3 Minute Record

"We learned more from a three minute record baby than we ever learned in school..." -from No Surrender by Bruce Springsteen

Filtering by Tag: Record Collecting

What's So Wrong About Staying Home With Your Record Collection?

High Fidelity

"Is it so wrong, wanting to be at home with your record collection? It’s not like collecting records is like collecting stamps, or beermats, or antique thimbles." - Nick Hornby

You may not remember, but writer Nick Hornby wrote that line for his novel High Fidelity. Hornby's novel spoke to me loudly when I read it more than 10 years ago, as I identified closely with protagonist Rob Fleming. Last night I found some time to do just that - spend some time with my records. It's nowhere near the time I spent at home listening to records when I was 16, but that feeling of laying on your floor scanning the sleeve for information never gets old.

Personally, I've never had a hard and fast rule about buying music. I had always bought albums on vinyl and compact disc mostly dependent on price. However, a few months back I made the commitment to myself to buy music released prior to 1990 exclusively on vinyl. First, it was the predominant medium for music until the explosion of compact discs in the late 1980's. Further, I would make an attempt to buy early pressings and not the obvious later pressings or reissues.

For years, I bought music on the most convenient form available to me at the time. First, it was 45 RPM singles (for the Fisher Price record player) and later cassettes (for my Ghetto Blaster - yes, even kids in the suburbs called the metal tape player/radio combo by this urban name for the portable cassette player). Then, after my parents bought me a real stereo with a Scott (no pun, just a good brand name) receiver, Techniques turntable and double cassette player, vinyl was the preferred choice. A few years later I started buying compact discs. I have bought music in the mp3 format, but the experience leaves me cold and usually I only make that plunge when it's the only way to find the music.

The only caveat I made for myself on this new rule was for a deluxe edition of the album on CD like the recent reissues by The Kinks or something similar.

So far this year I've bought over 60 albums on vinyl. You'll find a list below of what has been spinning at 33 1/3 RPM on my turntable lately. Some of these albums I have on compact disc and others I had on cassette years ago and never replaced on disc. Other albums on the list I'd heard songs from over the years and just never purchased. Further, there were albums I had on my mental list and when I stumbled upon a nice copy I pulled the trigger and picked it up. Finally, some are just plain new to me entirely; either new bands or albums that come highly recommended. If you see a stone cold classic below I've likely had the album for years in some format and I've just run across a very nice vinyl copy.

Here's what I've bought in the past couple of months since Record Store Day.

The Band - S/T
Big Brother & The Holding Company - Cheap Thrills
The Blues Project - Projections
The Byrds - Mr. Tambourine Man (Mono)
The Byrds - Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde
The Chambers Brothers - The Time Has Come
The Conformists - None Hundred
Ry Cooder - S/T
David Crosby - If Only I Could Remember My Name...
Bob Dylan - Desire
The English Beat - Special Beat Service
The Faces - First Step
Johnny Horton - The Spectacular Johnny Horton
Waylon Jennings - The One and Only
The Knitters - Poor Little Critter On The Road
Little Feat - Dixie Chicken
Little Feat - Feats Don't Fail Me Now
Nick Lowe - Labour Of Love
Taj Mahal - The Natch'l Blues
Van Morrison - Veedon Fleece

Cover of

Laura Nyro - New York Tendaberry
Okkervil River - I Am Very Far
Marty Robbins - Devil Woman (Mono)
The Roches - S/T
The Roches - Nurds
Boz Scaggs & Band - S/T
Stephen Stills - 2
Talking Heads - Talking Heads '77
Title Tracks - In Blank
Two Cow Garage - Sweet Saint Me
The Wildflowers - Sometime Soon

 

Hey! Look What I found. Where Do You Buy Records?

