What Brexit Means To Record Collectors

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Two confused record collectors discussing the impact of Brexit on Record Prices

 

In a little over 5 weeks, record collectors across the country will be going to the polls to decide whether the UK stays inside the EU or goes it alone. It is a momentous decision, and one which I urge every record collector to think very carefully about. However, it strikes me that there has been very little coverage in the press about what effects a Brexit might have on the free movement of vinyl, so how can record collectors across the country make the right decision?

Well, worry no more!!  Help is at hand with my guide to cut through the scream of back ground noise and get to the sweet melodies of useful and relevant information. Lets start with the question on every record collectors lips:

Will I still Be Able To Import Music From Abroad?

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One of the central planks of the EU is that record collectors can buy music freely, so if you want to import an album from the Romanian band above, then you are free to do so. However, if the UK were to leave, would you still be able to import the same album, or would there be restrictions, such as how long you could keep the record in the UK for or if you imported the album, could you also import the singles from that album etc. It’s all very confusing, but I think all record collectors would agree that it is best to be able to enjoy the multi-culturism that music from different countries brings.

So, if you want to continue to enjoy the freedom to enjoy whatever your musical taste is and from where ever it may come from, you’re probably going to vote to stay in.

Will The UK Still Be Able To Take Part In The Eurovision Song Contest?

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The quick answer has got to be, unfortunately, YES! After all, if Australia can take part, there are obviously not many geographic restrictions in place. Now, I’m the first one to support diversity (not the dance troop), but I draw the line at Moldova’s 2005 entry from Zdob si Zdub called Grandmama Beats The Drum. The point to consider for all record collectors is that just because we leave the EU does not mean we can escape the horror of the Eurovision Song Contest every year. Now, if any of the “Leave” spokes people had made a firm commitment that the UK would never have to endure another Eurovision Song Contest, then I think they would sweep up the vast majority of record collectors – and most of the rest of the population too.

I just have to mention Guy Sebastian, who represented that well known European country Australia this year, one more time! In Australia, 4.2m people watched the show (a record coincidentally), and in particular they must have marveled at his pyrotechnic piano. I grudgingly concede it bought something new to the show (very grudgingly!)

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I know that out there, amongst the many different shades of record collectors, there are one or two who actually specialise in Eurovision vinyl, and as much as it is not for me, everyone should be able to make their own choice.

If We Stay In The EU and New Countries Join, Will Record Prices Increase Due To More Collectors?

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According to the leaflet that just popped through my letterbox, excitingly called “The 2016 EU Referendum Voting Guide”, there are currently 28 members of the EU, with 5 more countries waiting to join, including Turkey (that’s important for some reason – didn’t they win the Eurovision in 2003?) Now, it seems logical to me that if we leave the EU, then the in-flow of record collectors to the UK could be controlled, and conversely, if we stay in the EU, and 5 more countries join the EU over the next few years, then there is the potential for more record collectors to come to the UK. Is this a bad thing?

The thing about record collectors is that they have open minds and the chance to talk to interesting record collectors from new countries excites them. There isn’t a record collector in the country who would not give his tatty old anorak or his last egg sandwich to a fellow record collector who has fallen on hard times. Furthermore, look at some of the positives. If new and interesting record collectors start coming to the UK, we could see rare record inflation, which means the values of our own collections will rise faster than an Arsenal season ticket. And, there’s the opportunity to nip over to all these lovely European countries and find rare and valuable releases at bargain prices, and we can bring them back without fear of being stopped at customs and having a nasty tax added.

So, from where I am standing, record collectors have nothing to fear from the UK staying in the EU, but in fairness, we probably won’t notice anything different if we leave either. Now, where can I get a copy of Grandmama Beats The Drum?

If you are interested in selling any of your unwanted vinyl, please get in touch. I promise not to judge you on your likely referendum voting intentions!! I also want to say thank you to all the people who have contacted me recently with details of their records for sale. There are some fantastic collections out there and I will get round to see them all. Thanks again!!

 

Top 5 Hardest To Find Picture Sleeves….and It’s Little Wonder!

