CD Scavenger Hunt – April 2014 update

So far behind…..OK, 9 or 10 months behind to be exact! Hopefully I can get some momentum here but I feel the need to at least catch up on my purchases for 2014, here’s April 2014…..

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Amazon

Dio – This Is Your Life (2014) – $12
Sonata Arctica – Pariah’s Child (2014)- $10
Steel Panther – All You Can Eat (2014) – $10
Lacuna Coil – Black Crown Halo (2014) – $8

Just a quick $40 order from Amazon to get some new releases…..I know for a fact that I saved about $20 by purchasing via Amazon rather than at my local record store.

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Newbury Comics (Warwick, RI)

Devin Townsend Project – The Retinal Circus (2CD/2DVD) (2013) – $22.50
Nightwish – Angels Fall First (1997) – $9 used
Andi Deris & The Bad Bankers – Million Dollar Haircuts On Ten Cent Heads (2014) – $12.75

When there’s a 25% off sale at the record store, you make the trip. Honestly, there wasn’t much of a selection but I managed to grab a couple newer releases on sale. I’d been waiting on the Devin Townsend release because I missed the sale price when it was first released and it was a $30 regular price! With the 25% off, a done deal. Same with the new Andi Deris record, I waited because the regular price in store was $17 and Amazon was no better but $12.75 is reasonable. My find of the day was a Japanese import, and first pressing, Angels Fall First from Nightwish. Only $12 but $9 with the sale, was a steal at $12.

 

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Newbury Comics (North Attleboro, MA)

Black Label Society – Catacombs Of The Black Vatican (Ltd.Ed. +2) (2014) – $14
Anette Olzen – Shine (2014) – $13

Another quick trip to the record store for a couple new releases, this time to the closer North Attleboro Newbury Comics for the new Black Label Society and former Nightwish singer Anette Olzen’s first solo release. Both albums were on sale so I picked up the limited edition of the BLS album so I could get the 2 extra songs for $14 (saving $6) and the Olzen solo record for $13 (saving $5).

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Ebay

Crystal Viper – Posession (2014) – $9.35
Silent Force – Rising From The Ashes (2014) – $9.35
Nightwish – Once (2004) – $8.75
M.S.G. – Unplugged Live (1992) – $8.75
Triumph – Thunder Seven (1985) – $8 used

Gotta have a little Ebay action going on while you hit all the record stores, even if it’s just for a price comparison. The first four albums were all from the same seller on two separate auctions for brand new CDs and with free shipping each time. I estimate that I saved $7.65 on the Crystal Viper & Silent Force discs and $6.25 on the Nightwish & McAuley Schenker Group discs compared to record store prices. An added bonus was that the MSG disc was a Japanese import and that adds at least $10 more usually! My last winning auction was for an original pressing of Triumph’s Thunder Seven from 1985. I could have gotten the recent remaster of the record but I heard it sounds different so I’m trying to find all the Triumph CDs as original pressings for the original mixes. If I can’t find them all on CD, I’ll go for the vinyl.

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Newbury Comics (Warwick,RI)

Delain – The Human Contradiction (2CD) (2014) – $20
Iron Savior – Rise Of The Hero (Ltd.Ed. + 1) (2014) – $19
Ex Deo – Caligvla (2012) – $0
White Wizzard – The Devil’s Cut (2013) – $18
Hatriot – Dawn Of The New Centurion (2014) – $18
Huntress – Starbound Beast (2013) – $0
Pantera – Far Beyond Driven (20th Anniversary Edition) (2014) – $14
Sevendust – Time Travellers & Bonfires (2014) – $10
(free E.R. Season 2 DVD set – $10 used)
Magnus Karlsson’s Freefall – s/t (2013) – $8 used
Aeon Zen – The Face Of The Unknown (2010) – $6 used
Eclipse – Bleed & Scream (2012) – $0

Nothing like Record Store Day 2014 to get a Buy 2 Get 1 Free sale so I can stock up! I put a $100 limit on myself but I went just a bit over ($113) because I found more than a few bargains. My routine on this sale is to buy up all those higher priced sets and/or imports that I passed up earlier or missed the sale price on, that way I can save the maximum dollars. Most of these CDs were regular price but I managed to save $51 in free CDs. I had to get my wife a DVD set of the E.R. television show because it was a sweet price (free), and she really wants all the seasons, so it turned out to be a good sale for all.

