March 20

Fall of 1983 I was enrolled at North Idaho College in Coeur d’ Alene. I headed back to the apartment I shared with my cousin… a run down one bedroom affair adjacent to the Paul Bunyan Burgers on the main drag.

There was a note, “Check the tape deck”… and there it was, Synchronicity on cassette!

By this time Synchronicity had been out all summer and people were calling The Police the “Biggest Band in the World”, selling out stadiums worldwide.

To be honest, I hadn’t listened to Synchronicity for years… any Police, actually, until this week. It’s funny where I find myself transported to when the music starts… for me, it often seems to be the place of first recollection… I’m back at that apartment on West Garden Avenue, or cruising Main Street with the Funk-o-Sonic turned up to 11, or in 10th grade whatever class…

Probably the second strongest memory flood when listening to a record is “where did this thing come from”? From what funky record store, thrift store, yard sale or other dump did this thing come to exist for me?

Sometimes these two experiences overlap. When that happens, the record seems to somehow take on a more importance.

And this is where Discogs falls a bit flat for me. There’s no joy of the hunt, that moment when you find some gem buried in a crate in some seedy dive. There’s no competition/camaraderie with other diggers or record store owners. No thrill of just being in the right place at the right time when those new arrivals hit the sales floor.

There’s as much emotion as there is in putting an item into your shopping cart on Amazon or “buy it now” at Ebay.

It’s a great resource for developing a catalog of the records (CDs, 8-Tracks, cassettes too) you own and those you want, a great way to share your catalog with others, a good resource for getting a baseline value of a certain recording you own and wish to sell/trade or you found and are considering buying.

One feature that will come in handy for me is the “Random Item” button on the Collection page… if you know you want to listen to something, but aren’t sure which of your 500 records to pull out, just let the old Random Item button give you a suggestion.

For my fifth Discogs Police experience I purchased Synchronicity from seller jtighe46 for a total of $10.25, $6.25 for the record and $4.00 for shipping. It was listed as:

Media Condition: Mint (M)
Sleeve Condition: Mint (M)

Don’t get me wrong, the record is in good shape, but not “Mint” by any stretch. Still very playable… I guess I need to lower my expectations for a $6 record.

This will likely be my last Discogs purchase for a while, but next time I do buy I’ll ask the seller more questions about the record’s condition and try and keep my expectations in check.

One thought on “March 20

  1. “Mint’ is one of the most abused words in the record selling world. It should mean ‘as it left the factory’ but rarely does. I share your disappointment comrade. I’ve pretty much stopped buying any second hand vinyl I cannot look at properly (including shops with dim lighting. Until I fix my torch, of course).


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