RECORD STORE TALES Part 65: Vinyl
We’d always dabbled in vinyl. We didn’t do a lot of vinyl, it was the 90’s after all, and vinyl was dead. We didn’t buy it used, but sometimes something big came out on vinyl that we had to carry. For example:
In 1994, Pearl Jam released Vitalogy on LP a week earlier than the CD. We stocked five and they sold out on day one.
In 1996, Soundgarden came out with Down On The Upside LP a week earlier than the CD, so we stocked that. I can’t remember how many we stocked, but I do remember it took years to sell them!
A bit later on, my buddy Tom opened his own branch and decided to stock used vinyl. He was the only one to try it, he had a vinyl room in the back. They phased the vinyl out rapidly after Tom moved on, as he was the chief expert buyer. However during the period that Tom carried vinyl, I filled so many gaps in my collection.
Here’s some examples. You have to remember that at the time, these might not have been out on any digital format at all, and downloading hadn’t hit us yet.
- Ozzy’s Live EP, still unreleased on any digital format today.
- Helix’s first two, Breaking Loose and White Lace & Black Leather albums, autographed by the late Paul Hackman. I think these were in Tom’s 25 cent bin.
- Hear N’ Aid, Ronnie James Dio’s 1986 charity LP featuring exclusive tracks from Kiss and others.
- Guns N’ Roses 12″ single for “Patience” with an exclusive interview with Axl on the B-side
- Kim Mitchell, the legendary Max Webster frontman’s first solo foray from 1982. Easily my favourite record of his entire storied career, and impossible to find on CD under $100.
- Max Webster’s Live Magnetic Air from 1979, a hard find on CD for sure.
That’s just a sampling, there were many more. And that’s just that stuff that I bought. I’m sure Tom saw many a rare disc float his way.
There was one record I’ll never forget. This sucker was worth $100 right there. It was by a band from Oshawa Ontario, called Christmas. It had a tank on the cover. I guess they had this cult following and only a small quantity of records were made, let alone survived. And musically, it wasn’t bad.
I’m glad that vinyl is back in a fairly significant way again. I enjoy buying it, and I enjoy playing it.
I want a USB turntable for my birthday. I accept gifts.