Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Last Records of 2016, and 2017's Horizon

So here we are well over a month since Christmas, and I'm just now discussing the records I got for Christmas. If your household is anything like mine though, the house remains in relative holiday upheaval until somewhere near mid-January. It's by this time the decorations should be fully down and put away, and that you start to make some connection to where you left off on things before Thanksgiving arrived. To me this meant connecting back with some of my hobbies, including record collecting and the act of just listening to records. So what better place to start all that back up than with my vinyl Christmas presents.

This year I was lucky to get two vinyl items off my Amazon list. The first is Meghan Trainor's Thank You on special edition duel colored 180g. The other was the special edition of Mumford & Sons Babel: The Singles, which is a special collection of the iconic Babel album broken down onto 45's, in all honesty it's only something a fan would collect.

A Brief Review of Thank You

If you listened to Meghan Trainor's debut album Title, then you'll know she primarily went with a modernized doo-wop sound, much like her iconic It's all About That Bass. Intermixed though where elements of genre's such as a bit of modern pop and hip-hop like Bang Dem Sticks, a song destined to be one of the albums deep tracks. In Thank You Meghan Trainor not only choose to reinvent herself with her change to red hair from blond, but also decided to ditch the doo-wop sounds that made her so famous to begin with, and focus on pop and hip-hop elements. The first single to come out of her new sophomore album was NO which had a catchy modern beat and worked well at introducing Trainor's overall new style.  Two months later Me Too was released, again another catchy pop song that served as a summer anthem in 2016.

Although a third single has yet really hit the top of the charts I will say other songs on the album, like Woman Up, and Champagne Problems have potential. Now, I could say that Trainor's sophomore album is, like many sophomore attempts, proof that the sophomore slump exists with newer artist, but that's hard to say in this case since its not an apples to apples comparison between Title and Thank You. I will say that I was expecting to hear at least a little bit of Trainor's signature doo-wop sound, but with that also said I will say that this is a pretty good pop album even if it hasn't fully caught on. I can't wait to hear what Ms. Trainor will be giving us on future albums.


Babel: The Singles

I actually already reviewed Babel a few years back when I got the 33' for Christmas, you can find the review here. This as previously stated is definitely a fan based set. Here Babel is broken down into 45's giving you that much more involved with the music feeling that only 45's can give you as you flip each over and switch them out on a single song level. Honestly speaking though if there is one album that needs a closer listening to its this one, since it's such a well done and beautiful piece of musical artistry.









2017's Horizon

For me record collecting has has always been a fairly casual pursuit in the way of a hobby, but of course that's just me and I know that there are some folks out there who take all of this very seriously, and that's their prerogative. I guess I have more of a relaxed outlook on it though since I've been part of a generation that has the ability to carry it's favorite music everywhere. This especially includes those not so relaxed places like work, in the car during traffic jam, or even while working out. CD's, electronic formats, and even tape cassettes have in many ways made the past 30 years about hearing music, but not hearing the music. So the return to records has presented me with the ability to stop and listen to music in a setting that is more conducive to actually hearing and appreciating the music more. This is also one of the reasons I now purchase most of my new music (like the above) on vinyl, with the added bonus of the electronic download element.

The interesting part about the return to vinyl, is that as it's had some interesting repercussions on other music mediums recently. A few years ago I wrote and article on this blog called To Old Tech, or Not To Old Tech about how I have debated making a multiple CD player, and tape deck part of my listening room. At the time, now three and a half years ago, I wondered when this old tech would receive the attention that records were starting to receive at that time, as it turns out for cassettes that time is now. On my facebook page for this blog, I posted an article a few weeks back about the surprise increase in demand for cassettes in 2016, or as the article would state a 74% increase between 2015 and 16'. It sounds very impressive but demand for new recorded music cassettes in numbers actually went from 74,000 in 2015 to 129,000 in 2016. Not super impressive when you look at it that way, but this is also where vinyl started a few years back.

So what does all this have to do with 2017 for me? Well perhaps it's too late to make a New Years Resolution for collecting in 2017, but there are a few things I would like to attempt to do before this year ends;

  • One is that I would of course like to expand my collection a bit more. 
  • Also I would really like to have a choosen night every week when at least a few records get played, of course against the backdrop of a good dinner and a few glasses of wine would be perfect, but we'll see. 
  • Lastly, I would like to expand into other mediums ever so slightly. I have some of my original tape cassettes on hand, and to be honest the concept of buying new music on a cassette is a bit thrilling even though outlets for new tapes are understandably sparse. 

