By the time you read this newsletter, the brand spanking new edition of Record Collector will be in the shops, featuring 51 Debut Rarities on the cover; plus the mighty Billy Rath of The Heartbreakers; making sense of Aphex Twin’s catalogue; a great interview with Frankie Valli, and an equally enlightening talk with Downliners Sect. Plus the story of Fire Records, Chicago house, Ryan Adams, Nashville rock and a chance to obtain a hand-finished album by original progressive folkie Ken Saul. There are reviews of Baxter Dury, The Pop Group, the Weddoes and Q&As with Anthony Phillips and Godflesh. Plus the only vinyl singles review column in a major music mag – as ever. We claim to be The Home Of Vinyl – which is true because we’ve bought so many records there’s no room for human beings in our house anymore and we’re sleeping in the bus stop outside. And yes, I have done that for real… once.
So what’s else is big in my tiny world at the moment? I’ve been experimenting with new hi-fi cables. I had a go at this about 20 years back and while I know it makes a difference, I’ve been slightly shocked by the results thus far. I’ve not been hearing what I should, up to now: there’s more music in these round slivers of black plastic than I thought. Once I’ve finished trying them out I’ll give you some details. I bought this, except it’s the UK pressing on Transatlantic. Mr Patterson is an artist I’ve had a fancy for since I bought this as a punt on Cadet yonks ago because I fancied the sleeve. Note where that bus on the cover is going to: Selma, Alabama, a main focus of Civil Rights marches, which were by then a strong influence on jazz by the likes of Art Blakey and Max Roach and many more; folk music too, which then spread out into the more conscious end of mid-60s rock. Oh, and I bought some records from our classifieds section, which remains a pleasure to peruse.
I’ve made a classic error. I searched for a single on eBay and a seller was flogging it, to my surprise. I bid three times what I thought it was worth (I know, I know, it’s idiots like me ruining it for everyone else) and looked at the seller’s other items. Yes, another big one listed too, so I wagered a fair amount of money on that too. Plus I bid on two lesser items likely to go for just a few quid to make up a nice package. You guessed it – I got the two makeweights and lost the two I really wanted. You might think it makes sense to pile those bids into one stronger bid for the one record you are really hungry for, and it does. Except that you never know how much the winning bidder actually put on the record, all you know is the price it sold for: the lucky winner might have bid £100,000 for all I know. There are millionaires aplenty scouring eBay for vinyl. There were two Dutch footballers vacuuming up reggae oldies not long ago. You can’t compete. But getting the two whatever records is amateur stuff on my part. If my buying policy was graded like a record, it’d be F- at best.
That’s enough waffle from me. This newsletter format is going to change soon so if you like it, make the most of it while you can. If you don’t like it, you’ll still be stuck with me; sorry about that. Hope you have a great week and find something you really want…
Ian McCann, Editor