Monday, April 21, 2014

A Guidebook For Financially Responsible Hipsters

Official Price Guide to RecordsOfficial Price Guide to Records by Jerry Osborne
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Indispensable reference for the record collector! When I owned a used cd shop, I carried albums and so this book came in very handy, keeping me from occasionally underselling a gem. I think my patrons would've loved to have seen this book burned.

Regardless of genre, nearly everything in the English language under the sun committed to vinyl is listed from A to Z. First the artist's name appears in bold. Under that are sections for singles and LPs. In each section the record company's label is given with the years the artist was under contract with them, and then there's a price range for the average value of the records produced during that time for that label. In special cases the information may be broken down further. Such is often the case with particularly well selling singles or rarities. And then occasionally there will be a slight bit of extra information, perhaps about a record's certain peculiarity or other associated acts the artist performed with/as.

However, extra information is kept to a minimum, after all, Osborne had a lot of records to get through and that would take up a lot of space. As such, while the book has just about every imaginable album from the days when records were king, it certainly doesn't contain everything. Yeah, you can find '80s stuff like The Smiths or even some early hardcore like Husker Du, but all those punks and emo kids of the early to mid-90s putting out the 7"s? They're on their own.

It's been fun going through my own sizable collection to see if I've got anything valuable. For the better part of a year I was convinced I had a $20,000 Beatles LP. Deep research and magnifying-glass-precise inspection unveiled its significantly lower value. When I figured it out I said, "fuck," loudly.

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