Thrift store hunting for vinyl albums is feast or famine… not 50/50, mind you, I’d say 10% feast and 90% famine. That is not to say that 10% of the records in thrift stores are things you would buy to add to your collection… more like 10% of the stores you enter, you find something worthwhile to take home.
Take a recent excursion I went on that included several thrift stores and one “record” store… the “record” store was a complete bust! They did have several new vinyl records, but the selection of used vinyl numbered around 50 LPs, al of which were severely overpriced. For instance, they had a We Are the World LP priced at $19.99. Now, there are recent Ebay sold listings for this LP for $0.99, so what makes this particular record, intrinsically, worth 20 times that?
This record may have had an instrumental value back in 1985… if you were daft enough to buy it, maybe starving people would get food? But why is it worth $19.99 today? It would have to be intrinsically worth $19.99, the music contained on the LP would need to be worth $19.99.
A few blocks down the road, a thrift store had a predictable selection of scratched up and gross 101 Strings, Mantovani, and Ferrante & Teicher vinyl. Great. My 5th encounter with a Firestone Christmas collection had me asking “why doesn’t someone just shitcan this garbage?”… and then, BOOM!
A Warren Zevon – Excitable Boy LP!
Sweet! This record contains some of the best music and songwriting I’ve ever heard. Other than the title track, this LP contains Werewolves of London (featuring bass and drums by John McVie and Mick Fleetwood, no less), Lawyers, Guns and Money and (the standout track for me) Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner.
This was Zevon’s third album and the one where mainstream radio played songwriter singing his own compositions. Prior to this, Zevon penned songs like Poor Poor Pitiful Me, Accidentally Like a Martyr, Mohammed’s Radio and especially (for me, anyhow) Carmalita were fantastic songs that were hits for other artists.
A visual grading of the vinyl showed it to be in very good condition, well worth the $0.94 asking price. After a thorough cleaning, the record does play as expected, a little surface noise, but all in all an exceptional recording!
It does lack a bit of dynamic, possibly due to production by Jackson Browne? Anyway, this is a solid addition to the record collection… one I will cherish way more than any $19.99 copy of We Are the World! R.I.P. Warren Zevon, I will enjoy every sandwich!