Yesterday, I found a copy of one of my favorite albums at a local antique mall/indoor flea market. You never know what you're going to stumble upon at one of these places. I didn't have a lot of time so I flipped through the 6 or 8 crates of records pretty quickly. I happened to find a VG/VG+ original copy of The Byrds LP Mr. Tambourine Man in Mono for $5.00. Except for a little wear around the edges, mostly on the bottom front cover and a stamp on the name and address of a previous owner on the back; the record is in great condition. There was no sleeve inside promoting the other albums for sale, but so often those are replaced or gone anyway.

Mr. Tambourine Man
Mr. Tambourine Man

The stereo copy of the album would have the 'Stereo "360 Sound"' logo on both the top of the front cover and the red label on the record. This one has neither and has the correct corresponding catalog item number of CL2372.

Mr. Tambourine Man label
Mr. Tambourine Man label

This is one of my favorite albums of all time and as I was excited to find a nice copy. Now, I just need to spring for that USB turntable I've been wanting so I can hear the difference between the vinyl and the CD reissue from the late '90s.

This find got me thinking about a question I had started a post on months ago, but never got around to finishing. Unfortunately, the question "Where do you buy records?" becomes harder after each passing year. With the influx of iTunes, Amazon, and online retailing the brick and mortar there are less record stores than ever. Independent record stores have been closing for years and still continue to close.

Not only do independent record stores have to compete with the internet, but the big box stores carry music too. Target, Borders, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, Wal-Mart and K-Mart, have music sections, albeit only compact discs, though much more limited in overall scope than in years past. Out of these stores only Best Buy carries vinyl, but only in very small selection and quantities.

Here's a list of you local independent record stores -
Record Stores
Apop Records - St. Louis
CD Reunion - St. Charles
CD Warehouse - South County
Euclid Records - Webster Groves
Phono Mode - St. Louis
Record Exchange - St. Louis
Slackers - 10 St. Louis Metro Area locations
Vintage Vinyl - University City

Then, there's the semi-monthly St. Louis Record Collector's Show held in South St. Louis bringing dealers from in town and out of town focused on mostly vinyl LP's and 45 RPM records, but also selling compact discs and DVD's. Plus, there are tons of various online retailers ready to sell you vinyl and ship it directly to your door.

However, you can also find some diamonds in the rough in places like antique malls like I do on a regular basis.  You have to be a bit more careful with these to look them over and do your research, but you may still find some nice pieces. Further, there is a monthly flea marke at the St. Clair County Fairgrounds, Belleville, IL.

Finally, you can search sites like Craigslist, ebay, or etsy for some finds. Many folks are nice here, but some don't know anything about the worth of records and could be overcharging wildly so be careful.

St. Louis is lucky to have some great independent record stores to supply more than just "hit" tunes to the music loving public. Get out there and buy some music people! Please leave some comments if you know of some other local outlets.

WINNER! 3 Minute Record Album Art Quiz [Trivia]

Congratulations to Jon Bauer for winning the first installment of the 3 Minute Record Album Art Quiz! Jon correctly answered 13 of the 15 albums in the quiz. See the list of album covers below for the correct answers of artist and album title. Jon please let us know which one of these 15 albums you would like and we'll send you your prize. Thanks to everyone who sent in their answers! Look for more installments of this quiz in the near future.

Number 1. - Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion

Number 2.The Band - Music From Big Pink

Number 3. Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

Number 4. Pink Floyd - Meddle

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Number 5. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Bayou Country

Number 6. King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King

Number 7. Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures

Number 8. Bob Dylan - Blonde on Blonde

Number 9. Ride - Nowhere

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Number 10. Blind Faith - S/T

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Number 11. Slint - Spiderland

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Number 12. They Might Be Giants - Lincoln

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Number 13. The Velvet Underground & Nico - S/T

Number 14. Seam - The Pace Is Glacial

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Number 15. Traffic - S/T

3 Minute Record Album Art Quiz [Trivia]

Welcome to the first installment of the 3 Minute Record Album Art Quiz! See the 15 album covers listed below and send us your response with both the artist and the album title. The person with the most correct answers will win a copy of any one of these 15 albums of their choosing. Please leave a comment below or send an e-mail to us here at 3minuterecord  @  gmail.com (without the spaces of course). Now get to it!!! Number 1.

