I’ve collected vinyl LPs on and off since I was about 12 years old. Recently I’ve stepped up my game a bit, and have been investing money in filling some gaps in my collection, and also trying to make my sound system sound good enough to justify the hassle.
Vinyl can very quickly become an expensive hobby, but luckily I am a cheap bastard, so the wife doesn’t have to worry about coming home to find a $2,000 tube amplifier sitting above our TV (at least not yet). Instead, I’m rocking some seriously un-sought after Radio Shack gear that nonetheless sounds great.
By biggest beef with vinyl collectors is not how much they spend on gear, but how much they are willing to pay for original copies of rare albums. I like rare LPs as much as the next nerd, but I’m not about to drop more than $30 on something that is essentially a thin piece of plastic sheathed in cardboard. Hunting on eBay can turn up some great finds, but I also find myself wading through tons of overpriced discs that (hopefully) no one in their right mind would consider paying for.
This is why I love the recent trend of vinyl reissues. The “180 gram” thing may be a marketing ploy, but I’m OK with that if it means I can get a brand new, mint copy of one of my favorite records for around $20. I’ve heard some people grumble about it, but these are probably also the guys trying to get you to buy some OOP record for the price of two week’s groceries. I want to actually listen to my records, which means finding the best quality pressing for the lowest price.
One genre I enjoy collecting is 80s/90s alternative rock, which includes post punk, indie, shoegaze and Britpop. These records tend to be harder to find than 70s classic rock, which I also love, but can be found fairly easily. Vinyl started to die out as a commercial medium before a lot of my favorite alt rock albums were even released, which means that a lot of them either didn’t appear on vinyl, or were never released in the States on that format. Therefore, when they do show up on eBay, these are usually the records that fetch the aforementioned ridiculous prices.
I’m glad to report that in the next few months, some of my long sought after favorites will be getting the reissue treatment.
Teenage Fanclub‘s fuzzy power pop classic Bandwagonesque was originally announced for a September 14 release by Original Recordings group, a division of Warner Brothers. Amazon still lists it, but I see it as “TBA” everywhere else, so I ‘m not sure if it came out or not.
Hopefully it will, because it’s scheduled to be followed by their next two albums Thirteen and Grand Prix. To sweeten the deal, Amazon is also showing a listing for their debut A Catholic Education. Original copies of these albums all fetch $50 to $100 online, so if we get the whole batch reissued in affordable, pristine editions I will be one happy camper.
I also just saw a listing for a forthcoming reissue of Ride‘s first full length album, Nowhere, via Rhino. This is another one I’d given up on buying an original copy of, due to collector price gouging.
Sonic Youth’s catalog has been the subject of a thorough reissue series for some time now, but we can now expect new vinyl editions of Bad Moon Rising and Sister some time in the next few months hopefully.
This should be enough to keep me busy for a while, although it would be great to see some other bands from this era like Swervedriver and Lush get a similar treatment. I hope the greedy eBay sellers know their time is drawing to a close…at least until these reissues are long out of print.