Things done changed.
Dollar bin digging ain’t what it used to be. When I first started buying breaks back in the early 90’s, my OG homies like Mr. Attic would take me to spots like Vinyl Museum, a long gone institution in the city of Toronto. I’d say about 90% of the stock in their flagship store was under $5.
That store had well over 25 000 records.
This isn’t some exaggerated moment of nostalgia. Practically the whole store was priced at $2.49. And half price Wednesdays meant you could cop double the joints at $1.25. That was where I learned to dig. I was just starting, so I was excited to grab basic stuff like Jimmy Castor, Curtis Mayfield or damn near anything on CTI for practically nothing. The rock bottom prices encouraged risks. It was much easier to gamble on a record that you were paying $2 for. And while I was learning my ABC’s, the homies would come up on records like Bob Azzam, Frank Motley, The Mohawks and countless other rares.
Those days are definitely over.
Vinyl Museum closed its doors in the early 2000’s, when the owner fell ill and passed away.
It wasn’t just the end of the store. It was the end of an era. I’ve optimistically dropped into numerous Goodwills and thrift stores in the last few years, hoping to find even 1 record worth shuffling through the endless stacks of, well, crap. The results have been dismal.
Blame it on the Internet, I guess. Apparently, $10 is the new $1.
Our 4th annual post-holiday guide to wallet-friendly digging sparked a debate this year.
“Is that really a dollar record?” was the question at hand.
Keep in mind that the criteria for our Dollarate episodes is ‘any record that can be readily found for under $10’. Every time one of us would pull out a supposed dollar bin gem, we’d do some research only to find out that the record no longer sells for anything close to a buck. Records that were once worth a dollar are much more valuable now.
Such is the case with Joe Thomas’ version of Boz Scaggs’ “Lowdown” (Incidentally, some kind of weird dollar bin inception), from his Get into the Wind LP, which I played on this month’s episode.
It’s by no means a difficult record to find. But after pulling it out after over 10 years, I saw something remarkable. Stamped on the inner sleeve was an address and phone number with a store name above it:
We were right.
Records that were once worth a dollar are much more valuable now.
1. Isaac Hayes – I want to make love with you so bad
2. Joe Thomas – Lowdown
3. Mystic Moods -The other side of midnight
4. Brass Construction – What’s on your mind
5. Hi – Gloss – I’m totally yours
6. Light of the world – London Town
7. L.A. Scores – Berimbau Carioca
8. Dee Dee Bridgewater – Night moves
9. Iron Butterfly – Belda-beast
10. Ginette Reno – Don’t let me be misunderstood
11. Puzzle – State of mind
12. Love Unlimited – Oh love, well we finally made it
13. Barry White – Playing your game, baby
14. Pointer Sisters – Bring your sweet stuff home to me
15. George Duke – Someday
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