Archive for January 2, 2008

Here we are…..2008! I hope everyone had a safe and prosperous Christmas and New Year’s. I took about a week off after posting my 2007 year end lists and now I’m back…..and on the hunt.

As usual, I spend the beginning of the new year catching up on releases I missed from the previous year. I make a list for 2007 releases I missed and add it to the main Want List. 2007 had hundreds of new releases and I couldn’t afford to buy everything so there are some big name bands that released albums this past year that I didn’t get. There are also many new bands I wanted to check out. Many new albums were released in late November and December, those albums had to wait as holiday shopping took over.

I don’t get many gifts because Christmas is for the kids but I do get a few, usually gift cards for the local record store. This year, almost all of the gifts I received were gift cards and my want list is big…..very big! My Mommy gave me $150 in cash and a $25 gift card to FYE and my in-laws gave me $60 in gift cards to Newbury Comics, all very good gifts. I waited until the holiday return rush was over and I made my way out to burn those gift cards (The $150 in cash is for online ordering).

Let’s start with the FYE trip ($25 gift card and a $3 off coupon)…..

FYE is a major music chain but their selection is terrible. The location near my house used to be a Strawberries Records & Tapes but that chain was absorbed by FYE. In Rhode Island, there were many Strawberries but their numbers went down as big box retailers and malls took over business. The one a mile from my house used to have superb selection but FYE has turned it into a joke. I trolled the bins and I couldn’t find anything I really wanted so I decided to get whatever I could and get out of there…..I came up with two good albums:

Queen – The Game (1980) – $15.99: I had every intention of picking up THE GAME with my gift card bonanza. This album was a feature of my WANTED column and it’s at the top of my want list. The price was way too high ($18.99) but I was armed with a $3 off coupon so I bit the bullet and picked it up for $15.99.

Rainbow – Bent Out Of Shape (1983) – $7.99: A great price for a sealed brand new copy of the Joe Lynn Turner era classic, featuring the big hit ‘Street Of Dreams’. This CD was a part of the Rainbow remaster series from the late ’90s and it’s usually around $10. I figured that this CD’s price made swallowing the extra few dollars on THE GAME easier.

Total (with tax/after coupon) = $25.18
Final Total (after gift card) = 18 cents

Now we move on to the Newbury Comics portion of the adventure:

Newbury is my favorite record store and it’s my usual spot. The closest location is a few miles away, about 5 minutes from the FYE, so it was an easy ride down the street. Newbury is a bigger store, has better selection, and better prices. I went mostly for 2007 releases that I had missed. There were a few that had multiple copies so I went for the albums that had that one copy that would be gone by my next visit…..

After Forever – s/t (Ltd. Ed. CD/DVD) (2007) - $14.99: I’m a sucker for female-fronted Symphonic Metal. I like bands like The Gathering, Within Temptation, Epica, Leaves’ Eyes, and Tristania, so After Forever was a band I wanted to check out for a long time. There were two copies of this CD: the regular CD with the bonus track for $15.99 and the CD/DVD with the bonus track for $14.99. Not sure why the CD/DVD version was a dollar less but I took it.

Helix – The Power Of Rock (2007) – $14.99: Always been a big Helix fan and I just read Brian Vollmer’s book Gimme An R! (2005) again just before Xmas so I was ready for this new album. I was surprised to see it stocked because releases on Perris Records are few and far between in my area so this was going to be an online purchase. If you head to Planet Helix, you can listen to the whole album and order it there.

Lillian Axe – Waters Rising (2007) – $14.99: I passed this CD up in the beginning of December figuring that no one would buy it…..I was wrong, it was gone the next week. This album came up on many 2007 “best of” lists so I had this on the radar today. One copy back in stock, it was mine no matter the price.

The Donnas – Bitchin’ (2007) – $14.99: The album cover is pure ’80s and I read some good reviews online so I figured I would take this opportunity to pick up mu first Donnas album. If it sucks, I didn’t pay for it, my in-laws did with the gift card. A nice surprise inside: a code for free downloads from the Donnas’ website. If I like it, it’s great value.

Lordi – The Arockalypse (Special Edition CD/DVD) (2006) – $13.99: By this time, my gift cards were used up but I figured I’d treat myself to one more CD because there was a used copy of the new King Diamond album at a decent price. I went to see how much the brand new copy cost compared to the used copy when the Lordi logo caught my eye. Lordi has been on my list for awhile but I always looked at them as a Gwar rip-off so I always passed them up. Great value here because there is a bonus DVD and three bonus tracks, I figured it was worth a shot and the new King Diamond had many copies in stock.

Total (with tax) = $77.65
Final Total (after gift cards) = 17.65

The first hunt of 2008 proved to be successful and full of value. My total for both stores was less than $18 so I think I did pretty well. While I was out, I was able to price a few things so I could compare online prices. The next installment should be another successful run.