Record Club vs. Store purchased records

When I was younger (a long time ago in a land far away) I used to acquire some records via Columbia Record Club, Capital Record Club etc. Now, when I listen to some of those lp's they just sound "thin or lacking". Was there a difference in those pressings or were they just not good recordings to begin with. The reason I ask is maybe I should look for replacements (used of course)that weren't from record clubs. All rock titles by the way.
good question, I have thought that too regarding some of those Columbia House records I have compared to other regular pressings.

So, all you vinyl nuts out there, help us out, was there a difference in the record club pressed vinyl? They do seem kind of crappy.
I am old and used to buy Columbia House LPs back in the Sixties. I was a teen then.
I, personally, never experienced a disparity between club and non-club LPs. I was a teen, and listened to mostly classical from the club. Most Pop I bought from local stores anyway.
The talk was that the clubs pressed thier own records. SO, if a POP record was from another company, and Columbia pressed it, it was a second hand copy, because the club had to make a mother from a second/third generation master, and generally were more 'in a hurry' than the original owners of the title.
Now this DID NOT APPLY to small labels, and small/slow sellers. Thus most of the Columbia House classical were original recordings. The pop artists LPs were the big loosers.
IMO all the clubs pressed the LPs for POP sellers in house. And sold original LPs for slow sellers/small lables/most classical music. They may have produced some of the really big classical sellers in house. In the 60's that stuff sold well..
You could still see that in the BMG CD club during the 90's.. They made most of the stuff in house. But a few small items from small labels came as the original (non-BMG) product.
Many of the clubs would/could NOT sell the other companies big artists. You could NOT buy an Elvis LP from columbia. Elvis was an RCA artist. You could never get the Beatles from the two main clubs because they were a Capitol group. (Capitol had a club, but it was smaller than the big two: RCA, and Columbia.)
Most of the early stuff from the clubs is NOT marked in any way as being a club product (except perhaps on the dead wax?). Though later they started marking the album covers, I have a few marked as being made for Columbia Record Club., and at least ONE LP that never was issued on LP except by a club! (the country artist was only on CD) After barcodes became common to keep the stuff from being returned to a store for a refund they all had markings for club sales only.
This is the best I know about the matter. and for exact markings etc, you need an expert.
Good info, Elizabeth.. I can remember playing some record club pop/rock pressings way back when I had crappy gear and could tell the pressings were lower grade then! I would say, trash all the columbia club pressings of pop/rock and try to find used on ebay or record store original 1st pressings if you can find them.
no difference in quality
I was a member of those clubs during the 70's and 80's. I received the same quality vinyl the stores carried with the same packaging. I found the Columbia club pressings and the Book of the Month Club pressings to be better than some of the other pressings. But during the 80's disco era the vinyl was thinner physically on almost all labels than in the 60's or 70's.
The import labels were thicker and quieter during the 80's. The Japanese labels were almost always better during this time. Allot of the late 70's, 80's and 90's rock, soul and jazz was done on floppy (dyna-flop type) vinyl. And may digital recordings were in the mix then as well. I guess what I'm trying to say is that quality went down tremendously during the 80's and 90's in all genre's.
These same records were printed in the millions of copies and quality did vary from run to run.

Try to find random copies of some of your vinyl and see if the quality is better. For instance Dire Straits Love over Gold. I have it on Germany, USA and another country which I can't remember right now. The Europen copies were very very good compared to some of the American copies.
I am old and used to get the Columbia House record club records in the 60's under various names and throw away the bills when they came.My sister taught me that and i later returned the favor by bailing her out of jail for selling pot.The Columbia stuff was mostly pressed at the Tere Haute plant and that is the address the CRC used and this was one,if not THE major pressing plants for Columbia records.They also ran a huge plant in Santa Maria,California.The real question is where in the pressing master stamper,were these records pressed? If the master stamper was set for 10,000 pressings,typical of major labels,then the pressings would be the same.My sense of it is these record club copies were pressed after the commercial release so they would be later in the stampers life.So not as bright and great sounding as the earlier stamped pressing runs-usually ordered at about 1,000 at a time for a major label at that time.Then again,with a big hit the record club copies could be from the first thousand of a NEW stamper....? What is not certain is the premium grade of vinyl for the actual pressing,they might have skimped a little here,but i do know they printed separate labels and amended jacket graphics for the record clubs..
The Columbia record club,when finally discontinued became,"Columbia Special Products" and they lasted long into the final hurrah of the original vinyl age.There may be some stamper master reference number in the dead wax that might answer this question but it has got to be untraceable at this point in time.This information might be uncovered in the distant future by another civilization at an ancient dumpsite in Indiana.By that time we will all be swirling ether.I used to love to look at those record club ads in the magazines,how else could a 14 year old boy end up with Monk,Miles,Billie and Duke?
In the sixties I worked for CBS and was very familiar with the Record Club operations since I was a financial overseer of Columbia Records operations. Quality of the record was a function of the vinyl mix and stamper run, not whether it was Club product or retail distribution. Record manufacturing was done, as noted at many plants. Quality control of the stampers and other parts of the operation varied considerable. Overall, both Club and Retail product was great. Still have many thousands of records that I received as a perk. By the way, the Club operation never made any real money despite the fact Club records that were offered in promo deals never had to pay royalties.
Buconero117, excellent info. What a cool job that must have been.
I just purchased a sealed copy of The Eagles 'The Long Run" Columbia House and it sounds damned good. If my memory serves me well I believe I have some others that are keepers
I have a Columbia House Record Club Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy.Deadwax has Sterling RL (Robert Ludwig) I can tell you it sounds Much better than any stock copy I have.