My overall objective is to keep this a relaxed hobby that I enjoy, and love to share. 




  

Friday, September 16, 2016

Discovering the Audio-Technica LP-60

About a year ago or so ago my old Sony turntable started to act a bit funny, and records started to play a little slowly. To be honest at that point it was near fifteen years old and even though it hadn't seen an excessive amount of use, it did get knocked around in various moves, so its development of problems seemed natural.

I don't really know how it happened but as a family we almost felt naked without a record player. It was a feeling I never thought we would experience. So my next logical step was to grab the Pyle record player, I had gotten for Christmas a few years back, from my basement rec room and drop it in the place of the old Sony. The Pyle is an OK record player, but I've found that the needle and arm are a bit too light and records can skip or sound a bit off especially the 78's even though this is my only record player that can play them. In addition to this the Pyle's on-board speakers aren't bypassed when you use its r/w RCA jacks, meaning the small speakers are still working while you have it connected to your receiver, which can produce a slight amount of unpleasant listening. But this whole challenge would be short lived.

With a new house purchased we would begin moving in June of 2015, and be moved fully into the new house by July. But with a new house also came new sound based challenges, one of which being that my old sound system didn't really work with my new living room space, meaning it was time to really upgrade. I have to admit my old Panasonic-Technics receiver and self power sub-woofer have been with me forever and still can rock the house, and do now in my basement, but putting them out to the rec-room pasture was never something I thought I would have to do. With that said it was hard to put them into retirement, especially when I knew so little about their modern sound-bar replacements. Having come of age in the era of Dolby 5.1 surround sound, it was hard to put my faith in a single center speaker. So o work myself into the new world of sound wonders, I opted to go with a sound bar with blue tooth rear speakers and sub-woofer and together they do the job, when I can turn it up that is.

Of course with a soundbar came a few other issues, for instance most modern soundbars aren't equipped with the counter-polar phonograph RCA inputs. In looking at them this is something that amazed me since sound bars have more or less been ushered in along side the resurgence of vinyl of the past few years. This meant if we purchased a new soundbar the Pyle record player wouldn't be able to be connected directly to it. So I set out to look for a newer soundbar friendly record player, well testing a new Blue-tooth adapter on the Pyle that could connect it wirelessly to the sound bar. The good news on that was that the Blue-tooth connection worked, the bad news is that I was still dealing with the Pyle's on-board speakers, and its tendency to skip. So it was definitely time for a new record player.

In my research one name in particular kept coming up, Audio-Technica and their LP-120 record player. The nice thing about the LP-120 was that not only was it well reviewed on multiple sites, but it had a USB version that could be connected directly to a computer (in case I ever decided to become a DJ on a whim) or more importantly to the USB port on my soundbar. The only issue was that the LP-120 goes for anywhere between $250-$300. In the world of audiophiles a price like this is considered to be a bargain, but to me $250-$300 was a pretty hefty investment since our record player was more for just enjoying the music as a family, and not listening for the nuances in the music many audiophiles claim they can detect better with $2000+ record players. It's at that point another Audio-Technica record player in red caught my eye. This was the LP-60, and although it didn't have some of the LP-120's bells and whistles, it like its big brother came very highly reviewed, as a best value, and and for performing better than record players going for 5 times as much. Going back to the same sites I reviewed the LP-120 on, I found it was the same story for the LP-60. Of course let me tell you one more thing about the LP-60, it has its own built in pre-amp, and can also plug into any audio jack, no need for the reverse poles of its predecessors. So with an Amazon gift card I got for Christmas, and some extra cash I bought the lovely LP-60 in red and received it a few days later.



Anxious to listen to records we got for Christmas, as well as revisit a few others, we went through the process of plugging the new system in. Of course we tried it wirelessly with the Blue-tooth adapter but had no luck, and then finally with some RCA cable extensions we got it hooked up to the soundbar. After a little frustration getting the pre-amp set, the first record, Adele's 25 went on. It was at that point my wife, an avid Adele fan, heard that things sounded a bit off and it was playing a little fast. This began the frustrating process of flipping the record player over and adjusting the speed controls built inconspicuously in the bottom of the player. It took several attempts, and about a good half-hour but finally we got Adele, Amy Winehouse, and everyone else to follow, to a pitch perfect.


