December 22, 2016 Chestnuts Reissued

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Nat King Cole, The Christmas Song, Capitol SW-1967, 197?

I say it every single time.  I hate re-issues.  I never try to allow myself to buy them, but in a case like this I threw away $2 to actually have this music on vinyl.  It doesn’t get more classic (assuming that’s a phrase) then a record like this.  And it just sounds so much better on vinyl.  Like I said, Christmas albums are a label’s best friend, and a perennial seller like this one is a cash cow.

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Truth be told, I was in a rush and never bothered to check the record inside the jacket.  That’s a huge rookie mistake to make because you never really know what’s inside a record jacket.  Finding a warped classical record inside a Beatles jacket is about the ultimate fail, but buying a re-issue unknowingly is right up there.

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This is the 1972-1979 Capitol label.  As a kid, I bought my Beatles albums on this label.  So despite it’s ugliness, I have a warm spot for it.  Still, it’s not the label this record would have been issued on, so it’ll never have any value beyond what I sold it for.  But I don’t mind.  It’s Nat King Cole and The Christmas Song.  I can re-gift it back to Goodwill when I find the real one, and until then, Let It Snow!

Today’s Summary:
Cost: $1, $547 Remaining

October 10, 2016 ‘S Happened Again

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Ray Conniff, ‘S Awful Nice, Columbia CS 8001, 1958?

You know, I should really know better.  Ray Conniff is one of there all time greatest Goodwill artists, someone that no serious music fan has any interest in.  Even though I’ve blogged about him before, and as much as I tell people that he was was ahead of his time with the technology of the recording studio, no-one but me seems to hip to the vibe he laid down. (Cough).  But really, these records are fun, sorry for being (Cough) a broken record.

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So, yes, when I saw this record in a $1 bin, yes, on the street, in the rain, in the cold Oregon streets, i didn’t think twice about buying it.  I never in a million years would have figured that this was a record that the great Columbia record would have ever had a need, sales-wise to re-relsease.  I doubt that this was a big seller in 1958, it spawned no hit singles, and wasn’t a well known member of the Conniff catalogue.

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Yet, somehow, in the 1980s judging by the label, record stores begged for more of ‘S Awful Nice to satisfy the immense customer demand for an echo chamber version of It Had To Be You.  As a record collector, I felt very cheated to fall for this yet again despite the 100 pennies I had to fork over to take this home.  It remains a truism that I might just get my first tattoo on my wallet opening arm that says “Aways Check The Label!”

Today’s Summary:

Cost: $2, $718 Remaining

October 9, 2016 Baby, Check The Label

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Glenn Yarbrough, Baby The Rain Must Fall, RCA LSP-3422, 1965?

I’ve said it many times here, I don’t necessarily buy records for the music on them, but rather for the experience of listening to the music in the format that it was engineered for.   So I don’t usually go for greatest hits packages, and I really don’t go for re-issued records.

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Some records, Rubber Soul, Pet Sounds, Bookends, to name three have never been out of print since the day they were issued.  So a collector looking for a first pressing needs to be familiar with the record labels that were current when an album was released to know that it’s an original.  Other records, say Introducing The Beatles on Vee Jay, or Harry Breuer’s Mallet Mischief, obviously weren’t re-released for business or quality reasons.  But sometimes, it can be really hard to tell if a record is an original.

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Nothing about this album ever says it should have been re-issued in the 70s.  The title track single was a number one country hit, but only a number twelve pop hit.  Glenn Yarbrough also isn’t the kind of household name that people clamor for years past their peak of popularity.  So when I was flipping through a $1 clearance bin and say the cover, I tossed it into my pile, eager to hear the original hit on vinyl.  It was only when I went to listen to the record to write this entry that I saw this was an early 1970s RCA label, and not the classic black mid sixties RCA label.  It’s hard to imagine that there was a need for this record to stay in print for 10 years, but here it is.  So it’s kind of a meh discovery, much like the music on it.

Today’s Summary:

Cost: $2, $720 Remaining

June 20, 2016 His Name Was Sam Cooke

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Sam Cooke, At The Copa, RCA LSP-2970, 1964

Sometimes you think you have the discovery of the ages in your hand, only to realize you’ve found some fool’s gold.  Sam Cooke At The Copa, like Ella In Berlin, Judy Garland At Carnegie Hall, or James Brown At The Apollo is one of the few essential live albums any collector would snap up in a heartbeat.  To find one in a bargain bin still in it’s original shrink wrap would be the sort of discovery you’d be telling your record friends about for years.

It was recorded in July, 1964, released that October,  two short months before Sam was killed in a very bizarre shooting incident.  He was at the top of his game when he died, and the single he followed this album up with (Shake/A Change Is Gonna Come) may have been his best.  Soul Music wouldn’t be the same without the foundation Sam Cooke laid down, and we can only guess at all the great music he would have continued to create.

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While this album wasn’t revolutionary when it was released, his too soon after death made it an instant collectible and finding an original issue of this record would be amazing at any price.  Getting it home, I quickly realized I shouldn’t have been so excited.

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The record inside was in deplorable shape, and to make matters worse, it’s a bad 70s re-issue of the 1964 original.  Yesterday, we talked about original vs. re-issued records, but it takes time to learn what label each company was issuing when.  Because John Denver’s early 70s albums originally came out with this label, I can date the manufacturing date of this record to that era.  It may actually have been overpriced at $2.

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I tried my best to clean it up with my pre-moistened wipe trick, but it failed to make the record very playable.   The problem with 70’s and later records is that they found ways to make records more flexible and lighter, but to me, they just don’t hold up as well as records made before.  This record is very thin and bendable and I really think that it affects the durability of the grooves.  The cover on this record was very good by any rating scale, but the record was virtually unplayable.  It’s especially jarring on a live album, with all the background noise they naturally have already on them.

My quest for a VG copy at descent price continues…

Today’s Summary:

Cost: $2, $968 Remaining