Jacket Covers

The Who By Numbers
MCA 37002

who_numbers_webIf I bought used vinyl based on jacket cover condition, I’d be miserable.

I got into this ‘collecting’ thing for the music. I don’t buy LPs based on anything but condition of the vinyl itself. If I pull a record out of its sleeve before purchasing and its loaded with scratches, scuffs, dirt, water residue – even if it’s a buck or less – I won’t buy it.

So if the vinyl’s good and I’ve been wanting the record – score.

What about the jacket? Hardcore purists won’t buy an album if the cover’s a little trashed – even if the vinyl’s good. No dog ears, no stains, no ‘autographs’ by previous owners.

But here’s an example of vinyl coming first – my copy of The Who By Numbers.

If you look at the photo of the jacket, you’ll see all sorts of collectible deal breakers. Its loaded with stains – either coffee or Coke splotches shot-gunned all over the thing.

Then, whoever owned it previously, decided to connect the dots on John, Pete, Keith and Roger. I suppose, when this thing was first released, doing so was a common temptation and some kids succumbed. The illustration was rendered by Who bassist John Entwistle so, in a sense, connecting the dots was kind of sacrilegious.

This record – not rare by any stretch – is easy to find at just about any store that sells used. But it’s actually tough to track down with the vinyl in playable condition and when I bought it, I’d been wanting to beef up my Who collection, especially 70s period Who when the boys were kicking and screaming down the addiction rabbit hole with Keith Moon leading the way.

I didn’t debate buying this based on the jacket condition – I just wanted to play it. And I haven’t been disappointed. It sounds great the way producer Glyn Johns intended it – heavy and clean.

© 2016 Chris Barry


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