Any record collector out there knows the thrill of finding a vintage sealed copy of an album by an artist they like and admire. That thrill is amplified when the said copy of that particular sealed vinyl is also obtained for a cheap price – win, win you say.
Of course there’s also the question of should you leave said vintage album sealed as a pristine piece of memorabilia or should you slit the side open and pop that baby on the nearest turntable?
As in everything in life there are different opinions on this scenario.
On the one hand there’s the type of collector who loves the look of pristine sealed vinyl. It takes them back to their childhood when they saw racks of sealed albums just like that at their local Kmart or Woolworth’s way back in the day.
It’s almost as if time has stood still and there is actually air from the past sealed inside that album cover along with the vinyl that features some of your favorite songs from many years ago. Okay, maybe not quite that dramatic but you get the picture.
The other type of collector is just looking to find the best sounding copy of a vintage album and what better way than to hear your favorite album than to place a pristine copy of that album from the time of its release that hopefully has no blemishes with sound that knocks your socks off from the first moment your turntable needle hits the vinyl.
Well of course I can see both sides of this scenario and respect each collector’s choice. As the years go by though I’ve recently been leaning on the side of life is too short so let’s take that pristine baby out and have some fun!
As luck should have it I just came face to face with this very dilemma as I purchased an old stock copy of David Cassidy’s 1974 album “Cassidy Live!” which came out on Bell Records in 1974.
As readers of this blog know I’ve loved David Cassidy’s music since I was four years old when the first Partridge Family single and album came out in 1970 and I gladly played to death and beat up several copies of various Partridge and Cassidy records.
Back in the day I pretty much had all the original vinyl pressings of Partridge Family as well as David Cassidy solo records, at least on the Bell Records. All that is except for “Cassidy Live!”. For some reason that particular Cassidy record never came into my line of view and I had never heard of it until many many years after it was originally released.
I did eventually get “Cassidy Live!” when it came out on CD and I was pleasantly surprised by how well it was recorded and how good an album it was even without containing many of the most famous songs Cassidy sang lead on.
Like I said as luck would have it about a week and a half ago I stumbled upon a still sealed copy of “Cassidy Live!” on the Etsy Website, of all things, and since the price was right I decided to buy it and after nearly 48 years add it to my collection of original Cassidy records form the 1970s.
Admittedly many Bell Records pressings form the 1970s are hit and miss – some good but most noisy and full of ticks even sealed so I knew it was somewhat of a gamble buying this copy but I went ahead anyway.
Every so often I’ve come upon a vintage sealed album either in person or online and only one other time in over fifty years of collecting (I once bought a sealed album by mail order that was cracked in two – ugh) have I ever been disappointed in the quality of the record or how it sounded. That is until now.
I just today received this lovely sealed example of “Cassidy Live!” and as I took it out carefully from it’s sealed tomb of nearly 48 years I was dumbfounded to find that as I slide the vinyl out of the inner sleeve I could see what I can only describe as vinyl acne.
There were large swaths of these small sort of acne looking ripples in the vinyl on both sides of the record. Ahhhh! Side one wasn’t too bad actually but side two was full of them. WTF was the only thing that ran through my mind. I have never in all my days of collecting vinyl – and that stretches back to 1969 – seen anything like it.
I was dreading putting this particular copy on my turntable as I feared a million skips and Gods knows what kind of sound may come from my speakers if I played it.
Well I sat for a few moments looking at the cover and of course my curiosity got the best of me and I decided what the hey I’m just going to take a leap of faith and play it.
Why not? It’s not as if the seller would have known the vinyl would look like that. The record was obviously an original sealed pressing that must have had some sort of weird life between 1974 and now even though it was sealed and supposedly protected.
Well funny enough barring two songs on side two the record didn’t sound have bad! In fact mostly it sounded pretty darn good. Unfortunately the last three songs on side two do have audible ticks throughout the songs but nothing unlistenable. Not great but not horrible.
That my friends is the gamble of buying a sealed record that’s been sealed for over forty years. You have no idea what kind of temperatures this piece of vinyl encountered over the years or how it was stored, all of which can lead to this kind of situation.
Of course it could just be a bad pressing but I’m guessing somewhere along the line this album probably met with some sort of heat or something that caused it to have a chronic case of vinyl acne.
At least I didn’t spend a fortune on it and three fourths of it sounds pretty good. Small comfort but after 48 long years I’ve finally added a copy of “Cassidy Live!” to my collection but too bad it had the completion of a teenager.
Honestly though I’ve never even seen another vinyl copy of “Cassidy Live!” in person so I guess it wasn’t a total waste. At least it never skipped!
At least I got to share this here as an example of what can happen when you open a vintage sealed album. It’s rare, at least in my case, but sometimes things don’t always turn out like you plan even with a brand new sealed record.
Anyway, that’s all for now.
Take a gander of this album above and until next time be healthy and well and if you buy vinyl always remember – buyer beware lol!