Number 2.

Number 3.

Number 4.

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Number 5.

Number 6.

Number 7.

Number 8.

Number 9.

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Number 10.

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Number 11.

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Number 12.

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Number 13.

Number 14.

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Number 15.

It's About Time! New Reissues from The Kinks

A promotional photo of British rock group The ...

For years the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Who have had their full recorded catalogs on compact disc for fans and subsequent generations of music fans to buy again and again and appreciate the greatness of their music. While the catalog from the Kinks has lagged hopelessly behind all the rest of their British Invasion contemporaries (except for the Animals). This year that's all about to change!

On March 22, the injustice will be rectified with the first three albums starting the reissue program: the Kinks 1964 self-titled album, and Kinda Kinks (1964) and The Kink Kontroversy(1965). Later in the spring (May) and summer (July) their later 1960s and early 1970s work gets the same treatment as Face to Face (1966) and Something Else (1967), Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) (1969), Muswell Hillbillies (1971) will hit the shelves.

Word on the street is that each album will receive a double-disc treatment with plenty of outtakes, rarities, in-depth liner notes and other tasty bits.

For a band so prolific, so important to the British Invasion and with so many artists citing their work as influencing their own it's almost criminal that the Kinks back catalog isn't more accessible. The Beatles full catalog, first released on compact disc in 1987, received a major reboot a year and a half ago with each album beautifully remastered in both Stereo and Mono. The Who and the Rolling Stones have remastered and reissued their respective catalogs a couple of times since originally being issued on the compact disc format in the late 1980s. So why not the Kinks?

The Kinks catalog received a reissue program in 1998 from Castle Records. However, most albums only included a few extra tracks; nowhere close to another disc worth of material that's being offered here. As a reminder, the Kinks released their last official studio album, Phobia, in 1993 so maybe they were not yet ready for a full-fledged expansive reissue program. 

In 2004, Sanctuary Records reissued a special deluxe edition of The Kinks 1968 masterpiece, The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society. The album received a beautiful 3 disc treatment that presented the album and singles of the timeframe in both stereo and mono mixes plus a third disc of outtakes, rarities, and BBC session material over 62 total tracks! At that point I thought that the reissues would keep on coming, but the process seems to have taken a bit longer than expected. 

In case you're interested (and really you should) in the track listing details for the first three albums you can find them here.

If you just can't get enough of the music of the Kinks the band's leader and prolific songwriter, Ray Davies, releases a new album this spring. See My Friends sees the light of day on April 5. For the album Davies re-recorded classic Kinks songs with a list of guest stars including Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi & Richie Sambora, Metallica, Black Francis, Mumford and Sons, Spoon, Lucinda Williams, the late Alex Chilton and more playing and singing along.

Davies, now 66, continues to stay busy and will curate London’s Meltdown festival from June 10-18, 2011. Past curators have included David Bowie, Morrissey, John Peel, Nick Cave, Patti Smith and Jarvis Cocker.

Checking Records Off The List

Old Vinyl

I am lucky enough to work within driving distance for a trip to Euclid Records over my lunch break. The store is one of the best independent record stores in the area and stocks thousands of albums on vinyl and compact disc. The stock consistently changes as the store buys collections and sells the individual parts constantly.  Recently, I picked up a few classic albums on vinyl that I didn't have in my collection, but have had on my buying list for a while. During this trip I decided that I will continue to buy classic albums by artists, but if the release date of the album in question was before 1990 I will buy it on vinyl. Thereby changing the nature of my future buying habits.

Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of albums on vinyl at home, but I have 6 or 7 times that amount on compact disc.  I have been buying albums on compact disc since about 1986 when my family got our first player. During those years I continued to buy albums on vinyl, but usually rare or hard to find albums that weren't on compact disc. I still like compact disc for the portability and the ease to upload to a computer for listening on a portable device like an iPod.  However, I still love vinyl and enjoy the personal experience of listening to an album on vinyl over the same music on compact disc or on a iPod.

I have an ever-growing list of music that I want to buy.  I readily admit that it's an addiction, but at least it's not cigarettes, alcohol or something more destructive. At least I get enjoyment out of listening to music.  I used to keep a written list of albums to buy and I still go back to it now and then, but find that I mostly keep the list in my head.  For some reason I have an uncanny ability to remember what I have in my collection and have rarely bought duplicates of things that I already own. Besides, sometimes you just have to buy records with your gut.

Here's what I found:

Leon Russell - S/T (Shelter, 1970)
Fleetwood Mac - Then Play On (Reprise, 1969) [Revised US edition w/ "Oh Well"]
Van Morrison - Veedon Fleece (Warner Bros., 1974)
Randy Newman - 12 Songs (Reprise, 1970)
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Hard Promises (Backstreet, 1981)

Nothing here that's rare or obscure, but just good classic albums.  The Van Morrison album played in the store while I shopped and I realized I didn't have that album and needed it as well.

I also found a CD compilation that I have had on my list for 7 years.  I just never found it for the right price, had something higher on the priority list, or was in the right mood.  I finally picked up the 2 disc set for $9.99 used.

Various Artists - Night Train To Nashville: Music City Rhythm & Blues, 1945-1970

What records are on your list? How long is your list?

A Few Vinyl Jewels In The Rough

This afternoon I hit the local antique mall to see what I could find of interest. I stumbled on a booth that had all vinyl albums for sale. Most of the records were late 1960's, the 1970's and early 1980's. The seller had everything marked down to $3.00 per record. Though most of the boxes contained tired classic rock standards, I found a few treasures to take home.
Skip Battin - Skip (Signpost, 1972)
The Byrds - Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde (Columbia, 1968)
Marshall Crenshaw - Field Day (Warner Bros., 1983)
Boz Scaggs - Boz Scaggs & Band (Columbia, 1971)
Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes - Heart Of Stone (Epic, 1978)
Stephen Stills - 2 (Atlantic, 1971)

The only one I owned in any format was the Byrds record. I bought it because it had a sleeve in great condition. The Scaggs album had remarkably never even been opened! The rest were in good condition for their age except the Battin sleeve was pretty worn. If you have time check out a post on The Rising Storm from late 2009 about the Battin album.

These albums are now on the fringes of classic rock since they didn't contain any hits, but doesn't mean they don't have some good tracks. You may hear tracks from these records on Sirius/XM's Deep Tracks or St. Louis radio listeners may hear some of these tracks on the Sunday morning KSHE Klassics show hosted by longtime DJ John Ulett on KSHE-95.

It's always nice to scratch below the surface for some good music...

St. Louis Record Collectors Show Recap

On Sunday, my friend Tom and I ventured out in the freezing temperatures to go to the St. Louis Record Collectors Show. After paying our $2 admission fee ($1 off with a card or mention of Facebook), we started to walk around and get a lay of the land as this was Tom's first time to the show. I usually run into someone I know or at least recognize and this time was no different. I ran into Jim who works at Euclid Records and Larry who runs the 45's section at The Record Exchange. Most, if not all, dealers take cash and there was a mix of local and out-of-town dealers. For those people determined to get their money's worth and stay most of the day, the hall also sells refreshments and snacks.

I do not usually have an agenda or list when I go to a record show. I like to look around and see what surprises I may find. One seller was selling a box and a couple of stacks of 78 RPM records. These were mostly Swing music and Pop tunes from the late 1930's, 1940's and early 1950's. He was selling them for $2/each, but I could have taken the entire box for $50 and everything for $75 which roughly calculates out to about $0.50 cents per record.

