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. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Unique "Records"

January 17, 2014

There are a lot of "unique" records out there, one that comes to my mind is a Transformers record I had as a kid. I remember conning my sister into buying it for me at Woolworth's for $3, and now I see it on eBay for $40, yikes. Anyway there are a lot of records out there with unusual music and/or subject matter, that would classify them as "unique".

But there are "unique" records, and than there are unique "records" today I found the latter on trip through a local thrift store.

That's right this is a yellow transparent record. The album itself is a show tune compilation Best of Old Broadway from the early 50's. 

It wasn't something I was looking to buy but after I saw the actual record I had to have it. Of course the cute redhead showgirl on the cover, and the fact that it is a fairly pleasent collection of music made buying it a bit easier. 

This is also the first record I have had a chance to play on the new record player I got for Christmas. 

So the record looks really cool on the record player, and is in really good shape meaning the beat up cover has done its job well the years. 

I also managed to pick up two additional 45's today as well. 

To feed my need for Bond songs I added this 45 of For Your Eyes Only by Sheena Easton. Side A is the actual song while Side B is the instrumental version. What surprises me is that considering it was the key song in a Bond film there is nothing on this 45 or sleeve to indicate that. If this record where to be sold now days it would come with markings all over it to market the single in connection with the movie and vice-versa. 

The song itself For Years Eyes Only is a bit of a snoozer and had my wife recollecting the days of easy listening stations while stuck in the back seat of her parents car on long trips. I had to agree this song was an 80's easy listening station standard, and hardly gets the heart pounding like the more modern Bond songs like Adele's Skyfall, or Garbage's The World is Not Enough. Overall though the 45 is in good shape, and allowed me to test my new records players ability to play 45's. 

The next 45 is Dionne Warwick's I'll Never Love This Way Again / In Your Eyes. I bought this one confusing it with I'll Never Fall In Love Again an early Dionne Warwick song I actually did like. I wonder if her Pyschic Friends told her I would be writing a blog about this single? Anyway these are familiar songs as well that definitely recollect those days of your parents easy listening stations in the 80's. The 45 itself is in good shape here too, becuase imagine it wasn't listened to a lot. Oh well, you win some, you lose some, but at $.50 I'm ok loosing on this one. 

But you know writing this particular blog posting a few interesting questions popped into my head that I would like to ask you my readers. 

1. What is the most unique "record" that you would ever found and/or may have in your collection? If you would like to go ahead and repost a picture with this that would be awesome, because I'd love to see what kind of strange and wacky vinyl items are out there.

2. What truly good songs did your parents easy listening station ruin for you?

Feel free to go ahead and add your comment to this post I love to see what everybody's answers are to these questions.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

One More Spin with eBay

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

So far (knock-on-wood) I have had good luck in my eBay dealings as far as records go. This time around and for a second time I purchased an item from a smaller and lesser known seller on eBay, I will be covering my first purchase from this seller in an upcoming article about Journeys Escape. This purchase is actually of Simon & Garfunkle's Bridge Over Troubled Water, the 1969 album of course has the title song Bridge Over Troubled Water, as well as The Boxer, Cecilia, El Condor Pasa, and so on.

The Record Itself:

The gatefold and sleeve are in good condition and looking at the side of the gatefold in my shelf I can tell what album and artist it is clearly. As you can see in the picture above there are a few blemishes to the gatefold but it's not bad. The physical record itself has that truly fuzzy, crackling sound LP's are known for but it wears off after the first song on either side, that and there is also a bit of skipping on the first side too. Overall it is in good shape, and easy to listen to without much distraction. It was worth the less then $10 w/shipping I paid for it.

The Album:

I grew up listening to a lot of Paul Simon and a smidge if Simon & Garfunkel. For me this album brings back a lot of memory's of a version of it on tape my folks would play regularly in the car.  I always found El Condor Pasa to be be a very haunting song, with a really unique and equally haunting melody. I could also summarize The Boxer in the same way although it was a song that didn't make sense to me till I was a lot older, when I really understood the lyrics more. The rest of the album is just as great and we even get a few upbeat songs like Cecilia, and a live recording of a cover did of the Everly Brothers Bye-Bye Love. For the most part though the album has a folk feel to it that is quite, yet potent considering the album was made in era it's songs where produced in. 

Overall, this is one more happy eBay purchase. Let's hope my luck continues. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

First Buys of The New Year

Saturday, January 4, 2014

With my $110 worth of gift certificates in my hand I wondered into the music store to hopefully get a few the records I really wanted. However thanks a certain time constraints and the fact that I wasn't able to get to the record store until about half hour they closed things didn't quite work out as I planned, especially with my youngest crying his head off in the car with my wife and my oldest feeling very anxious and pushy.

To say the least the $110 worth of gift certificates went untouched today, and the grand total of my record purchases came out to less than $10. But I did manage to make some pretty unique and also very nice selections in the little time I had.

My first selection was The Pretenders Learning to Crawl. In my personal opinion I believe The Pretenders are probably one of the most underrated bands of the 1980s. For the most part there music has always been upbeat, and delivered clearly and articulately, so as to allow you to enjoy the lyrics as well as the melody. This album had some truly great and memorable songs like Middle of The Road, and Back on the Chain Gang, as well as a few other hits. The rest of the album has non-stop great music on it, which makes it a pleasure to listen too. It was my favorite by today.

My second buy is Elvis Presley's, Blue Hawaii. This is one I actually bought for sentimentality since it was one of my mothers favorite albums as a teenager, and served as the center of a humorous story about her and her little brother. Its not a bad album but not one of Elvis's finest, and keep in mind its from the movie soundtrack for Blue Hawaii. The best song on it of course is also one of Elvis's finest "(I) Can't Help Falling in Love (With You)", so in a way the $2 I spent on this is worth it just for that.

Last but not least is Sammy Davis Jr at The Coconut Grove. What a fantastic buy! This is a two record set from as you may guess a live performance at the famous Coconut Grove nightclub in LA. I love the albums with these type of covers because you always know your going to get a truly intimate performance that could only be delivered in those old nightclubs. I'm not going to go into what songs are on it but its traditional Sammy Davis Jr faire. For me personally this album goes best with a quiet dinner at home over a steak, and a good glass of red wine, and with the lights dimed in my dining room its almost like being there.
Overall, these are some pretty good selections and I look forward to the year ahead with collecting new records.

By the way if you are reading this on Wordpress I would like you to know that I will be putting this same blog posts on Blogger as well at I am will continue to post my blogs here as well since I have readers here in Wordpress, but if you have a hard time viewing my blog due to the backgrounds please head over there.