Leamington Record Fair 18/06/2016 – Part 1

Today was Leamington Record fair, which was quite busy as soon as it opened, probably because the Peace Festival was on just a short walk away. There were several new vendors, which is good, and I picked up a few bits and pieces from them. I spent relatively little but came away with rather a lot of records.

The first stall by the entrance door had a £1 crate and I did rather well out of that I think, at £1 each I got the following:

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My brother had this and I heard it a lot but I don’t think I ever had my own copy. It has a couple of gold stars stamped on the front so it may be a promo copy, I’ve no idea, I bought it for the songs not for any value it may or may not have. This copy is in nice vinyl condition but the cover is a bit tatty to be honest.

A1 The Steppes
A2 Time To Get Out
A3 Slogans
A4 Leaving
A5 Two Vamps As Guests
B1 Jacuzzi
B2 Hammer In The Sand
B3 The Toast
B4 The Show
B5 Sentimental Institution

 

Next up for a the princely sum of £1 was Live Stiffs. I remember this when it came out but never had a copy. It was basically a load of acts from the Stiff record label live. I don’t think this is the original release as it’s not on Stiff records but it doesn’t matter, to pick up these performances for so little money is good enough:

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Live LP taken from the “Stiffs Live Stiffs” Tour, recorded on the Rak Mobile at The University of East Anglia, Norwich, Leicester University and The Lyceum, London

Nick Lowe, Wreckless Eric and Larry Wallis are backed by a core group of tour musicians, including some members of The Attractions and The Blockheads. For example, Ian Dury plays drums for Wreckless Eric

On the last track, Ian Dury & The Blockheads are joined on stage by various other tour musicians. Track is credited to “All”.

A1 Nick Lowe’s Last Chicken In The Shop I Knew The Bride
A2 Nick Lowe’s Last Chicken In The Shop Let’s Eat
A3 Wreckless Eric & The New Rockets Semaphore Signals
A4 Wreckless Eric & The New Rockets Reconnez Cherie
A5 Larry Wallis’ Psychedelic Rowdies Police Car
B1 Elvis Costello & The Attractions I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself
B2 Elvis Costello & The Attractions Miracle Man
B3 Ian Dury & The Blockheads* Wake Up And Make Love With Me
B4 Ian Dury & The Blockheads* Billericay Dickie
B5 –All Sex, Drugs, Rock ‘N’ Roll & Chaos

I bought 3 12″ singles the first two were £1 the last one was £2:

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I don’t care what anybody thinks, this is, in my opinion, one of the best pop singles ever released, I genuinely mean that.

A1 Groove Is In The Heart (Meeting Of The Minds Mix)

Featuring – Bootsy*, Q-Tip

5:10
A2 Groove Is In The Heart (Peanut Butter Mix) 3:29
B1 What Is Love? (Holographic Goatee Mix) 4:10
B2 What Is Love? (Rainbow Beard Mix) 4:02

Anybody who may have read this blog for a while (there aren’t many of you!) will know that I love Grace Jones so when I saw something I’d never heard of which was really a bit odd and super cheap I really had no choice but to buy it. I have a really vague memory of something around this but it’s really hazy and I certainly never connected a vinyl release with it but the Sci-Fi channel had a ‘fright Night’ and Grace Jones was involved somehow. What I found was a 6 track 12″ releases by the Sci-Fi Channel with different versions of the track on it.

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1 Love Bites (7″ Fright Night Mix) 3:40
2 Love Bites (12 Dark Night Mix) 7:35
3 Love Bites (12″ Fright Night Mix) 8:21
4 Love Bites (12″ Deep Into The Night Mix) 6:40
5 Love Bites (7″ Fright Night Instrumental) 3:52
6 Love Bites (7″ Deep Into The Night Mix) 3:45

There’s an official video of it but embedding is disabled so there’s the one above. I added it to my collection on Discogs and it appears to be valued at £25, which is nice for me, though I have no intention of selling it.