My Likes About This System:

-Choice of Color
-Built in Pre-Amp
-No Need for Special Phonograph Input
-Great Sound
-High Quality, Low Price

My Dislikes
-Speed Didn't Come Calibrated
-Speed and Pre-Amp Controls a bit Hidden  




Despite it's price this is a very high quality unit, and shouldn't be classified in the same ranks as other record players in the same price point. Many of which like Pyle, Crosley and others, are selling based on appearance and superficial retro looks, but not are not up to the task of being used for serious listening. I would suggest this record player for anyone looking to get into or back into vinyl record collecting, who wants a system that can connect with and existing stereo setup, but doesn't want to break the bank doing so.  


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Back To Black- The Amy Winehouse Effect

So far one of the biggest pop hits of 2015 is Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson. Of course considering the song hit the charts so early in the year, time will tell if it actually makes it to becoming a summer anthem or not. If you know the song though you have to admit it's extremely catchy, easy to dance to, and is just a fantastic feel good song that could easily be a summer hit.

So one day while messing around on YouTube, I came cross the video for Uptown Funk and decided to go ahead and watch it. To say the least  I wasn't disappointed, the video turned out to be as fun as the song itself was. Of course YouTube being YouTube you find yourself quickly lead to other videos based on what you just watched and I was given the option of watching some additional Bruno Mars videos or some of Mark Ronson's additional work. I will openly admit that of course I had to watch Bruno Mars video for The Lazy Song, but after that I decided to check out some of Mark Ronson's work. I very quickly came across the video for Valarie, a song Ronson had collaborated with Amy Winehouse on back in 2007. The video is unique though in that it was produced posthumously after Winehouse's death and although it features her vocals the video does not feature her but rather a group of young women "The Wine-ettes" lip syncing the song while on stage. Although I really liked the video itself particularly the very attractive "Wine-ettes", what I liked more about it was the song itself one I had come to love hearing over the past year.



The song Valarie, as well as most of Amy Winehouse's Back To Black album have become a soundtrack to many a Friday or Saturday night spent relaxing over a few beers or glasses of wine at my house. The ruckus nature of Monday through Thursday night's might demand the more upbeat sound pop music can bring us, but Fridays demand a smoother and slightly more somber sound that relaxes the muscles and adds a capstone to the stress bought on by the weekdays. So its not uncommon for us to set Pandora to the Adele station while we eat dinner and indulge in a few hours of conversation afterword. Of course there where many a night I found myself rushing to look at Pandora to see who was singing, and long behold it was usually Winehouse, and usually something off Back To Black.

I have to admit that this was something that caught me off guard since I was never really into Winehouse's music when she was alive. I know that sounds weird but lets be honest back in 2007 Winehouse's Rehab, was one of those songs that was so overplayed you found your hand heading for the radio dial to turn it off within the first few beats. Of course for me the aversion to her and her music was only magnified by her personal life being in the news all the time as Winehouse and her husband found themselves in one drug related scrap after another until her death in 2011. Once the sensationalism of Winehouses death had passed though, the media quickly forgot about her and just added her to the "Left us too Young" roster they so often do. With that said though her music has become an acquired taste for me, and even something I can identify with despite my past misgivings. 

This newly found enjoyment of her music made me want to explore everything Back To Black had to offer, and what I found surprised me. Back To Black not only cradled Rehab, but also Valarie (B-sides) and the albums haunting title song Back To Black. However, the albums deep tracks are also highly stunning and offer us a chance to hear the fusion of modern pop sounds blended with classic R&B, that form the basis of Winehouse's signature sound. The album is soulful, moody, and even a bit dark at times but all that is set against the juxtaposition of a sound reminiscent of 1950s and 60s R&B and Motown melodies and beats. 




The end product of Back To Black is a type of music that I would not only call unique but also highly influential. Back To Black particularly on vinyl would not only change listeners taste and reception to this type of music, but would also have an influence on artist that would follow Winehouse into the movement towards a classic R&B revival. In 2008 only a year after Back To Black's release we would see Duffy release her Rockferry, and Adele release her 19. Both albums and artist are heavily classic R&B influenced and take a serious cue from Winehouse, with Duffy giving us a sound more faithful to 1960's R&B and Motown, and Adele giving us a mix of classic R&B and Pop. Adele's follow up album 21 released in 2011, and recording of Skyfall in 2013 for the James Bond film of the same name would further hone her sound, and expand upon Winehouse's and Back to Black's early influence.  