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Amazon

Pretty Maids – Motherland (2013) – $7.50
Sebastian Bach – Give’em Hell (2014) – $10
Gamma Ray – Empire Of The Dead (2014) – $12.10
Krokus – Long Stick Goes Boom: Live From The House Of Rust (2014) – $10
Winger – Better Days Comin’ (Deluxe CD/DVD) (2014) – $14
Uriah Heep – Demons & Wizards (1972/2003 deluxe reissue) – $12.50
UFO – Phenomenon (1974/2008 reissue) – $9
Saxon – Heavy Metal Thunder (The Movie) (2014) Blu-Ray – $12

Don’t ask me how I had a $100 Amazon gift card this late in the year but I did. I spent that easily to the tune of $87 worth of CDs & Blu-Rays (plus shipping charges) getting a few things off my want list.

Totals

Total (April) = $268.45

Total (year) = $1068.55

Average Price (per item) = $10.48

Total CDs (year) = 98

Total LPs (year) = 3

Total DVDs/Blu-Rays (year) = 1

CD Scavenger Hunt – March update

February may have been slow but I certainly made up for it in March with some great new releases, some used bargains and more than a few deals on Ebay and Amazon. Get ready, this is a long update!

Newbury Comics

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Krokus – Dirty Dynamite (2013) – $13
Hatriot – Heroes Of Origin (2013) – $9 used
Halcyon Way – Building The Towers (2010) – $6 used
Jeff Scott Soto – Live At Firefest V 2008 (2CD) (2010) – $6 used
Mass – ’84 Unchained (1985/2010 reissue) – $4 used
DC4 – Electric Ministry (2011) – $4 used
Psycho Motel – Welcome To The World (Japanese import) – $2 used

Flotsam & Jetsam – Cuatro (1992) – $3 used
Firewind – Allegiance (2006) – $6 used
Skid Row – Revolutions Per Minute (2006) – $7 used
Witch Mountain – Cauldron Of The Wild (2012) – $9 used
Anthrax – Anthems E.P. (2013) – $7
Adrenaline Mob – Coverta E.P. (2013) – $7
Clutch – Earth Rocker (2013) – $10
Lordi – To Beast Or Not To Beast (2013) – $13
Orden Ogan – To The End (2012) – $14
Rival Sons – Head Down (2012) – $14

Sinergy – To Hell And Back (2002) – $4 used
Ram Jam – Golden Classics (1996) – $4 used
Delain – April Rain (2009) – $6 used
Lost Horizon – A Flame To The Ground Beneath (2003) – $6 used
7th Heaven – Silver (2CD) (2003) – $6 used
Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Dreams Of Fireflies E.P. (2013) – $7
Firewind – Few Against Many (2012) – $8 used

TNT – Tell No Tales (1987) – $10
DeAllen – Deceptions Of Reality (2002) – $6 used
Trivium – The Crusade (2006) – $6 used
Evergrey – Solitude, Dominance, Tragedy (1999) – $4 used
Evergrey – A Night To Remember Live 2004 (2005) – $4 used
Saxon – Sacrifice (Limited Edition) (2013) – $12
Stryper – Second Coming (2013) – $12

Enforcer – Death By Fire (2013) – $13
Sebastian Bach – Abachalypse Now (2CD/DVD) – $16
Iron Maiden – Maiden England ’88 (2CD) (2013) – $20

Iron Maiden – Maiden England ’88 (DVD) (2013) – $15

Like I said…..this is going to be a long update!

