In the early days of the rock era, there was a music service that most Millennials would find quaint, if not down right silly. It was the Record Club, which brought mail-order albums to kids (and adults) in towns across the land that otherwise wouldn't have had access to full-length albums by a large majority of the (then) subversive genres like rock and blues.
These clubs sucked you in by offering 12 albums for a penny...with the agreement that you'd pay full price for an album a month for a year. And, the hope that you'd continue for years to come. They made a boat load of money.
To be sure, there were months that subscribers ended up having to pick an album from an unknown to satisfy the contract. That happened to me in the fall of 1969 when I took a chance on a debut record from a band out of San Francisco I had never heard of called Cold Blood. I gotta be honest...I chose the LP for its cover; a cool mix of ice and blood in the prevailing cartoon-rock style of the Haight Ashbury scene (above). Yeah, I judged the album by its cover.
45 years later, I still smile whenever a digitized version of one of that album's songs shuffles forward in my iTunes collection. Every track has stood the test of time...and Lydia and the band are still playing up and down the left coast (they'll be in Sonoma next weekend).