High value records don’t always equate to high quality music, surely many collectors have been disappointed when finally getting there hands on a 500 pound holy grail, only to find the music average and uninspiring.
Frequent visitors to record fairs will be aware of the abundance of bargain boxes, “Everything For 1.00 pound “, “Two For A Fiver” and so on. Trawling through boxes of cheap vinyl can often be rewarding, with classic albums of the last 40 years sandwiched between brass bands and budget compilations.
The aim of this exercise is to build a collection of quality albums, music at the top of its genre, groundbreaking, or simply remarkable from start to finish.
In reality the price of some items will vary between fairs and dealers but I have tried to include albums that can be regularly found between 1 pound and 4 pound.
I have steered clear of internet sales because of varying quality and postage costs.
Of course you may disagree with many of my choices and yes music is subjective and a matter of personal taste.
Some albums simply sell time and time again or are highly regarded for there style or musicality and this I have drawn upon in my selection.
Feel free if you wish to replace some of my selections with your own.
Along side each item I have attached a star rating, five for the most abundant and easy to acquire, fewer stars for those items that might take a little longer to track down.
This is an ongoing project my object to compile an extensive library of value vinyl.
So now it is time to begin building your collection.
Box 5. Article Summary
1. Fleetwood Mac ‘Rumours’ – World wide sales of almost 30 million will guarantee this item turning up at your local fair and almost certainly numerous copies can be found in bargain boxes throughout the nation. Fleetwood Mac’s transformation from a classic blues outfit to one of the most successful rock and pop groups of the 70s and 80s is mainly down to this high profile album. Most of us who originally owned this album played both sides relentlessly and then grew tired with over exposure. But with thirty years behind it the album with its strong collective of song writing and musicianship guarantees nearly everyone’s return. *****
Comments – Songbird covered by various artists. The Chain Grand Prix music. A version on white vinyl exists.
Other albums by this artist / group: Tango in the night, Tusk
2. Roxy Music ‘For Your Pleasure’ – Roxy Music’s second album with its eclectic mix of musicians and broad musical influence is often lorded by lovers of progressive rock. This view is probably confirmed by the presence of the glorious nine minute romp “Bogus Man”. The often strange combination of Brian Ferry’s fifties throwback warbling and Eno’s modernistic sensibility created a unique sound If you are familiar with Roxy Music through there commercial success of such albums as Avalon, this is a significantly darker and more challenging experience. ***
Comments -“Every Dream Home a Heartache” is the only track I am aware of that tells the tale of an inflatable sex doll.
First issues of this album on the pink rimmed Island label with the original laminated gatefold sleeve go for around 15 pounds but you can regularly come across later issues for much less.
Other albums by this artist / group – Roxy Music, Country Life, Stranded, Siren, Flesh And Blood, Avalon. All of the Roxy Music albums can be found regularly within the budget box price range.
3. U2 ‘Unforgettable Fire’ – U2 vinyl albums are abundant but I have chosen ” The Unforgettable Fire” to go onto our list.With their new production team Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois the band might have some of the edge present on previous albums but the carefully crafted songs on this album have made this a favorite for many of there loyal fans. The album is chock full of classic tracks such as Bad, Wire, Pride, A Sort Of Homecoming and the title track. Vinyl issues of this album come in a quality textured sleeve and clean copies can be found for no more than a few pounds. *****
Comments – Lots of copies of this item turn up so be patient and get yourself a nice clean copy.
Other albums by this artist / group: Boy, Joshua Tree, War. October Under a Blood Red Sky. There are many U2 collectables and there later albums which sold in smaller numbers on vinyl are generally out of our budget price. But the earlier aforementioned classic albums are regularly accessible within our budget.
4. Ultravox ‘Vienna’ – One of the albums that defines the 80s new romantic era. After the departure of John Foxx, Ultravox must have felt insecure about there future instead with there new singer Midge Ure they created one of the defining songs of the 80s, Vienna. This album because of its commonality is often passed over, the public often forgetting Vienna is now nearly 30 years old and a landmark album. *****
Comments – A perfect starting point for your New Romantic collection.
Other albums by this artist / group: Quartet, Monument, Rage in Eden.
5. Lloyd Cole ‘Rattlesnakes’ – Coles Debut album was successful on release and gained in stature as a highly regarded exercise in singer songwriting. Intelligent lyrics and a classic folky background have assured this album has a longevity which many of its counterparts have failed to achieve. ***
Comments – Often overlooked as just another commercial pop record of the eighties this album offers much more.
Other albums by this artist / group: Easy Pieces.
6. Kate Bush ‘Hounds Of Love’ – It was a toss up between “A Kick Inside” and my chosen album by this highly individual artist and although her debut album has ‘Wuthering Heights’, one of those few records which seemed entirely unique yet achieved remarkable chart success, it is the beautiful atmosphere of “The Hounds Of Love” which by a small edge led me to choose this album. ‘Running up That Hill’ is probably the most well known track from the record but ‘Cloudbusting’ for me embodies the sentiment of the album. ****
Comments – Bushes long awaited 2005 album Ariel was also released as a quality vinyl package.
