by Dave Segal
on Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 10:43 AM
Back in the pre-internet age, record companies often solicited feedback from consumers by including forms inside LPs. Purchasers of records would fill out the questionnaire with a pen or pencil and then mail it, via the United States Postal Service, to the record company—which didn't even have the courtesy to provide a stamp. From our 21st-century vantage point, we can laugh at such crude methods of info-harvesting, but back in the '70s and '80s, this was a state-of-the-art business strategy in action.
I bring this up because I just found the form below in my copy of Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians on ECM. Its quaintness (the questionnaire's, not the music's) struck a deep chord of pathos in me. The copy reads:
Dear Record Buyer:
Thank you for adding this recording to your library. We hope you will enjoy it for years to come. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, kindly fill out and mail the coupon below. We appreciate the time you take to send us your comments. They are extremely helpful to us and our artists. Thank you for your patronage.