Ever wear out a record…?

10-12-10

Ever wear out a record and have to buy a new copy?

I can think of a few variants to this question.  I once had a damaged stylus; everything I play for about 2 months seemed to get “ruined”.  Once I figured it out, I took care of the problem immediately – but it was perplexing, and I definitely had to replace 5 or 6 “good” records (i.e. $5-$7 import LP’s).

As both myself and several of my collector friends know well, we once got some really nice plastic bags for 45 from England.  The exporter offered us these bags for free.  They looked great.  However, within a very short amount of time (less than a year), all of us simultaneously began to notice that 45’s were being “clouded” – the plastic bags were interacting with the poly-vinyl-chloride.  Yikes!  Lost a few good ones.

Another variant to ‘wearing out’ an LP – buying a used copy, and replacing the LP with a new one (via the ‘returns bin’ at the distributor).  I can’t imagine how much product passed through the distributor in this fashion.  I definitely wasn’t the only one pulling this trick.

I most certainly wore out a few ‘childhood’ records – using cruddy a phonograph – did you ever put a quarter (or similar non-scientific weight) on a tonearm?  Guilty!  But it took me years to decide to try and replace some of my “childhood” stuff.  A lot of what I destroyed as a child was not easily recoverable – cutting 45 picture sleeves apart to hang on the wall etc.  But I must say, the David Seville & The Chipmunks records that I currently own are in a lot better condition than the copies I owned as a child (having been handed down to me, in the first place).  Same goes for all my modern day copies of Sheb Wooley “Purple People Eater” (which I now own the EP, and have it on both LP & CD).

And I do re-buy lots of titles that I like, always in search of a “better copy”, particularly when it’s low cost LP’s in question.  For some reason, I’ve never done this as much with 45’s – and it’s not usually necessary for CD’s – though I do re-buy lots of CD’s, ostensibly for a “Better Copy” (which means usually a “re-mastering”).  I do not think I have ever “worn out” a compact disc or Mini-disc.

And, of course, the road to “My Perfect Collection” is littered with variants of well-loved titles.  It’s not unusual for me to have 3 or 4 copies of a title that I really like – and – in some instances – I have as many as 15+ variants!  What would make a collector buy an album 15+ times?  Most record collectors know the answer to that rhetorical question!

So, what got “worn out”?  Childhood records, many of which did not concern me enough to replace.

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2 Responses to Ever wear out a record…?

  1. David Z says:

    I’m on my third copy of “Something/Anything” by Todd Rundgren after wearing out the first two in about 12 years… and it’s a double LP. I know you aren’t a fan, but you know I am. Thank goodness CDs don’t wear out from use.

  2. ronkanefiles says:

    Todd R must be an east coast thing. The only other big Todd R fan I know of is from Michigan. I have a rare Nazz 45 you might be interested in…

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