Plucked from the dollar bin: Judybats

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I find it impossible to stay away from a $1 CD bin and thankfully have discovered that there are a few prime locations to come away with huge scores if you’re willing to put the time in to digging through piles and piles of junk. This feature will focus on CDs that I’ve plucked out of dollar bins.

Judybats – Pain Makes You Beautiful (Warner Bros.)
Original release date: March 9, 1993
Purchased at: Half Price Books (Westerville, Ohio location)

Listening to the Judybats some 17 years after this release, it’s hard to believe that this lightweight, Brit-dream-pop-inspired music created by fresh-faced, just-out-of-college-looking Tennessee guys was considered “alternative”. But, in the early ’90s, artists like R.E.M. and Matthew Sweet … heck, even Toad the Wet Sprocket … were creating jangly pop music that didn’t really sound like the mainstream rock that closed out the ’80s. And, so, these bands WERE alternative when compared to artists like Poison, Genesis, Bobby Brown, New Kids on the Block, and whatever else dominated the charts during my final high school days.

While I was busy wearing flannel shirts and Doc Martens, piercing my nose, showering less than every day, and trying to discover the next up-and-coming band coming out of Seattle before the rest of my friends did, a college girlfriend of mine was burying her nose in N.M.E., Alternative Press and SPIN and was building a CD collection composed of bands who showed up regularly on MTV’s “alternative rock” show, 120 Minutes. Admittedly, through her influence, I became a reluctant fan of bands like The Posies, The Lemonheads, My Bloody Valentine, Chapterhouse and the Judybats.

It’s probably been 16 or 17 years since I last heard the Judybats’ Pain Makes You Beautiful but when I saw it in the dollar bin, I could hear “Being Simple” playing in my head and figured it was worth picking up for nostalgia sake. What surprised me was how recognizable the songs were, especially considering that I never owned a copy of this CD back in the ’90s. I’m not sure back then that I knew the Judybats were from Tennessee and as I re-listened to this CD for the first time in nearly two decades, I thought for sure that the singer (Jeff Heiskell) was British and was actually a little surprised to see that they band was from the good old U.S.A.

Often times, when I pluck these types of CDs out of the dollar bin, I’ll give them a listen or two and then put them on my own CD shelves to collect dust for a few years. Thirty-five or 40 minutes worth of entertainment for a buck? Can’t beat that. So, it always feels like a particularly good score when these dollar CDs wind up in a somewhat regular rotation such as Pain Makes You Beautiful has since I picked it up a week before Christmas.

John Hughes, of Pop Dose, did a nice job explaining Why You Should Like the Judybats back in 2008.

As usual, I’ll point you to Amazon.com where there are many used copies of Pain Makes You Beautiful for under a dollar.

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