Saturday, April 4, 2009

Rare and extremely collectible vinyl

Well, friends and friends-to-be, my blog is alive.

Those who know me well will be familiar with my ability to come up with something totally random and unrelated to whatever everyone else thought they were talking about. Which is roughly what you can expect from this space. Random things. A niche that is decidedly non-niche, so whether I get away with breaking that cardinal rule of blogging, remains to be seen.

To begin with, a tale of two highly collectible vinyl recordings. Music for Supermarkets by Jean-Michel Jarre, or to use its French title, Musique pour Supermarché, has intrigued me for years. Released as a single copy to be auctioned to the highest bidder, it was made to be a very deliberate statement.

Although all master tapes were destroyed, fragments of the album survived as bootleg recordings - it was played once in its thirty-four minute entirety on Radio
Luxembourg - and segments that resurfaced in later albums.

What the record is worth today, can only be estimated. There is however one recording that may rival or even eclipse Music for Supermarkets both in rarity and current value.

In 1957, a group of youngsters from Liverpool who called themselves The Quarrymen, made a cheap recording of Buddy Holly's 'That'll be the Day' and a second song “In Spite Of All The Danger”, which was written by two of the members themselves. Short of cash, the band opted to record straight onto vinyl and, as "In Spite Of All The Danger" was hastily decided on, some band members had to learn it on the spot.

Today, the single copy made of that session is considered one of the most collectible vinyl recordings. Why? Because three of the members, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison went on to form the Beatles.

An interesting coincidence links these two highly collectible vinyl recordings. 'Music forSupermarkets" was first auctioned off on 6 July 1983, twenty-six years to the day after Lennon met McCartney at Woolton Parish Church Garden Fete in Liverpool.

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