ultraviolence
    10. N.I.B. - Pitchshifter
    11. Wizard - Scorn
    12. Cornucopia - Iron Monkey
    13. Solitude - Cathedral

    Who the hell covers "Changes" or "Who Are You"? Those are throw-away songs. I'm going to have to see if I can scare this one up so I can do a review of it, now that I have an appreciation for the extreme.

  4. Sorry for the double-post, but I found the tracklisting for the third NIB album:

    1 - Anthrax - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
    2 - Helmet - Lord Of This World
    3 - Pantera - Hole In The Sky
    4 - Soundgarden - Into The Void
    5 - Earth Crisis - Children of the grave
    6 - Astroqueen - A National Acrobat
    7 - Soulfly - Under The Sun
    8 - Sabotage - Paranoid
    9 - Iron Savior - Neon Knights
    10 - Danzig - Hand of doom
    11 - NOFX - Iron Man
    12 - Throne Of Ahaz - Black Sabbath

    I already have the Danzig one, and am really not interested in the NOFX. Not sure who Throne of Ahaz is. The Soulfly song was on the 2nd one, so I'm not sure why it's on the 3rd one.

  5. Hmm, that Metal Massacre compilation isn't terribly noteworthy. Although it did come at a bad time period for metal. I'm familiar with Ancient, Paingod, and Crisis. Amboog-a-lard is noteworthy because it was the original band for Jeordie White who later joined Marilyn Manson and became Twiggy Ramirez.

    I'm familiar with the second Nativity in Black album as well and covered it in the same Black Sabbath cover album post. I really enjoyed the Machine Head and Pantera songs.

    I had no idea there was a third one. Do you have a link to where you found that info? The Anthrax, Pantera, Danzig, and Soundgarden songs sound interesting. I have no desire to hear NOFX cover "Iron Man" though. That's pretty much blasphemy.

    I've heard the "Who are You?" cover by OLD. It's not very good, but neither was the original. Other than that, I like Cathedral, Confessor, Sleep, Godflesh, and Iron Monkey. There's a lot of doom on that track list.

  6. I found that info at this site:

    I'm not sure, but upon closer inspection I don't think it is a legitimate collection. I think it is something put together by a fan. The other collections had new songs on them, and it looks like all the songs exist on other recordings by those artists.

    I suspected the art on the "cover" to the album was just one from the other albums, but it's not. However, if you look at it closely (on that link above), you can see the text on the list of bands is poorly aligned, as if by an amateur using MSPaint. So, I think it's a hoax; although I think all the songs do exist, they don't exist as an available compilation album.

  7. Oh yeah (sorry for the double post again) the Danzig song is on Blackacidevil, his foray into industrial metal, which is a pretty good album.

  8. Yeah that does look like a fake. Ah well.