Armagideon Time

“The Nice Price” was a late 1970s branding initiative by CBS Records, where perennial backcatalog faves got badged and repriced as midbudget offerings.

Nearly all of my old Clash tapes and CDs sported the sticker when I bought them. The copy of Combat Rock that Maura scored for me somewhere still has its one on the plastic shrinkwrap. Alongside Warners’ similar “Super Saver Series” initiative, the The Nice Price was a boon for music fans of limited means in the 1980 and 1990s — providing one’s tastes ran at least a half decade behind the curve, which mine certainly did.

“That’s very interesting and all,” I head you asking, “but what does that have to do with ghosts and ghouls and other terrors that haunt our collective dreams?”

Well, did you know The Nice Price had its very own mascot?

Between the fluorescent orange of the discount stickers and CBS’s striking and instantly recognizable red block letters against a white spine trade dress for its tapes and compact discs, there doesn’t seem to be a compelling case for throwing a mascot into the mix — much less a hopped-up hellclown in search of human souls to harvest.

Yet “Red” existed. The sole saving grace of his blasphemous existence was that his reach was largely contained to point-of-sale promo material and print media, where the public could on average avoid having to associate his leering visage with This Year’s Model, London Calling, or Kings of the Wild Frontier

…until it was decided — in a fit of cocaine-fueled art-directed apocalypticism common the the 1980s — to manifest the monster in the live action flesh through a series of TV spots.


Recommended Listening: For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain a cassette copy of Screaming for Vengeance for $4.99, and lose his own soul?

2 Responses to “Halloween Countdown: Day 2 – Not very nice at all”

  1. Snark Shark

    “providing one’s tastes ran at least a half decade behind the curve, which mine certainly did.” My tastes are about 2 decades behind the curve, now! The Aerosmith tape i bought from Fred Meyers, back in `90 or os, had that sticker on it, too.

  2. Snark Shark

    ” a cassette copy of Screaming for Vengeance”. And THAT one I got at a garage sale!

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