Tag Archive for 'used'

B-Sides in the Bins #52 – Half-Price Books Cedar Rapids 1/22/11

I was out running a bunch of errands today and ended up at Half-Price Books. When I arrived I didn’t find anything in the used vinyl bins that I absolutely needed– they had a couple of new Donna’s LP’s which was interesting, but I’m not familiar with their music enough for me to jump in. I was just about out the door when Claire– the girl who is the most knowledgeable about the vinyl– happened to be bringing a pile of newly-priced records to the bins to put away. Thankfully I stayed! I found the King Crimson LP from the pile she brought over and the Queen LP– she brought some other interesting pieces, but most of them were in pretty ratty condition– the first Doors record (stereo), a 13, The Who’s Tommy on Decca, Katy Lied by Steely Dan. She said that she had a Dark Side of the Moon behind the counter she was going to put out and asked if I wanted to see it. I don’t really need another Dark Side, but I know enough people who need one that I always look.

I didn’t end up picking up the Dark Side of the Moon, but I ended up picking up some other really great pieces!

Pink Floyd – Atom Heart Mother (LP, Harvest/Capitol SKAO 382, 1970) ($7.00) According to the matrix information this is a second issue done in Jacksonville, IL. The vinyl is in really great shape, but the cover got wet– hence the cheaper price. This is an album that I’ve never listened to– I tend to favor Wish You Were Here, Animals and Dark Side of the Moon. The “Atom Heart Mother” Suite which takes up side one is listenable, but still emblematic of the psych snobbery that I was glad they moved away from. I really like side 2 though. “Fat Old Sun” is a great song. I may keep an eye out for a new cover for this one since the vinyl is so clean.

New York Dolls (LP, Mercury SRM.1.675, 1973)($10.00) The landmark first album from New York Dolls– produced by then-guitarist for The Nazz Todd Rundgren! After watching the documentary about the reunion of the New York Dolls in 2006 called New York Doll, I had a new interest in this seminal proto-punk/glam band. The vinyl is in really great shape although it has a slight warp. The cover is clean, but has a spit at the bottom. The inner sleeve is intact and features a pencil sketch of a girl bent at the waist in a skirt with her behind pointing at the viewer. The album is great! I’m really happy to have this in my collection. A note: Ryan Adams quotes the opening of “Looking For A Kiss” on “Beautiful Sorta”: “When I say L-U-V, you best believe me L-U-V.” Apparently the New York Dolls are quoting The Shangri-La’s, but I’m sure Adams is quoting the Dolls.

King Crimson – Red (LP, Atlantic SD 18110, 1974)($2.98) This is my absolutely favorite King Crimson album. My foray into King Crimson started with the 1980’s releases Beat, Three of a Perfect Pair and Discipline that featured Adrian Belew on guitars and vocals based on a co-worker’s advice. I started digging into the catalog of King Crimson, and the next albums would be Lark’s Tongues in Aspic, Starless and Bible Black, and Red. Red is the final release from the King Crimson lineup that would include Bill Bruford (from Yes) and John Wetton (from Asia). According to the Wiki article on the album, Red was released after the band was disbanded by leader Robert Fripp. The album ends up being a compilation of the band’s studio work as well as their live improvisational abilities. The title track and “One More Red Nightmare” are both really heavy tracks especially for 1973-1974 and are cited as influential by many musicians (surprisingly including Kurt Cobain). The track “Providence” is an edit of an extended live improvisation. The copy at HPB had a water-damaged cover that was separating, but the vinyl was in really good condition, so I picked it up. I think it sounds very good.

Queen – A Night At The Opera (LP, Elektra 7E-1053, 1975)($5.00) When the HPB lady put this out, I knew I had to buy this as it is an album that is very influential in my wife Sherry’s life. Rock music was not allowed at her strict Baptist household, so she would get her dose of Rock music from her best friend when she visited. Queen was the first rock music she was exposed to and continues to be a favorite of hers to this day. I was familiar with a few of the songs on Opera, but had never listened to the whole thing before. It’s a classic for good reason– a really balanced album with writing done by the whole band. My second vinyl LP from Queen and a good start to a collection.

Jefferson Airplane – Surrealistic Pillow (LP, RCA AYL1-3738, 1967)($5.00) This is a “Best Buy Series” budget release of the album done sometime in the early 1980’s. The Best Buy Series are generally derided by most collectors and in almost every case RCA chose to make dramatic changes to the packaging and in some cases the track listings to achieve this budget line. In the case of this particular release, there is an ugly “Best Buy Series” logo on the cover art, but it is the normal track listing. Surrealistic Pillow was the Airplane’s second album, but their best known as it has three of their biggest hits on it: “Somebody To Love,” “White Rabbit,” and “Today.” Growing up, we had a cassette of The Worst of Jefferson Airplane the 1971 compilation that had four tracks from Surrealistic Pillow, so I was very familiar with this album as I listened to that a lot. Dave Donovan, who taught Spanish at my high school let me borrow his LP of Surrealistic Pillow as well as his copy of The Beatles White Album, which I thought was pretty cool at the time. There is a lot of debate about the various pressings of Surrealistic Pillow online, but from what I can tell almost every stereo pressing is considered to be thin-sounding, and I would judge this particular pressing the same. Interestingly, the matrix information on my pressing has “AYL1 3738 A 29” stamped on side A, and “AFL1 -3766B-2” scratched out and “AYL1 3738B” hand written on side 2. AFL1 3766 is the late 70’s (maybe 1978?) reissue catalog number. This correction on side 2 would indicate that the plates for this pressing were probably cut from the master tapes used for the late 70’s pressing. It doesn’t make it particularly notable, but provides an interesting view into how labels deal with cutting plates.