Although, Winehouse's influence initially impacted her fellow U.K. artist, her sound did catch on in the United States. Artist such as the previously mentioned Bruno Mars, and my personal favorites Nick Waterhouse and Meghan Trainor all have sounds that are in part influenced by Winehouse's work, but have also seen success based on grounds paved by Winehouse. Listeners appetites for Waterhouse's late 50's and early 60's American R&B sounds, and Mars, Trainor, and even Olly Murs (U.K) 1950's rock and Doo-Woop influences, where developed by what listeners where given in 2007 by Winehouse and Back To Black



Although its influence on artist has become more and more prominent over the last few years, the direct impact Back To Black would have on listener's was slightly more subtle. Winehouse's and Back To Black's sound arrived at the right time, it was a more traditional pop sound that had come a long during a time when mainstream pop music was begining to feel a little too canned. The mixture of auto-tune, singing teen TV stars, and mid-song rap intrusions had made modern pop music laughable and sent most of us longing for something with substance running to satellite radio, and our iPods. When Rehab arrived on top 40 stations it gave us a reminder as to how music use to sound, and made most of us recall the music our parents listened to and harkened us back to the days of Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, Burt Bacharach, and vinyl records. Sadly, though as previously mentioned Rehab was played ad nauseam till some of its charm was lost, but the sound remained and obviously wasn't forgotten. It only seems fitting that as vinyl would come back so would a form of music that had dominated the medium two generations before, and Back To Black would a quintessential album to do that with. 

I'm not going to end this posting by claiming that Back To Black is one of the most influential albums of the 21st century so far.  I am however, going to end by saying that time will tell especially considering the albums reach into current music. Back To Black and Amy Winehouse are obviously as of now, somewhat of a footnote in music history even though Back To Black is a popular title amongst vinyl collectors of current generation music. So the question is as the album continues to sell and catch on in the vinyl medium despite its creator having passed on, what further impact will it have as its discovered by new listeners?     



 

 





Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Where the Record Meets the Road

When I got my new record player for Christmas last year and saw that it could play 78's I knew that it would open up a whole new world for me. In many ways 78's are almost indicative of the big band era. At that time 45's were something that belonged in a jukebox and 33's although in existence by the 1940's were as common as DVDs were in 1995. So on the home scene 78's were pretty much the format of choice, and that dated back to the time when 78's replaced the first wax cylinders of recorded music.

Initially for me 78's weren't that easy to find. For the most part they where and somewhat still are pretty rare birds to find in thrift stores and resell shops. As for my local brick-and-mortar record store he has 78's but they are located in bins on the floor that are almost impossible to navigate due to the fact that there are so many 78's stuffed into them.

For me the pain resulting from the inability to find 78's was only worsened by the memory of having given away all my grandmothers 78's after she had died. Many of these 78's were from the big band era and had some pretty great songs on them. But as the saying goes "if hindsight or 20/20". 

So as usual I found myself heading to eBay to find records that I really wanted. But the question became what song and/or what artist did I want to have in my collection first?

Being both a vinyl record enthusiasts and a Route 66 enthusiasts, as you know from reading my blogs, the answer came to me pretty quickly. The song I had to have on 78' was Route 66 by The Nat King Cole Trio.


The song or this particular version of it is the one that inspired me the most to someday travel the route. This version by The Nat King Cole Trio, was made following the war and filled with the optimism the US had in the late 1940's. It was a song about traveling and discovering the United States as a whole. This version was made in an era when Route 66 was in its heyday and when the United States seemed to look towards the west specifically California and the Los Angeles area as the places to be and where hope could be found for the future. The Nat King Cole Trio delivers the song with such an incredibly upbeat feel good tempo that there's no way you can't possibly enjoy this particular version. There is also no way that you can deny the urge to travel Route 66 after you hear this version of the song.

You see this version was actually the first big time the song Route 66 was performed. The song itself was only a few months old by the time it was handed over to The Nat King Cole Trio. It's writer Bobby Troup although known for sometimes performing his own works decided that he would give this song to The Nat King Cole Trio, who had achieved a great deal of success with their unique sound towards the end of World War II and immediately following the war. If you want to know more history about Bobby Troup and how the song was originally written please see my article (http://route66forfamily.blogspot.com/2013/09/route-66-song-and-introducing-your-kids.html?m=1). To say the least Troup's choice to allow someone else to record it led to the song becoming a huge success. 

Although the Nat King Cole Trio would popularize the song and bring it to the top of the charts they would not be the last artist to do so. The Rolling Stones, and even more recently John Mayer would be just a few of the many artists to remake the song and keep it fresh with American and even international audiences.