The first trip to Newbury Comics in Warwick, RI was your basic run of the mill shopping trip, I was heading there to buy the new Krokus record, Dirty Dynamite. The cool thing about this trip was when I walked into the store, I noticed a new section labelled USED NEW ARRIVALS. I got the Krokus disc and went over to the new bin and found some great deals, the first of which was the new Hatriot album for $9 used. I went back over to the METAL section later and found a brand new copy of the Hatriot CD in the rack for $17, so I saved almost half! Other great buys from the new section: Halcyon Way, Jeff Scott Soto, Mass, DC4 and Psycho Motel. The Psycho Motel was an awesome find for $2 used because it was a Japanese import complete with all inserts and the OBI strip. I had just put the Psycho Motel records on my want list because I never really got into Adrian Smith’s work outside of Iron Maiden and then I find one extremely cheap…..not a bad deal!

My second CD hunt of March was a return to the scene of the previous week’s crime, I had to go back to the Newbury Comics in Warwick because of the great deals in that USED NEW ARRIVALS bin. Unfortunately, that bin had no new Metal in it and it was basically everything I already owned so I had to head over to the Metal section and see if any bargains came in during the week. Sure enough I found used copies of Flotsam & Jetsam’s Cuatro and Firewind’s Allegiance right away but the real gems were the Skid Row and Witch Mountain albums especially since they were both added to my want list within the last couple of weeks. The Skid Row CD was the only one I needed to complete their spot in my collection and I hadn’t seen a copy in the local stores in years but this one was actually sealed but marked used…..even better! I read about Witch Mountain online and sampled some of their songs so I put them on the want list too but I’ve held off because the regular price was between $15 – $17 depending on the store. I found this copy on the hunt for $9 used and saved around $6 compared to the one new copy that was also there. I also picked up some new albums as well from Anthrax, Adrenaline Mob, Clutch, Lordi, Orden Ogan and Rival Sons…..all on sale.

My third and fourth trip out on the hunt were on the same Sunday in March when my family and I headed to the closest Ikea store about an hour away for a bookcase. In the back of my mind, I know that there was a Newbury Comics near the entrance to the Ikea about a quarter mile away so, after the trip to Ikea, I was able to get to the Avon, MA Newbury Comics store and look for treasures. Now Newbury Comics is an independent record store chain in the Massachusetts/Rhode Island area that I’ve shopped at for the last 18 years, they are the closest thing we can get to “mom & pop” record stores in this area. Unfortunately, the Avon Newbury Comics sucks…..no selection at all. You can usually tell how a store is when you walk in and see their inventory size…..when the t-shirts, toys, comics and other paraphernalia has more floor space then the CDs & DVDs, you know you’re in trouble. I found used CDs from Sinergy, Ram Jam, Delain, Lost Horizon, 7th Heaven, and Firewind all for decent prices so there was a few things there but the gem of this rare visit was the latest Trans-Siberian Orchestra E.P. that I blew off when it first came out and I haven’t seen it since.

After the Avon store visit, it was time to head for home but I knew that if I went a certain route, I would drive by the Newbury Comics Norwood, MA store (basically the biggest one they have). I wasn’t going to leave without buying something but I found a few used bargains from TNT, DeAllen, Trivium, and Evergrey but I also decided to buy the latest from Stryper and Saxon (Sacrifice limited 2 disc edition) for $12 each.

The last trip of the month was back to the Warwick location for the new Enforcer, Sebastian Bach and Iron Maiden releases, all of which were new and on sale. Here’s my one complaint: Why do some bands decide to put out live releases with the CDs & DVDs packaged together and some who separately release each format? And a second complaint: Why are double CD live albums more expensive than double DVD live videos? The case for my arguement is Sebastian Bach vs. Iron Maiden. Sebastian Bach’s Abachalypse Now was released around the same time as Maiden England ’88 and it was a very similar package, a 2 CD/DVD package vs. Maiden’s separate 2 CD release and 2 DVD release. Now it’s probably a label thing but why can’t it be packaged together? $16 for Sebastian Bach and $35 for both Iron Maiden releases. It’s more than double for the complete Iron Maiden package! Then you add that the Maiden double CD is $5 more on sale than the Maiden double DVD! It’s just one of those things that bother me but I still spend the money anyway.

