Saturday, 8 August 2015

Let's get crazy, let's get wild tonight

A few years ago I used to have a really big thing about Japanese street fashion, and I pretty much became a pro at navigating various Japanese web stores and always kept an eye on their secondhand auction websites - just like eBay, but for Japanese people only. I do still have an interest in these fashions, and found myself looking for a certain brand of accessories a month ago on these auction sites. I haven't used these sites in years, and when I couldn't find what I was looking for, for some reason on a total whim I decided to type "Ringo Starr" into the search bar. I didn't really expect much, especially as I'd typed it in English and did a little jump for joy when 5 pages of items came up. I sourced through all the records, and then searched for Queen and Pink Floyd in the vinyl category now I'd found it. And it was kind of amazing really, and I'm kicking myself that I didn't think to do this before because it's so obvious. Japanese only releases of these artists were popping up, the kind that are super rare on the Western market and sell for offensive amounts of money. And here they were for a couple of quid each. I could barely contain my excitement as I popped my shopping service an email, wondering if they'd still have me on record as I hadn't contacted them since 2012. And today they arrived!

Obviously buying records from sites like this is a risk, more so than with places like Discogs and eBay. The listings are in Japanese and Google Translate isn't always very accurate, so you're taking a bit of a gamble on the quality of your record. If it arrives not like you thought it would, it's tough luck as both returns and complaints are impossible. Also you're hoping that it will survive the 6000 mile journey unscathed. Considering how cheap all of these records were compared to their value I personally found it worth the risk.

These are the records I bought, three that have been on my want list for a long time. The Ringo record was the first I spotted, it's a bootleg by Wibble Records who released a few Ringo bootlegs in the '80s. I already own one by them called Rizz Off. I'd wanted this particular bootleg as it contains songs from Scouse The Mouse, a childrens album Ringo played the main character for that's very rare. To be honest, this ended up being the dud of my purchases. I'm not sure if it's how it was made because it's a bootleg, or how it's been stored for the last 30 years, but you see those 3D glasses that come with it? The shape of them has become imbedded in the LP, warping it on both sides. It's still playable, but it skips quite badly and it's a bit of a disappointment. Still a nice addition to the collection though!

Gettin' Smile was a happy find, and the only one of these records I had a little bidding war for but I still got it cheaply. It's in perfect condition so I couldn't be happier. Smile was the band Roger Taylor and Brian May were in together with a guy called Tim Staffell. When Staffell left, a guy called Freddie Mercury took his place and Smile became Queen. This album contains the six songs Smile recorded in 1969 and the LP was only released in Japan.

This little 45 I've been after for ages, but because I refuse to pay big money on 45s they often slip away from me on eBay. I got this for £1.80 so my patience was definitely rewarded! It's in perfect condition too. I love the little alien guy that was used for Fun in Space, he's taken from an issue of Creepy (and the story they feature in is genuinely a bit creepy!)

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