February 24

When I started this endeavor I knew I was going to be both adding new vinyl to The Collection… but also culling out stuff that I no longer care about, or stuff that is and odd fit. What to cull, what to add?

I knew I wanted to expand certain genres… jazz/fusion, easy listening “cocktail party” music, classic country. I also made a list of artists and individual albums I wanted; things I thought I could listen critically to, maybe even over and over, and not get tired of. The Police, U2… but especially Dire Straits.

Dire Straits debut album is one of the few of my teenage collection that I still own. The cover is gone, the inner sleeve is torn and the vinyl is trashed, but I still have it. I’ve been a fan since the beginning and know that a more complete collection on LP is in my future.

This brings me to the next gem from the Spokane Public Radio Recordings & Videos SaleAlchemy: Dire Straits Live.

On the way in my wife and I worked out a plan: divide and conquer! I’d go left, she’d go right and we would keep an eye out for records for each other. In that first hour, I managed to find a half-dozen potential keepers… and then I saw her. My wife must’ve been packing around 50 records when we met to assess out loot!

One of these was a warped, musty, peeled copy of Alchemy. Great. “I know you are looking for Dire Straits” she said. Once I pried the vinyl out of the cover I saw that the vinyl was kept out of the mold by a couple of anti-static protectors. In the florescent light of the venue, they looked surprisingly good!

Anyway, this copy made the $3 cut and came home with us. After a bath, the moment of reckoning came… I dropped the needle on the lead-in grove and, silence! It’s always a great feeling when, against all odds, you find a used record that you really want and will enjoy for the rest of time that exceeds your expectations.

Normally, I’m not a big fan of live records, but in this case, the extended (10+ minutes) versions of Once Upon a Time in the West, Sultans of Swing, Tunnel of Love and Telegraph Road trump any negatives.

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