Good Album Hunting: Christmas “Shopping” and Redeeming Gift Cards

Gentle reader, although I have not actually employed the one-for-me, one-for-you Christmas gift buying protocol this year, I did pick up a couple of inexpensive records at Relics the week before Christmas whilst Christmas shopping. I also spotted some Chuck Mangione records at Vintage Stock whilst I was scoping out Pink Floyd CDs for my oldest who has come of that age. As I am still present, I am trying to steer him into more David Gilmour than Roger Waters, but I can certainly speak intelligently about something he likes.

At any rate, on Monday night, we stopped by Vintage Stock for the Chuck Mangione records with the power of a $25 Visa gift card of unknown provenance that has been in my gift card collection for a while.

At Vintage Stock, I bought:

  • Fun and Games, Encore, and Chase the Clouds Away by Chuck Mangione. No “Feels So Good”, his biggest hit I think, because that’s on Feels So Good, but Encore has “The Land of Make Believe” which also appears on WSIE from time to time. I paid $5.99 each for these, which might be a record (ahut!) (actually, no I bought Eddy Grant’s Killer on the Rampage and probably some Tommy Reynolds records for more). But I will definitely enjoy these three records.
  • The Four Freshman, Funny How Time Slips Away. I used to listen to the one Four Freshman album I owned, The Swingers, a lot. Partly because I owned fewer records then. I have bought a bunch of Four Freshmen records since and don’t play them as often. Also, I am not playing records as often.
  • Evie, Come On, Ring Those Bells. You see a lot of Evie records around. She’s a Scandinavian-influenced (second generation Norwegian) Christian music singer from the 1970s. So it might fit in with The Swedish Gospel Singers and The Teen Tones.
  • Two by Al Jolson: “You Ain’t Heard Nothin’ Yet” and The Immortal Al Jolson

Anything under four dollars was buy one get one free, so I only paid for one Al Jolson record (at $2.99) and the Four Freshman (Evie was free). The total came to only $24 roughly, so I had some left on the gift card for Barnes and Noble.

At Relics, the week before Christmas, I got:

  • Frank Sinatra, “My Way”. For $2.00. Friends, are we reaching a stage in history where even the young hipsters driving up the price on records everywhere are not driving the price of Frank Sinatra records up? I mean, $2? More for me, then.
  • Henry Mancini, Big Screen, Little Screen movie and television themes. From the Mancini Orchestra and Chorus. I have a tape or two of theirs from when tapes were a thing. I was old before I was old.
  • Frankie Carle, Play One For Me.
  • Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Together: The Genius of The Oscar Winners. Given that Gene Pitney sings, it sounds an awful lot like a country album.
  • Donna Fargo, Shame On Me bought because it has a Pretty Woman on the Cover (PWOC, in the MfBJN nomenclature). Turns out this is mid-70s folk country. As are so many PWOC records in Brian J.’s collection.
  • Perry Como, Close To You and Perry Como Sings Just For You. Now that the Christmas records are put away, these will help ease the transition into the normal record life.

Those were less than $10 after discounts and whatnot.

I have a gift certificate for an actual record store from Christmas, gentle reader, and to be honest, I am not sure how to shop for records. Basically, I tend to acquire LPs browsing through unsorted bins or bundles at thrift stores, book sales, antique malls, and used game and music shops. So to browse records in good condition and that cost real money? I will be lost. I’ll probably find a single Herb Alpert record from the 1980s that I don’t have and that will be that.

At any rate, I think the Chuck Mangione will be the real score of the trip. I need to take another $1 flyer on a band I have not bought before to see if I can find something else to acquire cheaply. Because one day, I will organize my records, and I will be able to pick out something to fit my mood instead of what’s closest to the front of the records that matches my mood. Won’t that be nice?

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