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Stylus Counsel | Area Resident’s Records

Track 2 | The new ones look, feel and sound better.

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The 1980s reissue I had of Obscured By Clouds which I sold for $20, and the 2016 version I bought brand new for $28. Photos by Discogs.

It’s almost exactly a year since I joined Discogs.

The principal reason was to catalogue my many records, tapes and CDs — and, to a lesser degree, with any luck, discover some valuable ones I might be willing to part with.

I have ADHD, so I took to this task — cataloguing roughly 1,500 titles — with tell-tale obsessive fervor. It’s a bloody great exercise for ADHD people. perhaps even a business. “Hey, you can pay me to catalogue your records for you. You hate it, and I love it and I simply can’t do anything else until it’s done. Including sleep.”

There were some shocks along the way. Quite a few valuable records, many of which I’d forgotten I had. So I played a little game with it — would I pay this record’s current value to have it now? Answering this question makes it easy to start dividing your collection into two categories: keepers, and worth more to me as cash.

Some stuff is easy to say goodbye to. I found a one-sided Albert Ayler record from 1965 on brown, etched vinyl. It’s free jazz. A little much for me. I think I bought it for 50 cents from a weekly thrift sale at a religious compound in the late 1990s. I’ve never played it. It’s worth hundreds.

Then, there’s the stuff you grow out of. I don’t need all these Misfits records anymore. I don’t need Master Of Puppets. These Sebadoh and Sentridoh 45s. Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, They Might Be Giants, Mudhoney, Teengenerate, Guitar Wolf. The list goes on.

’90s vinyl is actually a very hot commodity. Unfortunately, much of mine is firmly in the ‘keepers’ category. So, here’s an epiphany that took a little longer to arrive at — some of my keepers records are worth as much or more than their new remastered versions. So, why keep them? I decided to unload them, and use the money to replace them with newer versions of themselves.

The first stop was Pink Floyd. Holy mother of Nick Mason, the new Obscured By Clouds is so much better than the one I bought in 1987, which I sold for $20 and got the new one for $28. It has the cool hype sticker, 180g vinyl, a textured, rounded jacket … and sounds AMAZING.

I sold five Dark Side of the Moons. None of them had posters or stickers. I probably made $200. Used it to buy the new one for $28, with all the stickers, two posters — including the original 3D colour pyramids. Oh, and I also picked up a copy of the quadraphonic DSOTM vinyl with my proceeds. It was $50 on Marketplace.

I did the same swap-out-the-old for the new versions of The Wall, Wish You Were Here (which I also got on quad), Animals (my favourite), Atom Heart Mother, Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, Meddle and More.

Then I did that with Zeppelin. My old copies weren’t worth as much as the new, expanded remasters (the ones with the covers in reverse on the back), but they made them much more affordable. Jumping John Paul Jones on a pogo stick, do they ever look and sound great.

Sabbath next, I think. Already did a whack of Beatles, too — targeting those 2014 mono reissues. I’m sorry, but the 2014 mono Revolver blows my 1980s U.S.A. stereo Revolver out of the water.

Same story with the mono Axis Bold As Love. OMG.

My new copy of Blue by Joni Mitchel was cheaper than the one I sold, which was well-loved and originally purchased for $1 at Goodwill. Just got a new copy of Ladies Of The Canyon today (take that, Spotify!).

So — maybe it’s time you consider turning your valuable, but crappy pressings into shiny new great ones.

And, if you need someone to help you catalogue…

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Area Resident is an Ottawa-based journalist, recording artist, music collector and re-seller. Hear (and buy) his music on Bandcamp, email him HERE, follow him on Instagram and check out him out on Discogs.