While running the other day, I experienced a delightful incongruity as I listened on my earbuds to Duke Ellington’s “Hy’a Sue,” uploaded from a 1940s 78-rpm record onto my computer and added to my digital music playlist.
Not only are the history and breadth of recorded music more widely available than ever, but the adventurous music-lover can explore an array of formats, including tape, vinyl, and digital file. It can make your head spin like a 45.
Of all the listening formats that have come along, the favorite of many (including yours truly) is the vinyl LP record. The long-playing disc was introduced in the late 40s. It flourished in the 60s and 70s, hitting its peak sales year in 1977. Compact disc sales passed LP sales in 1988, and there was a slump for a couple of decades. But now, with the CD format in decline, the 33-rpm LP is back on the rise!
At HPB, we celebrate LPs every week of the year, but now, in honor of Vinyl Week, we’re going to take a look at just a few vinyl treasures our stores have come across recently.
Runaway with Del Shannon
Original 1961 stereo pressing on Big Top Records (12-1303). Rare in stereo and in Near Mint condition. The title song was #1 on the Billboard Charts for its co-writer Del Shannon and charted several more times, with versions by Bonnie Raitt, Narvel Felts and others. At our Greenfield, Wisconsin location.
Rawhide’s Clint Eastwood Sings Cowboy Favorites
1962 Cameo Mono (C-1056). In Very Good+ condition. Yes, the man who acts, directs, produces, composes and talks to chairs also sings! If you missed him in Paint Your Wagon, you’ll want to grab this one. At our Northtown, Minnesota store.
Northtown also let us know they have the special Record Store Day release of Ween’s double LP The Pod (on clear vinyl), All Things Censored: Essays by Mumia Abu-Jamal, and Big Black’s Headache EP from 1987.
The First XI—Pink Floyd
1979 Harvest (PF-11) 12-disc boxed-set. The vinyl is in Mint condition and the box is in Very Good condition, with some worn edges. The set contains Pink Floyd’s first eleven LP releases, two as picture discs. At our Ross Township location in Pittsburgh.
This store also has a large number of punk and indie singles by Pujol, No Time Left, The Bauer Bros and others.
Riverside Tenor Sessions—Thelonious Monk
Analogue Productions (APJ 037) boxed set. There is some damage to the box, but the vinyl and individual record covers are all Near Mint. This collection pulls together some of the best albums by this sui generis composer and pianist. At our Berkeley, California store.
The Berkeley location actually got quite a few jazz treasures in, including LPs by Charles Mingus, Clifford Brown and Max Roach, Eric Dolphy and others.
Sealed copy of Soundgarden’s 1994 2-LP album. This was the band’s fourth album and is considered by most fans to be their best. At our Austin—South Lamar store.
This location also recently got in some other vinyl treasures, including Beck’s Modern Guilt, and signed albums by Kenneth Threadgill and Eric Johnson.
Trilogy—Emerson, Lake & Palmer
1972 Cotillion (SD 9903) LP framed, signed by Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Carl Palmer. The English progressive rock group’s fourth album is presented in a nice, matted frame, the perfect addition to any ELP fan’s music-room wall. Our Flagship store has this one.
Other choice items at this store include a white-label promo copy of The Mothers of Invention’s Uncle Meat, a second-state, unpeeled mono “butcher cover” copy of The Beatles’ Yesterday… and Today and a nice copy of Live: The Ike & Tina Turner Show from 1965.
“(‘Til) I Kissed You” b/w “Oh, What a Feeling”—Everly Brothers
1959 7″ Cadence-1369 45 rpm picture sleeve. The picture sleeve is bright, with a bit of wrinkling but no tears. The record has slight age-related wear, but there are no visible scratches and the label is intact. This great hit was written by brother Don and featured Chet Atkins on guitar. At our Fort Worth—Hulen location.
In addition to the Everlys, the store has Elvis 45s of “A Big Hunk of Love” b/w “My Wish Came True,” “Wear My Ring Around Your Neck” b/w “Doncha’ Think It’s Time” and other nice picture sleeves.
If you’re a vinyl-lover and are interested in any of these treasures (or just want to talk records), contact the Buy Guy!