As for the actual record itself that I received it took me some time to get used to the way a 78 sounds. The song does sound quite good but I do believe that the needle arm and needle itself on my record player may perhaps be too light for the 78. Both the 45's and 33's have sounded phenomenal on this little record player but the 78 for some reason sounds a bit off and/or even a bit distant. Having studied 78's and having seen them being played in many a black-and-white movie I do believe that there might be something to the fact that this needle is just a little too light for 78's. 

Overall though I am extremely happy to have Route 66 by The Nat King Cole Trio as the first 78 enter my collection. Now if I could only find a second one that I could put under glass and hang on my wall.

If you're reading this on my Route 66 blog be sure to check out my vinyl record blog at http://amateurvinylrecordcollector.blogspot.com/?m=1

And if you're reading this on my vinyl record blog be sure to check out my Route 66 blog at http://route66forfamily.blogspot.com/?m=1

Thank you again for reading!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Record Store Day

If your like me you may find yoirsf waiting in a huge line like this.

Free records and a 100+ limited edition titles to choose from. Hopefully for you unlike in my case your store will open on time. 

Anyway happy hunting and Happy Records Store Day!!


Monday, February 3, 2014

Journey's: Escape

Where were you in 82'?

Have you ever seen Tron: Legacy? Probably one of the best scenes in the movie is when the main character Sam walks into his fathers old video arcade, flips the breaker and all the machines go on and Journeys Seperate Ways comes on the juke box. For a lover of retro games and old vinyl it gets your heart pumping, and really makes you miss the old days of great video arcades and music on a Saturday night. What's really interesting about the use of this song in Tron: Legacy is not just that it was popular when the first Tron movie came out in 1982, but that in this movie about video games Journeys 1981 album Escape had a video game based on it, also in 1982.

Thats right? The early 80's classic filled side to side with great music including songs like Seperate WaysDon't Stop Believing, and Faithfully had a video game based on it. 


Jouney Escape Vinyl Album and Atari 2600 game. Be sure to check out my vinyl record collecting blog Diary of An Amateur Vinyl Record Collector at http://amateurvinylrecordcollector.blogspot.com/?m=1 or my retro video gaming blog The Retro Video Gaming Blog for the Mid-Core Gamer at http://retrovideogamingblog.blogspot.com/?m=1


The Album

Escape is actually Journeys eighth album, but it was the first to go to number 1 on Billboard. The album was released in July of 1981, and saw its first hit Who's Crying Now before 1981 was out. After that the album would see hit after memorable hit with Stone In Love exiting the charts in 1984. Escape would leave an indelible print on music of the early 80's and on music of the 80's in general, and would also influence the afore mentioned Tron, when Journey would be asked to do part of the original movies soundtrack. 

The Record

This was another eBay purchase that I am pretty pleased with. It was a quick transaction and the record came in exactly the condition described, which is in fantastic. No scratches or any thing else, nice clean play all the way through. Best of all its a great up beat album from start to finish, and really gets your night rolling by putting you in a good mood. As you can see in the photo above the album cover itself is also an phenomenal shape with its original shrink wrap and stickers still intact. It was another great buy on eBay and one heck of a bargain.

Journey: Escape - The Game

Data Age released Escape in 1982, and it was the first video game of its kind to be based on a popular music group and album. The game is actually fairly simple and consist of a black down scrolling screen and of a little man that you must control on the screen meant to represent a security guard trying to help the band to get to their scarab shaped escape vehicle, well also trying to hang onto the $50,000 in concert money. Along the way the little man avoid hearts with legs which are meant to be groupies, bodiless heads with mustaches and shifty eyes that are meant to be promoters, barricades, and flashing yellow lights which are meant to be paparazzi. Along the way you can get help from what appear to be little aliens with antennas but I understand they are actually meant to be roadies who give you the temporary power to walk through various obstacles. Also supposedly there is the band manager who looks inexplicably like the Kool-Aid man and he is also supposed to help you although I have never run across him in my gameplay. Your ultimate goal is to reach the yellow scarab escape vehicle which you probably could pass-by pretty easily if you weren't looking for it,  and to reach it while hanginh onto as much of the concert money as possible. Keep in mind that each obstacle you walk into will take some of the money from you. Every time you help the band reach the escape vehicle a new level starts and each level gets progressively harder where obstacles no longer stay stationary but the begin to move towards you or cross the screen in random directions. The game obviously ends once all the money is taken from you.