The £2 12″ was another Grace Jones, I have the tracks already, but I loved the cover.

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The back cover is great as well. I’ll have to take a picture of it and post it at some point.

Also for £1 I picked up a Westworld album from 1987:

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A1 Where The Action Is
A2 Sonic Boom Boy
A3 Rockulator
A4 Psychotech
A5 Silver Mac
A6 Fly Westworld
B1 Ba-Na-Na-Bam-Boo
B2 Mix Me Up
B3 Injection 1-2-3
B4 Cheap ‘N’ Nasty
B5 Joy Rider
B6 Painkiller

I’m not sure why but I always liked them, and it is a fabulous cover. I always thought they were going to be bigger than they turned out to be and the fact that they named themselves after the film, which is one of my favourites, went some way to my rooting for them. Here is possibly their only real hit:

I then saw an album that I have seen being shown on lots of Youtube videos, Ricochet by Tangerine Dream. I heard them years ago, the father of the drummer of a band I was in had loads of them and there was one playing one night before practice when we went to pick him up. I didn’t like it and have given them no credence since that initial listening.

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Looking back I think there were two reasons why I didn’t connect with it, the first was that it just wasn’t my thing at the time and the other was, I think, that the album he was playing was a soundtrack to a film and nothing much happened, it seemed rather bland and dull to me. Regardless, I bought Ricochet and thought I’d give it a go. I’m glad I did. I’ve just listened to it and absolutely love it. Repetitive instrumentals? Yup, very much my thing nowadays. It will definitely get a lot more plays and I’ll look out for some more of their albums now. I must have passed over dozens of them by now but not anymore.

 

Next was ‘Naked’ by Talking Heads, it was £3.50 (as was Tangerine Dream above) and I’m trying to get sall the Talking Heads albums on vinyl so this was a must really. Especially at that price. I believe it was the last Studio album before they broke up.

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  1. “Blind” – 4:58
  2. “Mr. Jones” – 4:18
  3. “Totally Nude” – 4:10
  4. “Ruby Dear” – 3:48
  5. “(Nothing But) Flowers” – 5:31
  6. “The Democratic Circus” – 5:01
  7. “The Facts of Life” – 6:25
  8. “Mommy Daddy You and I” – 3:58
  9. “Big Daddy” – 5:37
  10. “Cool Water” – 5:10

The thing I have to point out is that I am still at the first stall, which, on the face of it, suggest I went vinyl buying crazy, but I didn’t, well, not too crazy anyway, I just found lots of things I liked straight away.

There will be more when I get to writing part 2 later.

Leamington Record Fair

I went to the Leamington Record and CD Fair on Saturday, and was a little underwhelmed. I’ve been several times before but I wold, more often than not, go every six months or so, I’ve been to the last three and the frequency is quite possibly the issue. There was less for me to get excited over and a lot for me to get a bit miffed over. I don’t buy records to own something that has a different coloured label or a fantastically rare catalogue number, I genuinely don’t care. I go there to find records that I can play that are less than the £20 needed for a re-issue on 180g vinyl.

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I did find a few things but I came way from there with most of my money still in my pocket, and I made the mistake of buying something (for £3.50) that I already had, not for the first time, which suggests that since I bought the first one I haven’t listened to it and begs the further question, do I need either of them?

So what did I buy? Well, I bought these (album titles are links to Spotify):

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‘Mind Bomb’ by ‘The The’ – £5

Big_Country_-_seerBig_Country_-_Steeltown
The Seer’ & ‘Steel Town’ by Big Country – £2.50 each

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Wichita Lineman by Glen Campbell – £1

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Jose Feliciano by Jose Feliciano – £2.50

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My Life in the Bush Of Ghosts by David Byrne & Brian Eno – £5

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Coldsweat 12” by t The Sugarcubes – £4

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Street Legal by Bob Dylan – £3.50 (and the one I already had)

If you were counting that’s 7 vinyl LP’s and a 12” single for £28.50, which is lovely, although really it’s 6 with the duplicate, but I should be more positive about it, I did get some things I wanted, so that’s good. Where I get frustrated is with some of the stall holders who have albums that, to my mind, are massively overpriced. Now this may well be because I don’t want to play £150 for a record that I can buy re-pressed at 180g for £20, but also because some of these albums are there month after month after month and never sell, and probably never will at the level they are asking.

