TOP TEN EXCUSES FOR BUYING RECORDS

  1. The review I read was really positive 1
  2. The price was a lot less than Discogs 2
  3. It’s my birthday 3
  4. I’ve never seen it ‘in the wild’ before 4
  5. The cover art is nice 5
  6. It fills a gap in the collection 6
  7. It will be my birthday in 10 days / weeks / months 7
  8. Owning the CD doesn’t really count 8
  9. I haven’t bought any records this month / this week / today / since lunchtime 9
  10. It could be worse, I could have a problem with drinking / gambling / (insert vice of your choice)10

FOOTNOTES

  1. Fortunately, reviews can be sourced from various media: newspaper, magazine, blog, on-line site, social media post, overheard conversation on the train…
  2. Cunning post-hoc deployment is most effective. Example: bring home a bunch of albums, choose the one having the highest on-line price, trumpet your find as an example of shrewd purchasing skills. Strategy operates equally well in reverse, ie: ‘Found one cheap on Discogs’.
  3. Self-indulgence is timeless.
  4. The ‘rarity’ argument. Can be utterly destroyed with three simple questions, only two of which are included here due to the danger of anyone (Hello Ms Connection!) having such unlimited destructive power. (a) Have you actually been looking for this? (b) Does ‘rare’ equal ‘necessary’?
  5. Despite its apparent naivety, this is effective as a long con, as the body of ‘artistically valid’ purchases builds its own momentum, making cover art a self-sustaining justification all on its own. e.g.: ‘Hey, a Hipgnosis cover I’ve never seen before!’ (note combination of #4 and #5)
  6. Possibly the most hollow, self-serving and indefensible excuse on the list, yet one that gets deployed with great frequency. What hole? Most collectors’ shelves are so crammed the records are in danger of suffocating.
  7. Self-indulgence plans ahead.
  8. Obviously.
  9. Depending on who you are lying to at the time. Demonstrates mature restraint. Maybe.
  10. The last-ditch rationalisation of the record-obsessed lost soul.
  11. There is one more case, a personal one, that gets prosecuted with great frequency in my imagination: “I’d really like to write about this album at Vinyl Connection”. Given the name of the blog, the CD is insufficient, hence, “I must have it on vinyl”. Usually I win the mental litigation very quickly.

Have I missed something?

Of course! What about upgrading a copy of an album? An original to replace a re-issue (where both are retained, of course)… Something released on a favourite label… Music my partner might enjoy… And so on.

Readers (both addicts and their long-suffering nearest-and-dearest) are most welcome to propose additional categories and add personal confessions in the Comments below.

In the meantime, as a kind of vinyl divulgence, here are some Vinyl Connection examples from recent months.

1  The review I read was really positive 1

Richard Pinhas—Reverse (2017)

Love Pinhas, been meaning to write about his music since VC began. But do I want to begin with his latest noise-infused work or the much more accessible early album I first encountered? Stasis results.

4  I’ve never seen it ‘in the wild’ before 4

Given the endless river of albums out there, the chances of seeing something unfamiliar float past while browsing is pretty close to 100%. What this excuse really indicates is that we’ve happened across an album we’ve been aware of, perhaps intrigued by, for a while. Not enough to seek it on-line, perhaps, but enough to grasp it gratefully when it appears under our fingers.

5  The cover art is nice 5

Like the album, love the cover. Is this not superb?

7  It will be my birthday in 10 days / weeks / months 7

Probably the best/worst example of this desperate ploy was springing for a five-LP set of Soft Machine Live in 1970. Turns out, it’s a vinyl re-issue of two 2-CD set released some years back (one of which I have), plus an anonymous fifth side. The sixth side? It’s an etching of the band.

8  Owning the CD doesn’t really count 8

A substantial grouping. Does that surprise? A couple of examples (where I really do want to write a post) must suffice:

Univers Zero—Heresie (Dark Belgian RIO chamber prog instrumentalists)

Peter Gabriel—Us (My favourite ‘adult’ relationships album. Ever.)

