So You Want To Sell Your Record Collection: AA – AR
As I mentioned the other day, I’m giving some serious thought to selling off a huge chunk of my record collection. Like, up to 90% of it. I’ve sold…three records to friends within the last week for $300. So if I keep up that pace I’ll have $200,000 by the end of the month, right? Unfortunately, that’s not how this process works. That’s not even close to how it works.
First of all, there are many records with which I cannot part. I don’t want to sell records I inherited from my mom, for example. I don’t think she’d appreciate that, and also I kind of dig the fact that she was a ’60s rock hippie chick with good taste. I don’t know when that switch flipped and she gave up on the Beatles and the Stones and the Byrds and started listening to Peter Allen and showtunes…but her first-pressing, stunningly mint Beatles records are not going anywhere right now. Secondly, there are a lot of records I have that are not on Spotify so I would have no other way to enjoy them. Walter Wegmuller’s Tarot is not on Spotify. Also, it was my most-wanted, most-sought-after album for over a decade…I don’t think I could part with it just yet. And one last consideration…my favorite bands. Am I ready to part with the entire Spiritualized discography? Harvey Milk? Marissa Nadler? What about the Smashing Pumpkins?
I think I can part with those records. Especially with how expensive Mellon Collie has gotten.
The only way I can think of to determine whether or not I can live without an album in my collection…is to listen to every single one of them. As someone who likes to needlessly complicate his own life, certainly the most obtuse, difficult-to-complete plan I can come up with is how I should proceed. Right?
Let’s get started.
I have somewhere between 75 and 85 records in the “A” section of my collection. No, I don’t have to listen to every single one of them to see if they’re worth keeping. AC/DC for example. I love ’em, but they’re all on Spotify if I ever want to hear them. I’m definitely going to be selling my 1980 original US pressing of Back In Black, and my 1981 reissue of Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. Should you want either one, shoot me a message.
Yes, this is how I”m going to proceed here and on Instagram. Prepare to be bombarded with posts about stuff being for sale or not for sale.
The first record I came to that I struggled with was Acetone’s I Guess I Would. It’s not on Spotify, so I pulled the record off the shelf to give it a listen. As I did, I remembered how it came into Rockaway years ago still-sealed, and we priced it at $9.99. I waited until it was on sale and then bought it for half-off. I took it home, filed it away without opening it…and then re-sold it to Rockaway a short while later when I realized I never opened it. Then some time later it got marked down again, to $2.99 so I re-bought it. I opened it and listened to it a couple times, but it’s pretty much unplayed. Two of the corners are a little pushed, but it’s still got its original shrink wrap on it. As much as I enjoyed listening to it, I looked it up online and it seems to sell for about $75-$100 now. I have the MP3s on my hard drive, so I’m going to sell it.
Sorry Acid Mothers Temple, I don’t need you in my collection at this point. And I don’t need your contribution to that 7″ split 45 series of Hawkwind covers that came out a bunch of years ago, Sonic Attack. AMT and White Hills were on one split, Mudhoney and Mugstar another, and Bardo Pond & Kinski were on the third one. I’ll list those as a set on eBay eventually. Which I guess means I’m not keeping my entire White Hills discography in tact…ugh. This is going to turn into some weird butterfly effect thing where because I sell one White Hills 7″ I’m going to end up selling everything I own by them, aren’t I? If anyone wants La Novia, make an offer.
Ryan Adams is a tough one. Heartbreaker was one of the albums that helped me through the lonely part of my college years, so I have a closer connection to it. Cold Roses I only bought because I saw him perform “Let It Ride” on Letterman while I was stoned out of my mind and decided that I needed it. I can part with that one, but I can’t part with Heartbreaker. It’s funny, he and Mandy Moore came into the shop one night shortly before closing so that he could buy some collectible punk 45s and I seriously did not recognize either of them. He was super friendly and chatty, and didn’t come off like the creep he apparently is. Speaking of which, I know he got #MeToo’d for sexual misconduct, but I went to Google for an exact why/how just now and came across this article, published 8 hours ago. Weird coincidence. Maybe I should sell that original copy of Heartbreaker after all.
I was going to keep my Agalloch records until Ian informed me about how one of the dudes made antisemitic comments and that’s a no-go around here. It’s the reason I sold my Burzum records, so I’d be a hypocrite if I hung onto these. If you want either Ashes Against The Grain or The Mantle or Pale Folklore, by all means reach out. I’ll probably post here that you align with antisemites and ask that you never speak to me again once the transaction is complete…but I’ll still take your money. By the way if you haven’t already noticed the links I’m sharing are to the exact pressings I have for sale.