I found another seller that had a table with mostly some LP's and 45's and some video games and other miscellaneous stuff. The guy was asking .50 per record on the 45's. I asked the guy if he bought and sold collections, but he just advised that he was selling because his wife had finally won the argument to get rid of some records. He is a collector as he mentioned he is not selling but "keeping his gold stash. However, he would be classified as your basic hoarder - at one time he must have bought everything he could find as he had a lot to sell! I searched through the bins and I found twenty 45's for the jukebox. None of these are rare, but most if not all are very clean copies of the records and most are still wrapped in their original paper sleeve from the original label. The guy was asking $0.50 per record. He had some picture sleeves, but most were from the 1980's and I did not find anything special. Tom found a bootleg DVD of the Guns & Roses St. Louis show where a riot broke out on July 2, 1991 at Riverport Amphitheater (aka Verizon Wireless Amphitheater) in which he attended nearly 20 years ago.

Here's my list of 45's finds: a mix of Rock 'n Roll, Soul, Pop, and Country --
The Allman Brothers - Ramblin Man b/w Pony Boy (Capricorn, 1973)
The Bar-Kays - Soul Finger b/w Knucklehead (Volt, 1967)
James Brown & The Famous Flames - Cold Sweat Part 1 b/w Cold Sweat Part 2 (King, 1967)
James Brown & The Famous Flames - I Got The Feelin' b/w If I Ruled The World (King, 1968)
James Brown & The Famous Flames - Papa's Got A Brand New Bag Part 1 b/w Papa's Got A Brand New Bag Part 2 (King, 1965)
Petula Clark - Downtown b/w You'd Better Love Me (Warner Bros., 1964)
Neil Diamond - Sweet Caroline b/w Dig In (UNI, 1969)
Neil Diamond - Cracklin' Rosie b/w Lordy (UNI, 1970)
Dave Dudley - Six Days On The Road b/w Feel A Cry Coming On (Golden Wing, 1963)
Eddie Floyd - Knock On Wood b/w Got To Make A Comeback (Stax, 1966)
The Mama's & The Papa's - Monday, Monday b/w I Got A Feelin' (ABC Dunhill, 1966)
The Mama's & The Papa's - California Dreamin' b/w Somebody Groovy (ABC Dunhill, 1965)
Otis Redding - (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay b/w Sweet Lorene (Volt, 1967)
Jeannie C. Riley - Harper Valley P.T.A. b/w Yesterday All Day Long Today (Plantation, 1968)
Ringo Starr - It Don't Come Easy b/w Early 1970 (Apple, 1971)
Steppenwolf - Born To Be Wild b/w Everybody's Got Next One (ABC Dunhill, 1968)
Stephen Stills - Love The One You're With b/w To A Flame (Atlantic, 1970)
The Surfaris - Boss Barracuda b/w Dune Buggy (Instrumental) (Decca, 1964)
Johhny Taylor - Cheaper To Keep Her b/w I Can Read Between The Lines (Stax, 1973)
Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band - Love Land b/w Sorry Charlie (Warner Bros., 1970)

2011 St. Louis Record & CD Shows

Record collectors can now rejoice! The gentlemen who run the St. Louis Record and CD Shows have announced the dates for the 2011 shows. If you love vinyl (45's and LP's), compact discs, 78 RPM records, videos, rare items, and more - these shows are for you. If you haven't been to one of these shows check out the video made by Lo Fi St. Louis from You Tube at the bottom of the post for a glimpse of what the show is like. You can also read this feature story from the Riverfront Times earlier this year. Where: American Czech Hall 4690 Landsdowne (at Kingshighway) St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Dates: (All shows on Sundays) January 9, March 6, May 1, July 10, September 11, November 6

Time: 10:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Admission: $3.00 Early Bird: $5.00 (8:30 a.m.) Table Fee: $35.00 (set up 8:30 a.m.)

Official St. Louis Record and CD Show website

For Information send an e-mail at stlrecordshow@gmail.com

You can also find their page on Facebook