31 May 2012

Out Of The Crates

This is the first part in what I hope will become a regular feature on the site - although this will depend upon input from your fine selves, so it's entirely up to you whether we see more of this or not.
There's something in my psychological makeup that makes me unable to ignore a record collection when I visit a house for the first time, and all social etiquette becomes a secondary consideration.
I'm assuming this is something that affects other vinyl lovers as well and offer as an outlet for those urges "Out of the Crates" - an opportunity for readers to share some of their most prized vinyl finds for other record lovers around the world to drool over.
The format is simple -
Dig out a few of your most treasured vinyl finds, take a few nice pictures of them, and send them in to me at nford150@gmail.com with a bit of a narrative about the records and why you treasure them so. Easy, and we all love the opportunity to show off our record collection a little don't we?

I'm going to start the ball rolling with a few picks from my collection.

Simon Dupree & The Big Sound - Without Reservations
I set myself the difficult and quite possibly fruitless task of digging through all the $4 sale bins at Christchurch, New Zealand's Penny Lane until I could find myself a bargain.
My patience was eventually rewarded when to my surprise this original N.Z pressing on the Blue Parlophone label jumped out at me from amongst a particularly unpromising looking stack of Mantovani LPs.
The vinyl itself looked to be pretty well used, but as is often the case with these old N.Z pressings, it played exceptionally despite looking like it'd been run over.
Ten years later it's still my go-to record when I feel the urge for a one-man mod soul party, and while their later psych stuff is generally more well regarded I've got a major soft spot for this sucker.

This was a particular surprise when I stumbled across it, as it was one I'd assumed would be on my wants list until the day I died.
I'd had a digital copy for years and loved it, but found that it had been a particularly poor seller in it's native England, and was still not held in particularly high regard by collectors even now.
Assuming that it wouldn't have been pressed anywhere else in the world then, imagine my surprise when I pulled out this tidy looking Australian pressing on the Interfusion label for a very reasonable $50. Even with a textured cover it was in pretty good shape.
Wolf People fans should do themselves a favour and check this LP out - it's got the same sort of atmospheric, very English mixture of hard rock, folk and prog that "Steeples" has, and is ripe for rediscovery.
Now, if only the sleeve artist had been paying attention the day they covered faces in art class.

There was a time when I'd buy absolutely anything on the Vertigo label ( which isn't a cheap hobby ). I've grown more selective over the years and pruned a few titles back, but one I'll never voluntarily part with is this great jazzy prog rock album. It's a N.Z pressed gatefold with a beautiful sleeve by Keef ( also responsible for the first Black Sabbath cover ), and is the pride of my Vertigo Swirl collection.

The Third Rail - Id Music
This is one of the best finds I came away with after spending a day going through pretty much every record at Auckland's Real Groovy. What makes it particularly good is that it isn't the album I thought I was buying, but is even better. When confronted with tens of thousands of records my mind tends to play a few tricks on me, and when I thought I'd found myself an original U.S copy of the Inner Sounds of the ID for $25.95 I was rapt.
Needless to say, I was less than pleased when I discovered my mistake, but having paid for it I gave it a listen.
Despite it's origins as a bit of a dubious cash in, it's a fascinating mixture of Four Seasons style pop with inventive psychedelic studio trickery, and unlike so many pop psych albums of the sixties, actually deserves the very cool psychedelic sleeve it's housed in.  Occasionally too cute for it's own good, but mostly full of psych pop gems.

The Smashing Pumpkins / David Bowie - All The Young Dudes / Jean Genie 7"
As a huge fan of both Bowie and the Smashing Pumpkins in my formative years it was vital that I bought this when I spotted it on ebay.
It features the two duets by Bowie and Billy Corgan from Bowie's 50th Birthday Bash in 1997 with no other Smashing Pumpkins in sight.
It's a bootleg of some sort I presume, although the manufacturers have elected to press it as a white label "not for sale" promo to try and stave off the law.
I've never seen another copy of this offered for auction, so am curious if anyone can shed any light on it's origins or it's legality.
Whoever put it out did a pretty good job anyway - it sounds great and the creepy photoshopped cover looks as good as can be expected for a late nineties release.

Your turn now - send photos and info to nford150@gmail.com

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