Yup, Caveat emptor is especially true for buyers of sausage and vinyl. As one who haunts used record stores, thrift stores and other places where used vinyl LPs exchange hands, I can say with authority that you don’t always get what you pay for.
Take my first foray into Compact Disk sales. I was a broke airman looking to begin a CD collection. I had a pretty good collection of vinyl and had also captured quite a few great albums of friends and acquaintances on cassette. I traveled to a pseudo-local record store, Silver Platters, that specialized in CDs (a newfangled medium at the time) to get some guidance.
This was to be my first CD buying experience, circa 1985. I asked questions, I solicited feedback, I tried! I came home with three CDs, Rush – Moving Pictures, Bob Seger – Against the Wind and Jethro Tull – Aqualung.
Remember, CD titles were limited! It’s not like today where EVERYTHING is available in every format imaginable, CDs were… rare! The Rush album was a no-brainier for me.(I loved that record in high school.) The Bob Seger was new and had a hit on FM radio and the Tull album was a classic!
All in I spent around $50 for my CDs and took them back to my dorms for a listen. All went well until I put on the Tull CD… it sounded like a tape of a tape of an 8-Track! It was horrible! Why? I still don’t know, the record label cashing in on a new technology while clinging to the old? Who knows. All I know is I listened to Aqualung once, and I got rid of that POS!
Lesson learned. I can almost forgive Chrysalis Records for allowing Aqualung to be released as a CD with such horrible sound… it was a new format after all. But, the vinyl LP record technology has been around since 1948!
There is NO EXCUSE for a modern, vinyl, 33 1/3 LP record to sound like trash! Enter one of our newest acquisitions, 1977s Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes – This Time It’s for Real.
I picked this up at The Long Ear in Coeur d’Alene and, although the cover was worn, the vinyl inside appeared to be in very good condition. This is the 2nd studio album from the Jukes and was produced by Steven Van Zandt (from the E Street Band). All signs pointed to this being a good entry point into the music of this prolific band.
From track 1, side 1, this LP is borderline un-listenable. From what I could gather, the material was solid (with many Van Zandt and Springsteen penned tracks), but the production (also attributed to Van Zandt) was awful! Compressed, monotone, just horrible!
I want to be a Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes fan, I really do. This is not the LP that did it for me. Now I need to go and play some other vinyl that’ll clean this junk out of my earholes!