All-in-all a really good trip to Half Price Books! Since I spent over $25, they gave me an HPB calendar with the 5% coupons, and they used the first coupon on this order so I actually paid less than the prices listed above. On my way home I called my friend Andrew and told him about the Dark Side of the Moon I saw. He called and had them hold it– it was $7!

B-Sides in the Bins #47 : Disc World, Conshohocken, PA 3-13-09

Disc World in Conshohocken, PA
I was in Pennsylvania for work in March, and I typically stay at the Mariott in Conshohocken because it is very close to work. I had to stay over a weekend and happened to stumble upon a record store literally up the street from the hotel! I was out for lunch with a co-worker when I spotted Disc World out the window of the restaurant. We decided to check it out.

Disc World (201 West Ridge Pike, Conshohocken, PA 19428 610-828-8434) is run by Michael and Terry Weiss a really nice couple who seem very devoted to their little store. It was previously a Disc-Go-Round, so the store looks very similar to that layout with the CD’s along the back and right wall and the counter on the left. We had a Disc-Go-Round in Cedar Rapids and today it is “CD Connection.”

At Disc World you have the typical used CD selection, but you can also order new titles which is really nice in this day-and-age. They have posters and DVD’s as well as games.

But, the real surprise was the two crates of vinyl at the front of the store! Even though it was a small collection– every piece of vinyl was in amazing condition. Michael Weiss told me that their vinyl buyer was really picky about what records he buys. He also said that he hadn’t intended to get into selling vinyl, but a good customer of theirs came in with a collection he wanted to sell.  So, that is how they started. The crate had a lot of 70’s classic rock in it, and a substantial Doobie Brothers collection. I picked the best of what I was interested in, but I will be back!

Thinking of You – Freakwater (CD, Thrill Jockey thrill 150, 2005)($5.99) Well, I can’t spot a Thrill Jockey release in the used CD bins and pass it up. This is the country folk project from Catherine Irwin and Janet Beveridge Bean. This is their most recent release produced by Tim Rutli from Califone and includes members of Califone as well. This album also includes James Elkington on “Double Clutch.” His participation was kind of a return-the-favor for Janet’s participation on the first Zincs record. Since then, Janet and James have formed The Horses Ha, whose album comes out this month.

4 Way Street – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (2 LP, Atlantic SD 2-902, 1971)($7.00) Wow! The cover is kind of worn, but the seams are all in tact. Includes original LP sleeves with other Atlantic titles. The vinyl is pristine! The label is a very vivid red and green. Fantastic live album. A must for any collection, really.

(first self-titled, aka “Car”) – Peter Gabriel (LP, Atco SD 36-147, 1977)($3.00) Another cool release. I don’t have any proper Gabriel releases (I have a 2 LP bootleg). This is the first solo album post- Genesis for Peter, and includes the smash hit “Solsbury Hill” as well as “Waiting for the Flood.” Produced by Bob Ezrin. Cover art designed by Hipgnosis who does most of the Pink Floyd cover art. Super clean vinyl, edge wear on cover and seam split on inner sleeve.

VI/ZOSO – Led Zeppelin (LP, Atlantic SD 7208, 1971)($5.00) Wow!! Hit the goldmine on this one. Very nice shape sleeve. The vinyl is immaculate. Has “Porky” / “Pecko Duck” scratched into the deadwax. According to this thread, generally accepted to be a superior pressing and probably first pressing. Gatefold in good shape and no seam splits. Inside record sleeve is in tact, too. Second Led Zeppelin release I have on vinyl. I have a Columbia House pressing of Physical Graffiti, too.

Blood On The Tracks – Bob Dylan (LP, Columbia PC 33235, 1975)($5.00) Here is where I start my Bob Dylan vinyl collection. Brilliant divorce album from Bob– angry and all of that. Apparently recorded the album twice– once in NYC, and then re-recorded half  of the record in Minneapolis at the suggestion of his brother. This LP is not a first-pressing, but is super-minty sleeve, record and inner sleeve. A prize piece for sure.

A nice selection of classic LPs at a really good price considering the price-hiking that Half Price Books has been doing lately. I recommend stopping in at Disc World if you’re in the area.

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