Guru Guru—Känguru (Crazy Germans freak out with a kangaroo. Wanted since 1975)

9  I haven’t bought any records this month / this week / today / since lunchtime 9

Some fine detail on how this works. You pick up a restrained two albums at lunchtime. Later, after the household is asleep, you find yourself browsing an on-line retailer. Any click-purchase after sundown is technically not day, ergo, not to-day. A spot of shopping next morning yields three charity shop finds. You announce the very reasonable sounding ‘just a few this week’ while actually having purchased six albums in under 24 hours.

Longer term, you can also choreograph when the purchase is counted—when the PayPal account is debited, when the item is dispatched, when the LP actually arrives, when it gets filed. Such temporal paradoxes are handy for muddying the waters of excess. Yet really this is all about as convincing as ‘My imaginary friend wants to hear it’.

11  Buy to write, write to buy.

The overlap with category 5 is obvious, meaning this list could easily fill a page all on its own.

More than a tactic, this conundrum is a long-term experience. Back in the days of presenting radio shows in the early 90s, need (for albums) and purpose (radio presentation) coalesced so perfectly it became impossible to work out which came first. Same with the blog.

Herewith a sample from the last six months, none of which have actually made it to Vinyl Connection thus far.

David Matthews—Dune (for a planned Dune series that is looking problematic for this year)

Dungen—Allas Sak (A band I like hugely but do not know any of their albums well enough to write about. Yet.)

Love—Forever Changes (Re-issue on white vinyl. Purchased for the 1967 series. Even though I have a perfectly good CD and actually don’t rate the album as highly as many.)

As a timely finale, the package below arrived in the post yesterday. Utterly excessive, completely unnecessary, totally desirable. To claim your Vinyl Hunter-Gatherer Professional Development points, simply nominate which category (-ies) this acquisition best fits into.

Over to you…

 

50 comments

  1. Black host!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Unless I missed it above, what about: ‘I fancy the girl/bloke who likes this band/artist/album, maybe it will get me into their good books/pants’?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A time honoured excuse for liking an artist, for sure. From your experience, does it work with buying albums?

      Like

  3. “I got paid and the money is burning a hole in my pocket”. Weak I know, but doesn’t mean I haven’t tried it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yep, the “pocket money” syndrome!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had that problem yesterday, Bruce. I cured it though. I came home with two records!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Solid work Mike. You set a great example. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

  4. I just used my favorite one yesterday on Sept 1st…I haven’t been to a record store all month, I should go see what’s available. 3 albums purchased, but I hadn’t bought any since last month.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A lovely example of the ‘timing is everything’ approach. Nice work.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. How about

    It’s Record Store Day
    They’re having a sale
    It’s in the clearance bin
    includes bonus tracks
    Coloured vinyl
    Double lp
    180g
    Sourced from original tapes
    Mono
    Limited time offer
    Signed by the band
    I work hard for my money
    I deserve to treat myself
    It’s almost Christmas
    I’ve been looking for this for a long time
    At that price I just had to have it

    Liked by 3 people

    1. OMG I have used ALL of these, too.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. You are a most resourceful person, Brian. Broke, but with an outstanding music collection I imagine. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Classic, Bruce. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. OMG I Have used ALL of these.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I read this list to my lovely wife and she laughed and said “oh this is soooo familiar!”

    The only one she would add is maybe more me-specific:

    “I bought it for a friend!” (COMMUNITY!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well done, Mrs KMA. Not a widespread explanation, but all the more precious for that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It oughta be widespread! Sending things to folks and seeing their reactions is super-fun! And my lovely wife? She is supremely patient and tolerant of me. I’m a lucky boy. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Love your take on this, Bruce. And, like you, LOVE that “Social Studies” cover (am I correct in assuming the name of that LP isn’t “Europe: A History of Ten Years” and the artist isn’t Buell….? 🙂 ) The one addition I can think of is “I’m a completist, pure and simple…”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, well spotted. Not esteemed composer and pianist Carla Bley, but in fact Bebe Buell, American singer, fashion model and Playboy’s November 1974 Pet of the Month. Also noted Historian., Didn’t think many would get that one! 😉

