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.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Making music, buying music and trying not to get ripped off

It's so very hard to concentrate. After the rush of the build up to the year end last year, a lot of other things went on hold while I shopped frantically to get my wantlist down below 900 items. Since the new year my concentration has gone back to the neglected stuff, which included my best mate Andy and I creating some music again under our old band name Personality Crisis.

While that has been great, the 4AD music collection has suffered in the meantime. Pickings at the moment seem quite thin on the ground. There seems to be little to nothing coming from record fairs, but that seems to be nothing new. Ebay has become swamped in the last year or so with newspaper clippings, full page magazine spreads and promo photo's being sold, that it takes so much longer to sift through the listings.

5 years ago, an international search on ebay for the word 4AD would bring back around three to four hundred items. Today, searching for 4AD on ebay worldwide, 8,279 items are listed. This has doubled in the last year alone. While there are a few non 4AD items in there, such as vehicle parts and old coins, the vast majority is the 4AD label. On a search you can filter this down, but I have found that sometimes the best bargains are to be found where items have been either wrongly listed, or listed with little detail that the filters could easily take out.

Occasionally, confronted with these huge and growing numbers, I change my default sorting and have a quick look to see what is at the top of the price list. This weeks shock is a seller asking £879.88 ($1298) for a Pixies DVD. How much??? There's nothing special about it, the same one can be found for £1.56 with free postage. I can only assume that the seller has put the decimal in the wrong place, although even at $12.98 it's still overpriced.

Of course, a larger number of listings, means more choice and greater availability, which is a good thing. It just means that more time is needed to get around the newspaper clippings, the bad rated sellers, the sellers that charge a fortune for delivery etc etc. I try and not to go above the ten pounds mark, as there are a lot of overpriced stuff that starts to fill out the listings above ten pounds. Still, there are some lovely gems to be found even now.

On another note, I have noticed that I'm getting quite the collection of secondary items again. These are items I have bought and haven't been as stated by the seller and I end up keeping them even though I already have a copy because the seller just writes them off instead of paying for the return postage. I also have some duplicates because of my own arse ups, buying something and not thoroughly checking that I already have it. I think I will have to kick myself into gear and get these given away to some wanting reader for free. How about it, anyone intersted?

I have also been meaning to compile a list of some interesting 4AD uk release tell tale signs on here, which I must do very soon. Signs such as the introduction of barcodes, see through cassettes, re-release on CD etc. There are some interesting changes on the uk 4AD releases which can be helpful to define an original from a re-release. That would also mean that I need to kick myself up the bottom to rummage through my collection to find and accurately publish my findings to you all. I shall get onto it

Signing out for now, please check out my music page on Facebook and post an opinion on there if you wish.....