Other albums by this artist / group: Kick Inside, Never For Ever, Lion Heart, Dreaming. All these albums can be found for 3 pounds and under.
7. ZZ Top’ Eliminator’ – The fans who had followed them from the early blues orientated days might see this album as the bands point of sell out but you cannot ignore the impact this album had particularly on the MTV generation. In 1983 it was almost impossible to turn on your television without been confronted by the supped up dragster that fills the front cover of the album. “Gimme All your lovin’, Legs and Sharp Dressed Man” were all massive hits with there often raunchy videos. *****
Comments – This album has great art work and because of its enormous sales can easily be purchased for a 1 pound. There early albums on the London label usually sell for around 15 pounds but you can pick up much cheaper reissues. ‘Afteburner’ the follow up to Eliminator can also be found at 1 pound or just over.
Other albums by this artist / group: Afterburner
8. Eagles ‘Hotel California’ – The Eagles are one of those bands because of there enormous album sales provide great value for money on vinyl. Hotel California is the Eagles most commercially successful album moving in a more rock orientated direction than its previous counterparts. The title track has one of the greatest and most widely recognized solos in music history, drawing the track out to about seven minutes. ****
Comments – A very strong consistent album throughout. The early albums are finely crafted country rock influenced by such artists as Gram Parsons or the Byrds. All of these albums can be found for a few pounds.
Other albums by this artist / group – Eagles, Desperado, One Of These Nights.
9. Jon And Vangelis ‘Friends Of Mr. Cairo’ – Jon Andersons ethereal vocals and Vangelis’s rich textures compliment beautifully. The album begins with two finely crafted pop songs “Find My Way Home” and State Of Independence”, but it is the extended title track an homage to the classic film era which holds the albums real magic. ***
Comments – Background projector sounds and the voice of Peter Lorry add to the wonderful atmosphere of this album.
Other albums by this Artists / group: Private Collection.
10. Police ‘Reggatta De Blanc’ – This album stayed in the top 100 for more than a year so no problem acquiring a copy. Its longevity not surprising when you ponder its superb track listing “Message in a Bottle”, Walking On The Moon”, “The Beds To Big Without You” all with the reggae undertones which would become the bands trademark. *****
Comments – Lots of colour vinyl picture sleeve singles by the Police can be found for as little as 50p.
Other albums by this artist / group: Outlandos D’Amour, Zenyatta Mondatta, Ghost In The Machine, Synchronicity. You can confidently pick up originals of the first five please albums for under a tenner.
11. Simon & Garfunkel ‘Bookends’ – CBS’s numerous reissues of Simon & Garfunkels’s 60s albums give the punter plenty of opportunity to pick up there early catalogue for a song. With a rich choice of albums which would meet our criteria I have based my selection simply on personal preference. For me Bookends although only 30 minutes long breaks out of the folky influence of previous albums, explores a wide diversity of styles but manages maintain its continuity. ***
Comments – Reissues on the later Sunburst CBS label can be found with Simon & Garfunkel’s entire early back catalogue but you can also find earlier issues on the orange label for a very reasonable price. Original 60s issues with flip back sleeve and textured labels in perfect condition can pass hands for around 30 pounds.
Other albums by this artists / group: Sounds Of Silence, Parsley Sage Rosemary And Thyme, Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Wednesday Morning 3am.
12. Bob Seger ‘Stranger In Town’ – If your passion is for all American artists such as Bruce Springsteen and the Eagles and you appreciate quality song writing then this album will satisfy your needs. “Hollywood Nights” is a suitably rousing track to start proceedings but it is the super ballad” We’ve Got Tonight” which has become best known and covered by such artist as Kenny Rogers and Ronan Keating. **
Comments – Hollywood Nights was released as a picture sleeve silver vinyl single.
Other albums by this artist / group: Stranger In Town, Against The Wind, Nine Tonight Live.
13. Jean Michel Jarre ‘Oxygene’ – It’s hard to believe this album is over 30 years old, created in the same year as the beginning of the punk revolution and at the tale end of the progressive rock era the album with its long extended instrumental tracks surprisingly achieved stratospheric success. The swirling electronic sounds are different from the mainstream of the period yet the album managed to be accessible to the masses. *****
Comments – HMV released a box set of the album on LP in 1988 limited to 3,300 only this sells for around 15.00 pounds.
Other albums by this artist / group: Equinoxe, Rendez Vous.
14. Dire Straits’ Love Over Gold’ – Probably not an obvious choice with multi million seller ‘Brothers in Arms’ and the first album containing guitar anthem ‘Sultans of Swing’ as strong contenders. But this album contains lots of musicality and thoughtful composition. The album contains Dire Straits longest ever track ‘Telegraph Road’ and song about the rise and fall of industrialism ‘Rock “n” Roll. *****
Comments – The track ‘Pivate Investigator’ reached number two and was kept off the top slot by Survivor ‘Eye of the Tiger’.
Other albums by this artist / group: Dire Straits, Making Movies, Communique, Alchemy, Brothers In Arms. All of these albums can be found for has little as a few pounds. baked bar