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
Megadeth: The System Has Failed
Opeth: Ghost Reveries
Sepultura: Beneath the Remains
Second Order-Special Offer
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
Motorhead: The Very Best of Motorhead
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"
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.