Vinyl Hunting: Finding Rare and Imported Releases

Vinyl Hunting: Finding Rare and Imported Releases
by guest blogger Jason Kane

Many audiophiles devote a lot of time to searching for imported releases. It’s a popular pastime, and some rare musical treats will only be found on records from other countries. While there’s a decent market for foreign rock groups and the like, British bands are usually the most familiar to North American music fans. There are numerous American and Canadian groups that received record releases in Europe and Asia. Fans of reggae are certainly going to want to check out the world of Jamaican releases. Some fans even like to see the special releases that came out on French language labels in Quebec.

European Vinyl

Believe it or not, many European albums featuring American and Canadian recording artists will have sleeves in English. Only the record label and some other myriad details will have changed. That being said, that doesn’t mean that these records aren’t worth anything. They can often fetch a good price at auction or in antique stores. Of course, that also means that buyers might have to spend some time shopping around to find the right price.

Once in a while, it’s possible to find a rare track on one of these that might not have had a stateside release. Entire volumes have been written on the differences between Beatles albums in the USA and the UK. There’s an entire period where Britain experienced a revival of the blues not seen in America. Skiffle, which is closely related to the country and western style, might be interesting for some collectors too.

Asian and Australian Record Collecting

While most westerners know JVC for their recording equipment, the company started a revolution in Japan. Japan Victor Company was actually a record label at one point, and interested parties can find many releases that parallel those of their parent American firm, the Victor Talking Machine Company. That being said, the Victor Entertainment brand is more associated with record releases there today. Once again, numerous records from the Far East and Australia may interest collectors. Soundtracks are usually particularly popular, but no one should miss a chance to nab a rare foreign pop album.

Spotting Bootlegs

Unfortunately, it’s so easy to get fooled by a good bootleg recording. No one really wants one of these, though some people feel that they might be collector’s items in their own right. Nevertheless, it’s best to avoid them. Pay attention for any labels that look dull or have rampant misspellings on them. Unofficial record companies seldom invest in good equipment, and they often employ people who aren’t native English speakers.

About the author:
Jason Kane writes about vinyl albums and audio equipment. In his spare time Jason likes going to car shows and listening to his Beatles vinyl collection.

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