Besides my hard and fast rule that I don’t purchase any used vinyl that’s filled with scuffs and divots just to have the record (whether a buck or $50 or $500), there are bands that – if I find a decent used copy – I simply don’t pass up (if I can afford them).
You gotta pick your poison.
I snag up any used Bob Marley records (if the vinyl’s in good shape) asap. Why? Because used Marley is rarely out there (as they say) ‘in the wild.’ I grabbed up a Natty Dread at a local record store called Purple Dog Records in Naperville, IL. For $15 large and clean vinyl, I was thrilled to even see one of these sitting on the shelf.
Same with the Cure. Anything used by the “oppressively dispirited” band almost never makes its way into a second-hand shop. I was lucky when I got both Faith and Pornography on vinyl – both on the Fiction label and both pristine. Again, Purple Dog records had this score. The cool thing? The owner of Purple Dog private messaged me on Facebook telling me these two Cures had just come in and he remembered me telling him that if he ever ran into anything by this band, to let me know. And he did! So it does pay to get to know your local record store owner…
Now – I paid a little more than I normally would for these records (I think around $30 apiece) BUT I knew how hard they were to find (I didn’t want reissues – though I’m sure Cure reissues are spectacular) so I bit the bullet and felt guilty for doing so on the drive home. But then I put them on the table and my guilt slowly melted away…
Another band that I snag up immediately is Pink Floyd. But almost always used Floyd is beat beyond recognition. And people that have Pink Floyd in their collections rarely give them up.
That said, I recently found an unbelievably clean Ummagumma at 2nd and Charles in Naperville for $6.50. EMI/Harvest label, gatefold, unmarked vinyl.
I certainly couldn’t argue with the price on this one, even though it’s not necessarily a Floyd fan favorite.
But for me? Perfect.
© 2016 Chris Barry