An Introduction

I first became interested in 4AD, a UK independent record label founded in 1980, towards the end of the '80's. I was falling in love with the music of Dead Can Dance, Clan of Xymox, Pixies, Bauhaus and The Birthday Party and was surprised when the 4AD label sampler "Lonely Is An Eyesore" came out in 1987 that all these bands were from the same label.

After visiting a Pre-Raphaelite exhibition of some American's collection of art, I came to thinking of all this musical art that 4AD have released that may one day drift into obscurity unless someone shows it as art. So now I'm on a crusade, to collect the first ten years of 4AD's releases and exhibit the collection on 4AD's 50th anniversary in 2030. This is a big task which will have some interesting twists and turns along the way.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Describe what your selling or the puppy gets it!

I have been struggling lately to know what to add to this blog. I suppose that I’m amazed that anyone finds what I say to be of interest. Which also means I’m a bit nervous about being disappointing. I’m excited about what I collect, I have to be, otherwise there would be little point to doing it. I’m also aware, as a collector, of being an excitable geek about collecting and acquiring a rare gem and that perhaps nobody else would be interested in what makes me that excited. Oh well, I suppose a geek is what a geek does.

There has been a flurry of activity this week. The first was a Cocteau Twins Canadian release of Blue Bell Knoll.


It’s very exciting to get a release from another country. I live in the UK where the 4AD label was founded. I grew up with these releases and came to realise that the UK has a great history of creating music for the world. With that comes a certain pride that UK music gets aired around the world.

Whenever I look for 4ad material to buy, the obvious default of many of the releases are the UK versions, then the US releases are generally the next most abundant, then all the other overseas versions. These other country versions are a lot harder to find. Whether this is because they were released in lower numbers, or because the market enjoys holding them back for a premium price, is unknown to me. I suspect it is the former. The UK releases were popular at the time, so there would have been many created. The US number of items for a release would have been huge in comparison to the UK simply because of the audience size. The other countries outside of the UK and US may have been in a lot smaller numbers.

This makes them more difficult to find and even more difficult to find cheaply. Many traders know this and bump the price up. Collecting these rarer releases can be very frustrating. About half of traders online do not put vital details with the listing they are selling. So a lot of listings on various sites online do not have any decent description at all. Country, label, catalogue number, matrix or barcode numbers, any would be useful. It’s surprising that these traders do not even bother with the basics to sell what they have. I refuse to contact and email every seller that just may have the Spanish version of a release just because they are one based in Spain and are selling Cocteau Twins - Blue Bell Knoll.

I’ve reached a point already, where if the trader cannot be arsed to add a description, I can’t be arsed to do business with them. Join me in my campaign to rid the world of naff traders, to flatten them down to a useless mass of flabby, snot eating lazy no gooders. Starve them of trade and, therefore, bread and butter, cut out their livers and sell them on the black market........

Hold on, maybe I’ve gone a little to far? Ok arsed please!

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