Wednesday, June 2, 2010
6 Inch 'Single'?
Let's face it, there are a lot of 'hip' people into record collecting now a days. The record companies have been faced with the task of catering to this new market by creating a series of one off, limited run, hand numbered, coloured and splattered and even shaped records.
But for those who arn't familiar with a time known as the '80', these gimmicks are not new.
Today I popped by Vortex Records to look through their latest acquisitions. Though I didn't purchase any lps, I did look through their box of 'unsellable lp's'. This box, which many record stores have, will have piles of records in the 1 dollar to 'beat-up-piece-of-crap' condition. Though I normally don't keep something in this terrible shape, I just had to. A 6 Inch 45 RPM record!! Now I have seen a few 8 inch records released over the past few years, perhaps a punk band trying to be anti-establishment against the industry. Regardless, you don't see many sizes other than 12", 7", and the occasional 10".
No label whatsoever, this 6 incher is really odd. Most likely it came from a talking story book, to be played along side a book to help a 1st grader learn how to read. This particular 45 is void of any paper label, and has raised letters: B2 PECULIAR PENGUINS and B1 MICKEY THE MAIL PILOT. I can only make assumptions for the time being as it is so beat up it would wreck my stylus, but I would put my money on it being a late 50's/ early 60's children's book. There are many misconceptions about record pressing plants, as many believe they can only do certain sizes and in a circular shape. I love having friends over and having them see a square record, or a shaped disc that can only be played in the centre rings. Here are a few gems from my collection-
This is a flexi-disc. It's called that because of how it behaves- it flexs! Firstly, they sound like crap. It is a piece of vinyl so small it could be folded in half like a piece of paper. With grooves this small and shallow, it's no wonder every flexi-disc won't deliver any quality. But it sure was convenient. Many music magazines would adopt this form as a way of giving a quick, cheap musical sample to their readers. Similarly, Instructional Guitar and Drum magazines would include solos, and lessons. This one in particular is a Russian pressed Metallica 4.5 inch bootleg, with one song (The Call of the Ktulu) pressed on one side. This format often won't be thick enough to support two sides of music. Russia has recently developed a tradition of forgery in the music industry, and this pressing is an example of their cheapest output- The Flexi Disc. At the end of the day, most consumers would prefer something of better quality, so the flexi disc in bootleg form is only for the collector.
This '7 inch' single has always been my favourite! With some points extending 9 or 10 inches, this Metallica single is for Jump in the fire which was also released in several colour pressed LP's. The ironic thing about this pressing is the pricing. One of these would set you back $30-$60 on an average day, but if you find the un-cut test pressing of it, you are looking to pay over 10X's that price!
This single was found at a garage sale in Scarborough from the collection of a Juno Award winning pop singer. He had only 4-500 LP's, and I grabbed about 35 off of him. I think I was popping on a Rush single from his stash, when I realized that another record was in there. Finding such a cool find in the middle of a Rush LP that was equally as cool as only paying this dude 50 cents a record!