An Introduction

I first became interested in 4AD, a UK independent record label founded in 1980, towards the end of the '80's. I was falling in love with the music of Dead Can Dance, Clan of Xymox, Pixies, Bauhaus and The Birthday Party and was surprised when the 4AD label sampler "Lonely Is An Eyesore" came out in 1987 that all these bands were from the same label.

After visiting a Pre-Raphaelite exhibition of some American's collection of art, I came to thinking of all this musical art that 4AD have released that may one day drift into obscurity unless someone shows it as art. So now I'm on a crusade, to collect the first ten years of 4AD's releases and exhibit the collection on 4AD's 50th anniversary in 2030. This is a big task which will have some interesting twists and turns along the way.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Ebay Tips

So what is my prize collection piece so far? I was very lucky a few years ago to see this come up on ebay, and to my surprise had very few bids on it. It is an RIAA (which is the Record Industry Association of America, that claims to represent American record companies) gold award for the single M/A/R/R/S Pump up the volume. This award is for the sale of 500,000 singles sold.

A friend of mine once told me how he was baffled by record fairs, because he would never sell his records. I’m equally baffled as to why some record company executive, producer, or whoever owned this award, would want to get rid of it. Only a few would have been awarded to band members, a producer and a record executive as far as I know, and I am lucky enough to have got one. M/A/R/R/S’s single of Pump Up The Volume was No.1 in the UK and America. It was released through 4AD in America under the label 4th & Broadway. The award is for 4th & Broadway, so 4AD never got a gold award in the UK directly for this single.

I have picked up a couple of tips when buying on ebay. Firstly, be patient. If you’re buying a Cocteau Twins 12”, you will easily find a standard edition priced at £30, but if you are willing to keep watch, you can also find the same release, same condition, for 99p. Secondly, use your mobile phone as an ebay alarm. I have a few items I am watching on my account, and I used to easily miss when an item was soon to be ending. Bidding on ebay is a bit like playing a simple poker game. Don’t show your hand until the last possible moment. If you bid days before the item ends, others will be more tempted to outbid you. So set the alarm for 5 minutes before the item is ending, then the alarm reminds you in time to think about what bid amount to put in. You can then forget about it for the rest of the day. I was always forgetting and missing the deadline. Another tip, try for item miss-spellings. I recently bought the cassette single by Lush called Scar for a cheap price. The font on the cover of the single looks like the single is called Sear. I searched for Sear and some muppet had put Sear instead of Scar on selling an item. So there were no other bids (as other buyers wouldn’t find it in a search) and I won the item for the lowest price, 99p again.

On another note, a nice fellow called Richard got in touch with me, he has a Modern English website and is putting a discography together and needs some pictures of Modern English releases to add to the site. This is the site

Have a look and, if you can help, send him an email.

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