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An example is The Beatles and The White Album. I can buy a perfect copy for £25. It’s not 40 years old, it doesn’t have pops and crackles, the cover isn’t worn nor are the corners dinged. A perfectly playable copy in perfect condition. I picked up a copy for £8 and thought, well I’ll have that, even though it looked a little tired. I had misread the label, it was £80 and had no indication anywhere on it as to why. I didn’t buy it, obviously.

I know there are collectors out there who want rare items, but I just can’t quite grasp why. If I have an album that I bought for £5 from a second hand bin and somebody else has exactly the same album but with different colour label that is supposedly worth £200, so what, if you put it on a turntable it will play exactly the same songs, and that’s really all I care about. And why is it worth £200? Surely this is theoretical as the prices should be driven by supply and demand. It’s only £200 if somebody is willing to pay that much for it and judging by the number of high priced records I see over and over again, the vast majority of people are not prepared to pay.

I do understand that there are some items that do command higher values, such as Bob Dylan – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan from 1963 that featured 4 tracks deleted from subsequent releases is purported to be worth $35,000. If those 4 tracks are not available anywhere else then I get that, but if they have been released elsewhere, why that much money?

Ringo Starr’s own copy of The Beatles – The Beatles (The White Album in fact) from 1968 sold for $790,000, presumably because it was numbered – No.0000001. If you want to listen to it on vinyl then spend £25 on a new one. It’s madness!

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I get nostalgia, and have paid a little bit more for something simply because I once owned it, or wanted to own it, sometime back in the past and now have the opportunity and resources to get myself a copy, but that has its limits from a price perspective. As an example, in 1979 I was rather taken by the song ‘Bang Bang’ by B.A.Robertson and had the 7” single. I really wanted the album (I was 12 years old, don’t judge me!) in the way that somebody that you does, I obsessed over it, but never actually bought it. I saw a copy of the album at the record fair and it was £6.50 but I wouldn’t pay it, because it simply isn’t worth that much to me, it was at one point, but not now, it would have to be £2.50 maximum for me to buy it, and I realised some time ago that B.A.Robertson was crap, which was a big influencer on my decision. Now, if I knew that the album was worth £60 I would have bought it and immediately stuck it on Ebay, but I would never be the one paying £60 for it.

There are a number of albums that I know are rare, such as a lot of the Krautrock stuff that came out in the early 70’s which is not currently available elsewhere, if you want to listen to it you might have to pay £100 for the privilege, I understand that, but if it was re-released then the re-release would do, or even the ability to stream it on Spotify as it could quite easily be crap. This happened with Tago Mago by Can, which is an album I adore. An original copy sells, on average, for about $110 (£70), I could have paid that for it but, instead, paid £19 ($27.50) for a re-release and am extremely happy with it, why wouldn’t  be? It’s brand new!

At the record fair one of the stallholders was telling me that his colleague once had original copies of the first 15 Elvis Presley singles, which he sold for a couple of hundred pounds several years ago, when now they would be worth thousands. It was entirely meaningless to me. I had an original copy of ‘Return to Sender’ by Elvis when I was a kid and I played the damn thing until it was almost worn out, and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. Had I kept this 1962 release in pristine condition it would now be worth somewhere in the region of £1.50. I had a lot more value out of it than that and didn’t have the hassle of keeping it perfect all these years.

I do sound like I’m moaning a bit, but I genuinely can’t get my head around paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for a vinyl record, even though I love them, I could buy a couple of very nice houses for that. Perhaps somebody could explain it to me.

I’ll leave you with what might appear to be an odd choice for me, but I do really have rather eclectic tastes: