December 30

The 10 records I’m going to nominate today for my 50 Greatest For My 50th Year list is the route the overwhelming majority of new records have come into the collection… thrifts!

Now it’s no secret that I have been haunting the thrift stores within about a 50 mile radius of Spokane regularly for the past year, but I don’t think you know exactly how out of hand this obsession was (is?)!

My record collection has gone from somewhere south of 300 records to 1500 records in the last 12 months… and that is just the stuff I kept! That doesn’t count the hundreds and hundreds of records that I have turned in for record store credit, given away, shitcanned or still have for sale!

I had to buy furniture to hold my records.

On a good day it was not uncommon for me to come home with 20 or 30 records from thrift stores in one direction or another. On a bad day it was not uncommon for me to come home with a hundred!

I’ve gone through almost every vinyl hunter-gatherer category (as laid out by Mr. Vinyl Connection) that there is in the span of 12 months… hopefully, here at the end, I’ve backed down to between a B. Enthusiast and a C. Explorer and I’m headed towards the A. category Collector!

Along the way I have purchased albums that were worth tens (even hundreds?) of dollars as well as those that were worth tens of cents… all for a dollar or less!

At first, I was keeping track of what I bought and what I traded those records for in record store credit… and what I kept. The volume got out of hand and I lost count! As close as I can tell by looking at known lots of scores and trade ins, I ended up spending $25 for every $100 of record store credit that I obtained.

This allowed me to complete my first goal of the year, obtaining the first five Led Zeppelin reissues using just record store credit.

It then carried on fast and furious and allowed me to upgrade some of my stereo equipment… and even refurbish some other vintage equipment that I had laying around… once again using just record store credit.

Finally, I was able to trade records that I found at thrift stores, yard sales and the like, to other record collectors for things that I really wanted for The Collection.

So without further ado here is my top 10 thrifted records of the year… in no particular order:


At Folsom Prison – Johnny Cash

I just don’t believe that the societal impact of this record (and its follow-up) I can be overstated… a near washed up superstar makes a desperate pitch to a maverick record producer, gets the green light, no one gives it any chance or any support… and the next thing you know this soon to be washed up superstar is one of the world’s most influential entertainers.

Shotgun Willie – Willie Nelson

In my opinion this was the first true Outlaw Country record. I have been collecting Willie Nelson records for as long as I can remember but this one is my favorite!

From Here To Eternity – Giorgio

Probably my most well spent $0.50! I found this thing at the South Hill goodwill in Spokane and brought it home with nothing more expected than a good laugh. My wife has since told me that this is her favorite record I’ve ever brought home.

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Elton John

Elton John records are plentiful in thrift stores. He sold a million of them and there’s not a bad one in the bunch in my humble opinion. This is my favorite. Some people have called it Elton’s White Album but I’m not so sure about that.

Tommy – The Who

All of my Tommy records have come from thrift stores. The DVD, not so much.

Nine Symphonies – Beethoven

If you were spending less than $1 a piece on any of Beethoven’s symphonies… you’re doing pretty good!

Layla – Derrick And The Dominoes 

An off the beaten path thrift store netted me this copy of Layla. Its spontaneous brilliance still resonates.

Buckingham Nicks – Buckingham/Nicks

I got this gem, a favorite of my teen years due to my sensei of music Brent, for five bucks in a local thrift store strip mall.

All Things Must Pass – George Harrison

Paul McCartney was my first favorite Beatle, and then John Lennon took his place in my rebellious years. Here, as I become a solidly middle aged man, George Harrison has come to the forefront. Maybe when I’m 80 Ringo will get his shot. The hidden genius of George Harrison during the Beatles sessions was exposed for all to see here with this fantastic box set.

Boomerang – Shoes

The one that started it all this year. I came across this record in a thrift store and wondered what I might be able to turn it around for, profit wise. It gave me hope that I was on the right path and I’ve kept it for the story that it provides as well as the music in the grooves.

2 thoughts on “December 30

  1. Well, Mark, that is a year of accumulating and no mistake. Shows what rewards assiduous thrift store scavenging can bring too. I was particularly impressed by the ‘All Things Must Pass’, my favourite ‘solo’ Beatle album.

    I’m not sure how many music blogs I follow, but suspect it is in the vicinity of of fifty or sixty. However many, there is no hesitation in awarding you the inaugural ‘Vinyl Hunter-Gatherer of the Year’ prize for 2015. The trophy is in the mail.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much sir! I have to say that I really appreciate this honor, your blog has given me so much inspiration… A light at the end of my writer’s block tunnel! Please forward my trophy to the Spokane Washington home for the insane and obsessed, they have my room ready now.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s