In the elite world of the charity shop vinyl record hunter, there are certain record sleeves that are almost of mythical status, and there is a considerable amount of competition between collectors to find one of these rarities. It’s a little bit like Andy Murray winning Wimbledon, Leicester City winning the premiership or Donald Trump becoming president of America. Actually, it’s more likely that “the Donald” will become president that it is finding one of these picture sleeves.

So, here we go with my top 5 most sought after picture sleeves ever, and yes, I’m going to go in reverse order, keeping the suspense going until the very end!

No. 5 – Tino – Por Primero Vez

The first thing to point out here, is that I am not actually all that interested in the audio, which is just as well, because it’s a disco horror of a track that will give you nightmares. No, it’s the sleeve…and, WHAT a sleeve!! I’m trying to imagine what the art directors thought process was here. Could there be, in the back of a cabinet somewhere, a story board that he/she built up culminating in this image? It’s a sleeve that screams “Come and get it” and “Hey girls, do you want some” louder than Jose Mourinho screaming “Gizza job”. If you are lucky enough to find this little beauty in your local charity shop, buy it quickly and run, before you’re arrested by the bad taste police.

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No. 4 – Norberto De Freitas – Trapalhadas Do Balbino

I know what you’re thinking, you’re setting the bar pretty high here! You’re right, I am, but this is a list of the most sought after picture sleeves ever, and more importantly, ones that you will only find in a charity shop. So, what’s going on here? If your first thought is, this must be an advert for Colgate, you’d be wrong. If you think Norberto has a passing similarity to Wurzil Gummage, I’d agree with you. But what, I hear you ask, does the title mean. Trapalhadas Do Balbino roughly translates as The Blunders of Balbino, which presumably refers to the choice of artist portrait that the record company made when putting this release together. I only ever found this album once in a charity shop, and I’d been on the lash the night before, and when I picked it up, I thought I was looking in a mirror. It was at that point I decided that I had to cut back on my boozing.

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No. 3 – Wayne Cochran – Goin’ Back To Miami

Oh my, where do I start? Well, firstly, let me say that Wayne Cochran is still alive and he cut some really cool records, and in fact his track Last Kiss was covered by Pearl Jam. Did you also know that he is sometimes referred to as “The White Knight of Soul”, and that he helped inspire Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi’s characters in The Blues Brothers ? But, I don’t care what sort of gear was going around in 60’s, it was clearly having an impact on his follicle growth rates. The hair is simply stunning, and there must be so much product on it, I suspect that Wayne is responsible for the hole in the ozone layer. This is one of those mythical picture sleeves I mentioned at the beginning, and I salute you if you can find one.

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No. 2 – Jacinto – O Donzelo (Dentro da Abertura)

Oh!! Donzelo indeed! What on earth is going on here? This appears to be some kind of homage to Benny Hill, mixed in with one of those Top of the Pops album covers from the early 70’s. The title literally translates as “Within The Aperture” but perhaps more literally it means, I’m a dirty bastard and if I get caught I’m going away for a long time. Either way, it’s a total cracker and for certain, deserves its place in our top 5.

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No. 1 – Wasnatch – Front To Back

As you can see, I’ve definitely kept the best ’till last!! I truly do not know where to start, but let me assure you, if you find this album in your local charity shop, just pray that some octogenarian volunteer is not looking over your shoulder. It doesn’t matter how genuine your pleas are, you are not going to convince a jury in the land that you are not some kind of brass band deviant!! So, forgetting what the album cover may be trying to convey, in the immortal words of Roy Walker from Catchphrase, just say what you see. So, I see a naked lady on all fours with some kind of brass instrument near her face, looking over her shoulder at a hairy man straining as he blows into a tuba that appears to be positioned over her rear end. I can hear Roy saying “It’s close, but it’s not right”. Too bloody right it’s not right!

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Well, there you are charity shop pickers, my countdown of the 5 most difficult to find picture sleeves. It is Record Store Day 2016 tomorrow, and I am sad to say that you will not find any of these beauties being reissued in any form tomorrow. But, you will find loads of cool releases, and as ever, its great to support your local independent record store. If you have any surplus vinyl you are thinking of selling, please get in touch.