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: 33 1/3 RPM

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


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