      The ‘completist’ category is an excellent addition. Of course it could embrace very other ‘excuse’ couldn’t it? As in, “I’m completing my collection of this artist, this sub-genre, this decade, century…”

      Like

  10. The cat really likes “this album”.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’d never have resorted to such flimsy excuses, would you Mr CB?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have and will continue to use “Pinky”. She likes her vinyl.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m guessing the recent purchase was a little of all of the above, emphasis on reasons 6,7,8?
    Fun post Bruce (humour hopefully = achieved!) – I’d add, ‘I didn’t want it to become the one that got away’

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Suppose and “all of the above” item could have been added! Glad you enjoyed it Geoff. And yes, that ‘regret test’ aspect perhaps deserves a post all of its own.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. I’m familiar with a fair few of these. Most used being 4, 5 and 8.

    Two of my most recent purchases fit into the often used ‘I had to buy it because it’s (name of artist)’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, yes. As JDB mentioned, the ‘completist’ principle is very important. Perhaps its omission was because it is so automatic, it’s become invisible!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hilarious post. While I wouldn’t call myself a serious collector (I simply love listening to music, ownership is secondary), this actually reminds me that I haven’t been to “my record store” for quite some time. I suppose this would be no. 9 in your list.

    As for an additional reason, how about my dog chew the record? Okay, maybe not very original. Plus, it could get you in trouble if prompted to produce the evidence!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. And I can thoroughly recommend the health-giving (and wallet emptying) properties of browsing in a ‘bricks and mortar’ store. Have fun!

      Like

  14. I wouldn’t just like to state for the record (see what I did there?) that I don’t recognise any of this superb post in myself at all. Nope, none, nosirree.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Knew it wouldn’t not connect for you Joe. But I imagined that you, as a student of human nature, might be intrigued by the strange behaviours of others.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I second the record store day guy. But for me my favorite is I am depressed/stressed and therefore I need a record. Oh and don’t forget the garage sale excuse – they were only a quarter a piece.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Both worthy additions, Catchgroove. I particularly like the self-medication manifestation. Reckon that works semi-consciously for me all the time!
      Thanks for joining in!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. pinklightsabre · · Reply

    How about this one: I’m depressed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Self-medication via vinyl? Works for me. In fact it did yesterday. Picked up a double picture disc soundtrack to Frank Bakshi’s Lord of the Rings and an Aussie Goth LP. Felt much better.

      Like

      1. pinklightsabre · · Reply

        Retail therapy too, we say. But arguably more satisfying to the senses. I guess??!

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Great post and contributions.
    I mostly stick to my ‘budget for the year approach’ (INTP type masquerading as INTJ … for benefit of Z. Refer Myers Briggs test). Citation of VC reviews (1) is also great for supplementary purchases.
    Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Budget? Budget? What does this word mean?

      Like

  18. Similar to Pinata – something made to be broken to yield more delights

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Arterrorist · · Reply

    I have a custom to get my vinyl signed by the bands when I can, so when I’m going to attend the concert of the band I haven’t on vinyl yet, I have to buy it just in case I’ll meet the band. It’s an emergency and higher priority – I’m sure You understand this 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Absolutely brilliant. You could start buying as soon as a tour is announced!
      I’m adding that to my repertoire immediately.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Yes. Me too. I forgot this one.
      This one falls under the category of scrambling to find vinyl that will arrive in time for the show.

      Liked by 2 people

  20. I have a custom to get my vinyl signed by the bands when I can, so when I’m going to attend the concert of the band I haven’t on vinyl yet, I have to buy it just in case I’ll meet the band. It’s an emergency and higher priority – I’m sure You understand this 😉
    Greetings – Arterrorist from Tumblr

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi iwarti/Arterrorist. Lovely to see you crossing over!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. The worst is when you buy vinyl for a show and the band is whisked away into the night just seconds before you get to them.
      Argh.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You still have the vinyl to cheer You up 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  21. […] have played it (or perhaps even purchased it) without this very blog. Buying to blog, eh? Haven’t heard that excuse in a […]

    Like

  22. I just wrote an article on the vinyl record and how society vies them, I would love if you checked it out and gave me some feedback! I just started my blog and would really love some input!

    Liked by 1 person

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