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A busy week, despite it being the lull period that lurks between the sending of the next issue of the magazine to the printer and its arrival at RC’s cosy cottage, Villa Vinyl.
After the 400th special edition we knew we had to make 401 a “biggie” (as Tony Blackburn used to say, I’m not sure what about), and we have. There’s a three-in-one Beatles story, the main part of which finally nails which is the rarest of the Please Please Me album pressings once and for all – and it might not be the one you think it is. This has been a bone of contention among collectors for years. And even if you are not interested in the album itself, the extensive and thorough research, commissioned for the Rare Record Price Guide 2014, reveals a lot about the manufacturing process for vinyl in the 60s and why there are some albums where the stamper numbers don’t tally up.Having seen a lot of records advertised on eBay as “First press A1/B1”, it has always been clear that it has never been quite so simple. This fascinating story will tell you exactly why.
For those not of Moptop inclinations, there a major feature on one of the most enduring punk bands, Cockney Rejects (and they’re more than just punk, as those know heard their later albums will know); an interview with Madness in which they take us back to their ska days; we meet “the German Pink Floyd”, Eloy; and hear from The Smiths’ Mike Joyce about a new project which includes something big and unseen about the band (no, we haven’t seen it yet either, sadly).
Apart from dodging the rain, what else has been happening? We had one of Nirvana drop into the office – it wasn’t Kurt, although our sister magazine Kindred Spirit could probably arrange that. I am of course, talking about the original Nirvana, psychedelic legends. I spoke to one of the Small Faces on the phone – it wasn’t Steve, although our sister magazine… etc. I bought some records from a new website, reggaerhythms.co.uk, and enjoyed a first visit to Alan’s Record & CD Shop in East Finchley, which has gobsmackingly huge stock. And I watched RC’s staff return from Utrecht agreeably lighter on back issues but also lighter of wallet from buying vinyl. The drug dealer’s code is “if you sell, don’t use”. The same applies to records, surely, although I only knew one serious record dealer who didn’t much care for records himself, Charlie of the long-lost Backtrax in Ilford. What a shop that was… And I am indebted to reader Michael McPartland, whose letter reminded me of a fabulous place I haunted in my youth, Vintage Record Centre of Roman Way, North London. It’s present in britishrecordshoparchive.org, a great website I love to drool over: have a look.
Thank you for reading
Have a great week