As far as the game music the only actual Journey song we hear is Don't Stop Believing in the games intro, during the actual gameplay itself we are given some sort of generic music that is in no way related to anything by Journey.

Gameplay

Without going online and looking at the directions I had a hard time actually trying to figure out what the heck I was supposed to be doing and who was friend an who was foe coming at me. Luckily, I was able to find instructions on Atariage, and after that the game actually became pretty interesting and kind of fun,  and at times even challenging. 

Other then that it's  a pretty good game but there are a few things that I was little let down by. First of all considering Escapes album cover I expected the game to have some sort of sci-fi theme to it. After all the album cover for Escape shows a scarab breaking out of a planet or something into outerspace and then on the back of album shows the scarab zooming off into outer space. Of course that's fairly minor but the biggest letdown is that there wasn't any actual Journey music during gameplay. Sure it's nice to hear Don't Stop Believing in intro but it would have been cool to have actual Journey music throughout.


Overall though I have to say that I am really impressed by both the album and the videogame. Both Escape's are fantastically entertaining, although the album has much more and notoriety and is pretty well remembered, while the videogame lives obscurity. I can only imagine being a teenager in 1982 and feeling like I was on top of the world having Journey's Escape playing on the record player well I played the accompanying game on my Atari 2600. It must've been a heck of a way to waste a Saturday evening back then in what seemed like much simpler times. I have to say I thoroughly enjoy owning this album and I really have enjoyed having a chance to play the game. If you have a chance to buy this particular album on vinyl I would definitely suggest doing so because nothing else sounds the same. And if you have the chance to buy the Atari 2600 game for it do so as well. You won't be let down by either.


 

Monday, January 20, 2014

What $110 Buys

Monday January 20, 2014

Happy Martin Luther King day or whatever. 

With this bonus day to the weekend I decided today is the day I'm going to the record store with the gift certificates I got for Christmas. Today though unlike the previous times there would be no wife and baby waiting in the car for me and I would also have the oldest with me but pacified due to a trip to the comic book store beforehand. Although doing this visit by myself would be optimal and far more efficient, it's worth it to have my oldest with so as to expose him to the days when we had to search for our music and records in bins and not simply look them up on iTunes. 

Today's visit worked out pretty well though and I was able to pick up 8 new records for my collection including, or as you may have guessed some pretty choice selections. 


As you can probably guess here are my two most expensive records. The Beatles Yellow Submarine, ($25) and Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band ($50). The gatefolds could be in better shape but the records themselves are in very good shape and cleaned by the record store. Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band is the album that has impressed me the most and I can see why it was such and influential album, it's music is fun and peppy and had a sound that was ahead of its time. As for Yellow Submarine the music is also great and whimsical, but I didn't expect the movie orchestrations on the B-side. 



Jouneys Evolution ($4.50) and Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon ($8). Evolution as is usually the case for Journey, has a great beat from beginning to end. Dark Side of the Moon on the other hand is Pink Floyd at their best, but the album is more chill than the rocking sound of Evolution, but is rightfully a classic. Pink Floyd helped push music to its limits with this album. The Journey album is still in great shape shrink wrap and all, Dark Side of the Moon on the other hand is in good shape on vinyl  but the gatefold is in pretty bad shape.



Yep, Fleetwood Macs Rumors ($3), and more Beatles with Introducing The Beatles ($15). Those first few Beatles albums really help you see why they caught on so fast in the US, with that clear, crisp, optimistic, and upbeat sound the US needed to help us get past the painful loss of President Kennedy only a few months before. Rumors on the other hand is a classic in its own right and really made Fleetwood Mac a legendary band. Filled from end to end with classics, this album would influence other artist for years after it's release. Both albums vinyl is in excellent shape and gatefolds are in pretty good shape too. 



Lastly are the local Buckinghams with Time & Changes ($3), and The Platters The Golden Hits of the Platters ($3.50). The latter is a nice collection of The Platters hits, but for the most part theysound rerecords rather then the original versions, but they have a nice gentle music that helps calm things down around the house. Time & Changes is a great album and has a lot of The Buckinghams classics on it, including Mercy, Mercy, Mercy which is a favorite around my house. Both vinyls and gatefolds are in great shape.

Overall, 8 great albums isn't too bad. Of course if your counting you realize I actually went over $110 but not by much. To say the least I'm pretty happy with my selections and I will get deeper into some in these albums later since the article is more about the purchase then the albums.