I love being an airline pilot.
Currently in Japan, I’ve just had a *Sensational* run around the branch of Disk Union which specialises in Prog, in Shinjuku. It’s a 90 minute train ride from where we stay but always worth the trip. I use my job as a pilot to trawl record stores worldwide, and Japan is still far and away the best country for record collecting.
There are a number of reasons for this. Japanese stores tend to have little online presence, so they hang on to their best stock rather then sell it off on eBay and Discogs. As a nation the Japanese seem to be really careful with their possessions, so their “used” vinyl is in generally much better overall condition thatyou would find elsewhere. Finally, Japanese buyers came over to Europe buying up masses of hard-to-find vinyl in the 80’sand 90’s and a lot of this stuff is now coming back onto the market. As a perfect example, the stock in this small store has to be seen to be believed.
I’ve come back with original and almost mint copies of:
Nuova Era – L’Ultimo Viaggio (interesting Neo-prog from Italy)
Malibran – The Wood of Tales (Signed copy on red vinyl, limited to 300 copies)
Ezra Winston – Ancient Afternoons (Prog classic, I bought both copies of this as I know someone will bite my arm off for one of them!)
Uno – Uno (The Osanna offshoot band on Fonitcetera)
Triana – Hijos del Agobio
plus Japanese pressings (all with OBI stip) of:
Isotope – Deep End (I have a first UK pressing already but I love the sound of the Japanese pressings)
Darryl Way’s Wolf – Saturation Point (as above)
Darryl Way’s Wolf – Canis Lupis (as above)
plus brand-new copies of (drum roll ….):
Devil Doll – The Girl Who Was … Death (paid about £25 for this, a complete bargain. Still sealed, rare as hen’s teeth)
Eno/Holland – Panic of Looking
Eno-Holland – Drums Between the Bells
The most surprising thing about all of these were the prices; all were less than a tenner and most were around £5. Had a smug aura on the train back to the Crew Hotel!