BLACK GOLD

At the end of last month I posted a blog (Breakfast On The Blog – A Phoenix Rising From Its Ashes – The Vinyl Revolution Nov. 30th 2014) about the surprising revival of vinyl LPs this past year. I talked about there being some debate as to whether or not vinyl is really on the way back to any great extent. Despite the fact that most new recordings are also being issued as 180 gram LPs, they certainly aren’t going to replace any of the different digital formats in the foreseeable future. But there has also been a re-interest in the vinyl format in the form of used LPs. And depending upon what you might be looking for, it can turn into a rather expensive undertaking.

Search on E-bay, Amazon or elsewhere online and you’d be surprised what kind of bargains you’ll find. And then again if it is something obscure or rare, you might be shocked at the prices the sellers are asking. And the thing is, people are paying those prices. Whereas the sales of CDs and downloads have taken a hit this past year, used record prices have continued to go up. Your best bet when looking for good bargains is still a small local brick and mortar shop, dealing in cheap used LPs, but more and more of them have been going online with their wares, especially when they have something rare, valuable or much sought after.

Two blocks up the street and around the corner from where I live there is a used LP/CD shop. In a back room it has bin after bin of LPs for €2,50 or €5,00 ($3.00 – $5.00). But there are also lots of bins with albums running anywhere from €15,00 to €50,00. And on display on the walls and in the shop windows are the really pricey items. Today I saw an original American pressing of Elvis Presley’s GI Blues on the wall with an asking price of €89,00. That’s $125.00. Whoa! A fellow was interested in buying it and wanted to talk the bloke working in the shop down a bit in price, but he was having none of that. “You’d be surprised,” he said, “but I can get that much for it. We’ve sold two or three of them for that much in the past few months.” Hanging in the window was a copy of Gentle Giant’s Three Friends album, with the original English cover. The price? €129,00. Yep, that’s a cool $182.00. Whenever I walk in there and see something like that, and the shop has lots of rare stuff with prices those kinds of prices, I begin to think of my huge record collection as an ever growing investment. Sure, you can only cash in on all that black gold if you can find a buyer, but believe me, they are out there. But then, I’m not interested in selling. I’m usually too busy out there  collecting…

000 Record Room 1Just the tip of the iceberg. Photo taken in 2012.


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