Best Buy, Amazon, Ebay and Bandcamp

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KISS – Monster (Exclusive Best Buy edition with 3D cover) (2012) – $12

Saxon – Saxon, Wheels Of Steel, Strong Arm Of The Law, Denim And Leather, Power And The Glory, Crusader, Rock The Nations (2009 remasters with bonus material)
Saxon – The Eagle Has Landed Live (2006 remaster)
Triumph – Live At Sweden Rock (CD/DVD) (2012)
Steel Panther – British Invasion DVD (2013)

(Total Amazon order = $119)

Helix – Back For Another Taste (1990) – $12 used
Killer Dwarfs – Dirty Weapons (1990) – $9 used
Loudness – Lightning Strikes (1986) – $10 used
Return Of The Comet (A Tribute To Ace Frehley) (1997) – $15 used
Corsair – s/t (2013) – $9

Dreamer – Turn It Up (2011) – $10

So we start off the miscellaneous purchases with another version of KISS – Monster, this time from Best Buy with the 3D cover and supposed bonus track. Unfortuately, there is no bonus track on this edition, all the Best Buy CDs are just like the normal version. Bonus tracks were included on the iTunes download of the full album and the Japanese release. I have the regular CD and the Wal-Mart version in the special tour magazine so why not have all the versions? All I need now is the vinyl LP, the picture disc and the Japanese import!

I decided that I wanted to complete my Saxon remasters collection from 2009 and get all those bonus tracks so I put aside a few dollars from my tax refund and I picked up the 7 studio albums I needed to get it done. I also picked up The Eagle Has Landed Live 2006 remaster because they never re-did it in 2009. I also decided to get a couple of items off my Amazon wish list with the Triumph live release and the Steel Panther live DVD. The total came to $119 (less than $12 each item) and the Triumph and Steel Panther releases were priced significantly lower than the advertised sale prices that Newbury Comics had!

Ebay was another great way I picked up some older albums from Helix, Killer Dwarfs and Loudness but the two gems this month were the Ace Frehley tribute album and the latest album from Corsair. I read good things about the Corsair album so I decided to give it a try but I kept passing it over at the record shops because the regular price was $14. When I saw a brand new sealed copy going for $9 plus free shipping, I placed the bid and won the auction. The Return Of The Comet tribute album is one I’ve been searching for since 1997. Unfortunately, I didn’t pick this up when it first came out in 1997 during the KISS reunion hype and I’m not sure why I didn’t pull the trigger, I was devouring anything KISS at that time! I remember seeing it at an old mom & pop store back then but I passed probably figuring I could get it anytime and no one really cared about an Ace Frehley tribute CD. The the label, Shock Records, went under and the CD went out of print and that’s when I had to have it! I’ve been watching Ebay for years but have been unwilling to pay the $40 to $100 I’ve seen it end for. I started watching a certain auction for this CD back in January and it was going for $75 Buy It Now. I watched as the seller relisted the CD four times and lowered the price four times until the disc was $50. That’s when I stepped up and put in a “best offer” of $30…..the seller countered with $47. I waited again for the auction to end and the seller relisted the same CD again but back up to $75! I offered $30 again and was countered $65. Auction ends, no buyers, relist $70. Offer $30 again, auction ends, relist $70 again! finally I just shot the seller a nice email through Ebay saying that he was obviously not selling the item and I had been watching for almost two months and I was willing to buy it for $30 plus $5 shipping. I made the case that the CD wasn’t that rare (you can get it at KISS expos) and that it was way overpriced but I was willing to pay half. Basically the response was a “drop dead” sort of reply. About a couple of days later, a different seller listed a used copy of the same CD with free shipping for $15. It was a 5 day auction, I bid $30 and won it for the listed $15. After I paid via Paypal and secured the deal, I then emailed the first seller direct with a link to the completed auction…..needless to say, that first seller ended up relisting for the umpteenth time but this time at $35…..there are still no buyers! The last purchase was through Bandcamp.com for a local Rhode Island band Dreamer and their latest CD, Turn It Up. I always like to support local music, especially good local Rock music.

Total = $489

Total (year) = $867.50

Average Price (per item) = $9.43

Total CDs (year) = 87

Total BluRays or DVDs (year) = 2

Total Box Sets (year) = 3