Monday, December 30, 2013

The Record Record: Ending the Year I Started collecting

Happy New Years! Well, close to it today's the 30th, so two days more. 

This being a New Years themed posting I wish I had a Guy Lombardo record to talk about with a recording of Auld Lang Syne on it. It's funny back during the summer when I was hitting the thrift shops for vinyl I must have come across a hundred Guy Lombardo records. Being summer though who thinks about New Years Eve, or that prime Nat King Cole Christmas album I passed up. Sorry for digressing! 

My journey this year starts off with me pulling my old Sony record player out of a box in the basement back during the Spring, with one 33 and a small collection on 45's, then having to hunt down an adaptor to connect it to my receiver. Now here I am at the end of the year with a small and growing collection of records including two new releases, and a new record player. 

When I started collecting I wanted to do it casually, picking up a record here and there and really getting to know that record and what separated it from the CD and/or electronic versions. For the most part that has been something I have been able to do, yet at the same time even on a casual basis vinyl collecting has been overwhelming. There are so many good records out there from so many genres waiting to be experienced in their true form.  So in a way I feel over my head, yet I am enjoying all the potential. 

As this year draws to a close I'm happy to have had the chance to get into vinyl records, as well as having the chance up write this blog, and experience some of the passion that comes with vinyl record collecting. So with that being said I would like to thank all of you who read this blog, and for the likes and the comments. I wish you all a Happy New Year, and I hope you watch for some of the new posts I will be adding next year.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Very Vinyl Christmas

I was going to write a blog about Christmas memories with regards to getting records but what I got for Christmas this year really change my mind about doing that. I have to say that I had a very vinyl Christmas.

We will start off with the items in the picture above. This is $110 worth of gift certificates to a local record store which I have mentioned in this blog once before. The last time I spent $25 there alone I came home with a small stack of records so I would hate to imagine how many records I could pick up $110. Upon discussion of what to do with $110 with my wife seems to be eyeing up some rare Beatles albums with it. But we'll see how that all works out once we hit the record store this weekend I'm hoping to come home with a stack full of records including some real prime ones.

Of course the next gift that I need to mention is the brand-new record player, this is a Pyle belt driven record player that plays 45's, 33's, and 78's and is portable on top of that. It also has a AM/FM radio built into it, and of course speakers. This allows me to expand my collection a little bit since my current Sony record player only plays 45's and 33's. I hope to open it this weekend and maybe to take it somewhere else in the house where we can listen to it and have some fun. Overall I'm very excited just to have these two gifts alone and I will obviously be putting both of them to some very good use.

Okay, as you can see in the photo above I also got two records that I wanted to get for very long time. The first one is Babel by Mumford & Sons. This is a phenomenal album and I'd really suggest adding it to your vinyl collection if you don't have it already. This band is excellent to hear on the radio or on satellite radio or even on CD but on vinyl they are perfection. The album itself is a great one to have no matter what and I believe it won a couple of Grammies,  that just goes to show you how good music is to begin with. One of my favorite songs on the albums B-side and is called Lovers Eyes

The next album is another one I have been dying to get on vinyl for a very long time. Norah Jones Broken Little Hearts was an album I had originally bought on CD after it first came out in 2012. When I began my adventures in vinyl record collecting this was one the albums that went to the top of my list to get. The 12 songs of the album are broken up into two separate records each one containing three songs per side. Not only that but adding to this albums uniqueness, the records are made of white vinyl and the album also comes with a poster of the album cover which also makes the album unique by giving it the classical feel of an album from the 70s or 80s that also would feature a poster. Like the Mumford & Sons album this one also has some phenomenal sound especially in comparison to the CD which I also own. And let's be honest Norah Jones looks pretty goddamn good on the cover as well. 

I know some of you reading this blog are probably vinyl traditionalists and perhaps having Mumford & Sons and Norah Jones in your collection doesn't appeal to you. But I think having a nice mix of modern artists in with a collection of vinyl helps to keep one's collection relevant by readily embracing new music as well as that of old music. I also need to mention that these new albums are fantastically well built the 180 gram vinyl weight makes these records very strong and you really feel like you're holding something substantial when you touch one of these things.

Overall that's my very vinyl Christmas. I hope that you guys where able to expand your vinyl collections a little bit over Christmas as well and that you got some great gifts to help you expand your collection. If you want to comment to this blog and let us know about what you got for Christmas that you think is a phenomenal addition your collection go ahead and do so, we would be happy to hear from you. So with that said a belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

First eBay Buy Yields Delight

I have always been a bit leery about buying used vinyl records off eBay. After all not all eBay sellers are on the up and up and often hide behind the fine print. But at the same time I gave up looking for miracles in the thrift shop, and my local record store doesn't always have the selections I am looking for. 

So off to eBay I often go to look but with caution and incredulity. There are a number of items I have been following, but I never made a bid on any of them until recently. See the issue with eBay and records is that in buying a record there is a lot to cover. First off all the record itself, let's be honest they don't photograph well and it would be hard to tell if there is scratching or warping, not to mention between light and the grooves a good record could give the appearance of being scratched. Then there's the cover and the sleeves which can at times have the same issues as the records themselves. In person all this takes about 30 seconds to appraise but online its a lot different.

If you read this blog regularly you will know I have been looking for the Eagles Hotel California for a while. Of course my requirements where simple I wanted the record in great shape, cover and sleeve in great shape (since the cover of this album tells a story) and the poster. 

I would come across a copy with my requirements and then find the price was right $10-$15, but it sold while I was thinking it over, or I would find them way over priced $25-$30. But this time I lucked out when a new seller had the album as I wanted it record, cover, and poster in A+ condition, for $10 with shipping. Now a lot of people don't buy from new sellers, but I have found some real deals with them. New sellers can be a good place to look but you are taking a chance. In the past three months I have had two great experiences and deals with new sellers, and one bad one. So the odds have been in my favor mostly, all I can say is Thank God for Paypal buyer protection on the latter.  

This experience was extremely positive and the album is in fantastic condition, album cover is in good condition too, and as you can see by the picture above the poster is in super-awesome shape. I have played through the album twice now with no problems, it sounds fantastic. 

Overall I am ecstatic to finally have this piece in my collection. And I am super happy with eBay and the buyer on this sale.