As you may have read, I was on vacation last week. The cool thing about vacation is that you actually have time to do all the things that you really want to do. What did I want to do? Visit as many record stores as I possibly could. Did I do it? No…..not until last Saturday! Last Saturday my family and I went down to Newport, RI for the day and I was able to hit four different record stores and browse without my wife and kids pushing me out the door. It was great, I got to look at everything, check all the used bins, flip through vinyl and even check out some old buttons and posters. The first stop on my neverending quest for Heavy Metal was my childhood hometown record store: Luke’s Record Exchange. I have been going to Luke’s since I was old 10 years old and it used to be THE place to get your Metal back in the ’80s. A lot of good memories are there! A couple of months ago, I was trying to teach my 10 yr. old daughter about the culture of “mom & pop” record stores and I took her to Luke’s…..she was hooked. The only problem with Luke’s is that it’s always been disorganized but, if you know how to search, you can come up with some serious gems. After my daughter picked out vintage posters of AC/DC (circa 1990) and KISS (circa 1989) for her bedroom wall, I was able to check the racks of Heavy Metal wax for some vinyl. So what did I pick up?
Girlschool – Hit And Run (1981) – $5: I checked everything but the only LP that caught my eye was this mint copy of Girlschool’s sophomore record. The cellophane was open but the record and sleeve on the inside were perfect. No ringwear or bent corners on the album either…..this was a steal! Here’s a little cool aside: the back of the album had a price tag on the cellophane from another old record store that used to be around when I was a kid: Midland Records. The regular price was $8.98 and it was on sale for $8.49!
So after the other three “mom & pop” record stores yielded nothing, I came home and decided to order a couple of things online…..
Tokyo Blade – Night Of The Blade (The Night Before) (1984/1998 reissue) – $26: Back in 1997, I read about this label out of Germany who were producing some great reissues of obscure Metal albums/bands. The label: High Vaultage Records. I started to collect High Vaultage releases but they were limited edition and became scarce as the late ’90s rolled into the early 2000s. Tokyo Blade is one of those unsung bands from the NWOBHM and this album has the unique distinction of being recorded with the original singer (Alan Marsh), scrapped, and re-recorded with the new singer (Vic Wright). High Vaultage re-released both versions with a lot of bonus tracks and great booklets. This version, THE NIGHT BEFORE, is the album recorded with Alan Marsh and includes the HAVE AN ICE DAY demo (1990) from Marsh’s post-Tokyo Blade project Mr. Ice. Of course, this demo would be released as a Tokyo Blade record of the same name in 1998 by Zoom Club Records. Confused yet?
Ted Poley – Greatestits (2009) – $22: this CD was actually a pre-order through Ted Poley’s website. The artwork and title are limited edition for the first 1000 copies, after that everything will be changed, so I jumped on the collector’s item. I always like Danger Danger and this 2 CD set features a wide range of Poley’s work outside of Danger Danger including Melodica, Poley/Rivera, Bonemachine and more. It looks like a good set…..and I’m not just talking about the cover!