As mentioned previously, one of my resources for obtaining music has been friends. A couple in particular have been especially generous when they have run across CDs or LPs they know I want and pick them up for me. I return the favor when I see albums they are seeking, which makes for a pleasant back and forth exchange.
I have also been contacted by friends who have uploaded collections to their computers and they no longer want the physical copies. I am always more than happy to take the music off of their hands. Whatever I can’t add to my collection I pass on to someone who wants it for theirs.
Additionally, I have been on the receiving end of a stranger’s kindness. One example occurred during my first visit to Village Records in the Roscoe Village neighborhood of Chicago last winter. A small, but quaint record shop with an eclectic mix of new and used music, books and DVDs, the store’s greatest asset is its owner Will. Will greets everyone when they walk through the door, but gives patrons space to navigate his wares without hovering over them. If someone has a question, however, he is quick to provide assistance. But the most engaging aspect of visiting the store is talking over one’s purchases with Will. As one customer remarked on yelp.com, “The owner knew all of the albums I picked out well despite the fact they were all over the genre map.” That was my experience too. The love for music he exuded as he rang up my CDs and records spoke to my inner music nerd and was a pleasant addition to an already grand record store experience. As Will was bagging up my goodies I noticed Stereolab‘s “Jenny Ondioline Part 1” seven inch clear vinyl promo on the shelf behind him. I asked to see the record and we talked about our love for the band. I decided to add it to my order and instead of charging me ten dollars as marked, he knocked the price down to seven- a very fair price for the rare 45. A friend that accompanied me inquired if he sold 45 adapter domes. Will said no, but without thinking twice gave him the one from the store’s turntable. We haven’t had an opportunity to visit his shop again, but I look forward to the next chance we get.
Finally, I have found a lot of hospitable folks at yard sales. Many people are selling their unwanted music for cheap via their front lawn stores, with some offering boxes of compact discs or records for a flat rate. There was one sale I was perusing LPs and the seller said, “Ten bucks and they’re all yours!” I was delighted to accept those terms, as the collection contained a couple hundred records.
Saturday I encountered another benevolent yard sale merchant. I was drawn to the sale due to their classified ad stating, “Lots of music CDs.” After finding twenty-seven discs suitable for my collection, the homeowner complimented me on grabbing all of the Alan Parsons Project albums. I made mention that the only projects by Mr. Parsons I already owned were on LP, so these CDs were a nice addition. He told me he had some records inside the house but didn’t own a turntable. He added that he was just going to throw them away but asked if I had any interest in them for free. I couldn’t answer in the affirmative quickly enough and thanked him a few times over. His wife went into the house and came out with a huge stack of happiness. For the small sum of nine dollars (the CDs were three for a buck), I went home with twenty-seven CDs and forty-seven LPs!
The Alan Parsons Project Tales of Mystery and Imagination
The Alan Parsons Project I Robot
The Alan Parsons Project Pyramid
The Alan Parsons Project Eve
The Alan Parsons Project The Turn of a Friendly Card
The Alan Parsons Project Eye in the Sky
The Alan Parsons Project Ammonia Avenue
The Alan Parsons Project Stereotomy
Alan Parsons On Air
The Cure Disintegration– This was a long time, overdue repurchase after lending it out in high school only for it to never be returned.
Ray Charles The Best of Ray Charles: The Atlantic Years- As a general rule I don’t purchase greatest hits compilations of artists I enjoy enough to collect their entire works, but for the price, I made an exception.
Cheap Trick Dream Police
Jethro Tull Aqualung– I already owned it on LP and am glad to add it on this format.
Jethro Tull Warchild
ELO Out of the Blue
The Moody Blues Greatest Hits– See Ray Charles
Talking Heads Fear of Music
Van Halen Van Halen– All VH purchases are albums I used to own on cassette.
Van Halen Women and Children First
Van Halen Diver Down
XTC Nonesuch– My first album on any format by the band. I have been familiar with them for many years but have only started appreciating their work the last several. My introduction to their music was “Dear God” and I allowed my previous religious-inspired bias to cloud my judgement. While that tune is still not one of my favorites , I have taken the opportunity to explore their back catalog and like what I’ve heard.
Yes Going For The One
The following CDs were bought for my wife. We maintain separate CD collections, though our LPs are a combined accumulation.
Fleetwood Mac Rumours
Styx Kilroy Was Here
Styx Pieces of Eight
Styx Paradise Theater
Count Basie 20 Greatest Hits
The Beatles Rarities
Irvin Berlin Dance to the Music of Irvin Berlin
Chuck Berry Chuck Berry’s Golden Decade
Boogie Woogie Trio Vol. 3
Ray Charles The Ray Charles Story
Bobby Darin 18 Roses & 11 Other Hits
ELO Out of the Blue
Marvin Gaye Let’s Get it On
Marvin Gaye Midnight Love
Marvin Gaye Every Great Motown Hit of Marvin Gaye
George Harrison Somewhere In England
Billy Joel 52nd Street*
Elton John Blue Moves
Elton John Greatest Hits Volume II
Elton John A Single Man
Elton John Victim of Love
Elton John The Fox
Elton John Jump Up!
Elton John Too Low for Zero
Elton John Breaking Hearts
John Lennon/Yoko Ono Double Fantasy
Jerry Lee Lewis Original Golden Hits Volume II
London Philharmonic Orchestra Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2
Lynyrd Skynyrd Gold & Platinum*
Barry Manilow Greatest Hits Vol. II*
The Moody Blues Days of Future Passed
The Moody Blues The Present
The Moody Blues The Other Side of Life
Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra The Nutcracker Suite
Elvis Presley Elvis’ Christmas Album (1959 reissue)
Elvis Presley Elvis’ Christmas Album (1985 reissue)
Elvis Presley Loving You
Elvis Presley Elvis Is Back!
Elvis Presley G.I. Blues
Elvis Presley Blue Hawaii
Elvis Presley Elvis Sings The Wonderful World of Christmas
Elvis Presley Memories of Christmas
Prince 1999– We own this already so it will be given away or traded.
Prince and the Revolution Purple Rain– See 1999.
The Al Sack Concert Orchestra Music for Listening– Isn’t that the point of all music?
Bobby Vinton Roses are Red
Collector’s Records of the 50’s an 60’s Vol. 13
Grease soundtrack*- The Mrs. already owns this one so it will be given away or traded.
Jazz Heritage Series Vol. 33 Piano In Style: 1926-1930– This album features Jelly Roll Morton, Pinetop Smith and James P. Johnson
Saturday Night Fever soundtrack*- See Grease.
* denotes records that are more geared toward my wife’s tastes.