Spring is supposed to be a time of renewal, so what, thinks I, could be better that a trip to a record fair to pick up some vinyl that could use a new life? The venue was in Reading, a few miles outside London, at what was purported to be the largest one-day record and CD show in Britain. Not sure about that, but there were a lot of people.
Here is what I found. A) It was pretty much a woman-free zone, populated by men of a certain age with lots of grey hair and B) some people are not so much into the music as into getting hold of the first pressing of band X on label Blah Blah without drummer Z etc. I am clearly in the first category, but not at all in the latter. I seek with vinyl to find things to play.
That said, I was taken by what seemed to be the rarest item there. It was a copy of Pink Floyd’s 1979 masterpiece “The Wall”, only it wasn’t called “The Wall” it was called “Off The Wall” and it cost £200 (or $300 give or take the exchange rate). What made it so rare was that it was a “Special Radion Construction”‘ meaning it was the verion sent out to U.S. radio stations as a promo.
Needless to say, I did not buy it. My sanity has limits as well as my budget, But I did wander off and buy three albums – and very eclectic they were too, if I says so myself.
First was a bit of America – a copy of Roy Acuff’s “Once More It’s Roy Acuff”. This is a fine piece of country from 1964 full of “Come and Knock on The Door Of My Heart” – type lyrics. Also dates back to before Nashville became all-buffon haired.
The man selling it to me was very keen to point out that it was the UK release from Acuff’s own Hickory Records Inc. Distributed here by Pye Records – a name from my past and possibly the maker of my first player (I forget).
Moving on, I picked up some fine reggae/dub from Barry, who seems to be well known in these circles. He was playing 1982’s “King Of Dub Rock Part 2” by Sir Coxsone Sound.
Didn’t know much about it but it appears to be a bit of a legend in its field, recorded at Harry J and Channel One Studios in Kingston (Jamaica). It seem to me to be an interesting half-way house between early reggae and later dub.
Finally, I cannot not pick up some jazz when there is vinyl around. In this case it was “Lionel Hampton And His New French Sound Volume I”.
It is a the result of a 1955 tour when Lionel showed up in Europe without the soloists he had used before and put together a band of primarily French jazzmen.
The album also appears in a few places to have been signed by Lionel himself. Can’t prove it, but if I could then this album would be worth a lot as one of the only … eek, there I go.