At the risk of coming across like a nostalgic luddite (again), I was in Birmingham the other day doing the record store rounds with James and a thought struck me while digging through the used section in Swordfish: give it a few years and that unexpected bargain find might well be a thing of the past. Obviously the decline of independents partly explains this, but the increased homogenisation of the chain shop racks coupled with the virtual levelling of pricing in digital download stores have also played a part. Sure, you can pick up a bargain from eBay or Amazon sellers, but you’ve made a conscious decision to go to that listing on the site. The thrill of the unexpected isn’t there to the same extent, even if the convenience is greater.
I picked up two Jim White albums in Swordfish and Josh Ritter’s last release in HMV (in their ‘special purchase’ section AKA shit we really can’t shift). Total cost: £9. The pleasure isn’t just in the pricing though, it’s partly that treasures such as this are hidden amongst unwanted Shed Seven and M People albums that have been languishing there for years, coated in a fine veneer of dust and that odd record store grease (perhaps a by-product of geek sweat?), making their appearance all the more surprising. Also, they are three great albums that I probably wouldn’t have given a chance in the never ending avalanche of new releases.
What are your all-time favourite bargain bin finds?
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