I was really riding the wave of Foxglove and Digitalis when I moved to Los Angeles, but somehow Ilyas Ahmed was off my radar. I saw him perform at Echio Curio the opening night of the Bottling Smoke festival. Then I went out and bought as many of his albums as I could find. I ended up tracking down beautiful copies of The Vertigo Of Dawn, and Between Two Skies / Towards The Night, and With Endless Fire. The latter is on Spotify so I definitely don’t need that one. I listened to all three albums and, honestly…I think I’m okay parting with them now. They served their purpose for 2007 Evan, but 2020 Evan is in a different place.
I can’t sell Aix Em Klemm, it was a gift from Ian I think. Right? This and the Amen Dunes album on Sacred Bones from a couple years ago, I think? I think it’s kind of funny he went all the way to Japan to buy me a record that Kranky probably had for sale on their website for $10, but I’ll take it. This is the kind of shit I would probably keep anyway because it’s a perfect record to have on in the background while I’m writing. It’s not like some of these other records that sound like I’m getting the shit kicked out of my in a wind tunnel. But more on that later.
I don’t think I can part with my Alcest records because I got them signed by Neige and whoever was in his touring band when they stopped by Vacation Vinyl a few years ago. I mean…they’re on Spotify so I could probably part with them, but it’d take a sweet offer because they’re autographed. I guess I’d listen if someone wanted to make an offer on either Les Voyages De L’ame or Le Secret.
Here’s a perfect example of a record I no longer care to own. Aluk Todolo isn’t bad or anything…but, like…why? Why do I need this? I don’t. I listened to it while I was working the other day and only got through one side before I realized I was disinterested and actively ignoring it. It still has the old Aquarius Records price sticker on its resealable sleeve with info sticker! Please, take Finsternis off my hands.
I probably won’t keep any Will Oldham-related vinyl except for maybe I See A Darkness, but I’m torn about selling anything Jason Molina-related at this point. I especially won’t get rid of the Songs: Ohia catalog, but there are at least two Magnolia Electric Co. albums that Jason gave me when I visited him in 2006, with handwritten notes and stuff, so those aren’t going anywhere. But…I don’t know if I need this one. I listened to it twice (it’s one-sided) and…two of the songs are written by Jason but they’re not his best work. I think…I think I can let it go. If you’re a Molina or Oldham completist and you don’t own Amalgamated Sons Of Rest you should. It’s not for me anymore.
I don’t know what the deal is with Frozen In Amber, but it took me like five years to find and this is the best condition example I came up with. It was released by Elfenblut in the UK in 1996, and has never received the reissue treatment. I think the combination of it being released during the post-vinyl CD heyday and the fat that Brits treat their records like shit means there probably aren’t many perfect copies of it in circulation. The inner sleeve is basically sandpaper so I put it in a nicer sleeve, but even so it plays with some background noise. It’s a shame, because it looks nice. Maybe if you have one of those VPI machines you could work some magic on it, but…I don’t need it anymore. I’ve got the MP3s.
I own the complete AmAnSet discography, but I don’t think I’m going to part with it. Actually, I bought Promise Of Love when it was brand new and never opened it. So, if you want a perfect copy of that album and are willing to pay the “still sealed” price, I’ll sell you that one. Oh, and after one last listen, I don’t need this EP of theirs either.
See guys, I was into Amen Dunes before it was cool. I got DIA new from Aquarius right when it came out because I think it was one of their records of the week and I pretty much trusted them implicitly with their recommendations. Alas, I like the newer records better. I think I’ve listened to it twice so it’s basically new. Still has the shrink wrap on it and everything, as you can see from the photo. Make an offer.
Sorry, Arab On Radar. You no longer touch me the same way you once did. Even if I had many a chuckle listening to “Semen On The Mount” this morning, I’m pretty sure I can survive with just the MP3s of these records. “Ejaculation is a waste of valuable resources,” you say? Well…why don’t one of you send me some of your own valuable resources (that means money — please don’t send me any semen) and I’ll be happy to supply you with two lovely Arab On Radar albums. Rough Day At The Orifice and/or Yahweh Or The Highway.
And that’s it for today! I’ll try to post a few of these a week as I work my way through the alphabet. To complicate matters we’re trying to move in the next couple months so I’m definitely itching to part with my records sooner rather than later. If I know you and if you live in Los Angeles and you want to buy a huge chunk at once for straight cash, by all means call me. And know that your money is going to a good cause — my soon-to-be mortgage.
Cheers, Y’all. Stay healthy and stay safe.
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