Time For Another Vinyl Challenge: The New Oasis Box Set Costs £116.99. What Could You Buy Instead?

Oasis-boxset Whats the story morning glory

White vinyl. Limited edition of 300 copies. Ultra-vinyl. Picture disc. All wonderful. All valuable (well, sometimes. That Bon Jovi picture disc might just be past it’s sell by date – and you’ll never shift those Gary Glitter and Rolf Harris records now). And they all tend to be very expensive too. Some are nearly as pricey as a top-of-the-range Starbucks coffee.

What, goes the cry, about those of us who don’t have £18 to splash on a Coldplay 7″ picture disc with free comic book?* Such was the discussion I had with a friend of mine the other day.

Chris ** is a huge music fan, but has yet to leap wholeheartedly into the world of vinyl, citing a number of petty complaints, the most ludicrous being that he doesn’t own a record player. I have questioned him on this, and he has raised a couple of minor issues that, he claims, hinder his efforts in building himself the perfect record collection. The most recent conversation went something like this:

Chris: “I don’t have a record player”.

Me: “Buy one”.

Chris: “I have a toddler. He’ll bump into my record player and scratch the records”.

Me: “Don’t put the record player on the floor”.

Chris “I don’t have room for loads of records”.

Me: “A mere detail. Just move house.”

He’ll see sense eventually, I think.

Then the conversation took a more serious turn. Because Chris is a *big* music fan.

Chris: “The other problem is that I know what I’m like. I’ll be a kid in a sweet shop. It might bankrupt me. I have little self control when it comes to buying CDs as it is. It’s only going to get worse with vinyl.”

It’s a fair point. He buys CDs like Imelda Marcos bought shoes and Elvis bought peanut butter filled hamburgers.  And it got me thinking. Any fool can buy an impressive record collection, given enough ready cash and an eBay account. But is it possible to build a great record collection on a budget?

That evening I was browsing the pages of Amazon and saw the new box set reissue of Oasis’ “What’s The Story Morning Glory”. It contains the album on CD and vinyl, a 7″ of demos, a 12″ replica single some (essential) cigarette papers, a cassette, a book and a download code for outtakes, and can be yours for the rather princely sum of £116.99. So much for building a record collection on a shoestring.

But does record collecting have to be such a cash drain? Must we decide between putting shoes on our children’s feet and that new Bowie picture disc? (The kids’ feet are toughening nicely, but you do get some odd looks from the other parents at the school gates).

What if you didn’t buy that Oasis box set, but tried to buy some other records instead? What could you buy – for the same or less money – instead?

Scenario A: You’re the proud owner of the Oasis box set. For ten minutes you hold it, examining the contents and the blurry cover taken in Berwick St. You examine the cassette and realise you no longer own a cassette player. Then you put the box (with “luxury magnetic closing mechanism”) in your bookcase or on a shelf. You look at it again. Then you sigh, feel a little wistful, and sit in a chair, alone with your thoughts.

Scenario B: You spend the money on ten, twenty or even thirty second-hand records, all life affirming classics from a list of “Best Albums of all Time” or some personal favourites. You invite your friends over for drinks, play the records in the background, have a little party and get mashed. Wake up with hangover next morning.

It may not be for everyone, but I’m more of a “Scenario B” kinda guy.

So I’m up for a challenge. I’m not going to buy that Oasis box set. I’m going to see what else I can get instead, and at the end, we’ll see whether I made the right decision. I believe economists call it Opportunity Cost.

But that isn’t all. My idea of a great record collection won’t be the same as everybody else’s. And a challenge can be more fun if there’s an element of competition involved (but let’s keep it friendly, eh?) What if more people got involved? It would be great if you (yes, you) had a go too. Think you can do better? You’re probably right. Please come and show me how it’s done.

Maybe we’ll compare notes at the end and get people to vote for the best one. You don’t even have to spend the money. Why not see what *could, in theory* be bought instead? Build up a wish list on Amazon or Discogs…

So here’s the deal:

For the next month, I shall be trawling through record emporiums, charity shops and record fairs trying to buy the best record collection that £116.99 can buy, to present to Chris, and to set him on his way.*** I’ll be sharing my adventures, if that’s the right word, and taking a more detailed look at some of the more interesting finds.

I also asked a few regular visitors of Every Record Tells A Story if they wanted to have a go also, and we’ll be seeing what they come up with.

And finally, I’d love it if you got involved too. If you’re a boot-fair aficionado, crate digger, charity shop trawler, record fair rustler, eBay sniper or Discogs Demon, why not take a look around and see what £116.99 could buy?

Please join us, and share your story. I’ll link to every one.

You can get in touch via email (address on the “About” page) or leave a comment below.

Thank you!

On with the challenge!

For part 2 click here…

* Judging by how many of these RSD “gems” have been left unsold, I think that’ll be most of us, then.

** We’ll call him Chris, because that’s his name, but he’s a different Chris to my other friend called Chris. None of this matters, but I thought I’d mention it. For the avoidance of doubt, you can be a friend of mine and not be called Chris, but if your name is Chris it does save on paperwork. 

*** It’s a lot of cash, but I figure he’ll buy me a drink or two in return

The Oasis (What’s The Story) Morning Glory Box Set is released on 29th September 2014.



Categories: Indie, Music

Tags: , , , ,

16 replies

  1. I can think of a lot of things I could spend that much money on than an Oasis collection. Not knocking them, I just don’t like them that much to spend that much on that. At the moment, because I’m going to the States at the end of October, all such money goes towards my trip.

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  2. oh scenario A is sadly so true – it is often rare to turn back to the full box set especially after that first time through – for me it is often a question of what the ‘bonus’ material is, and if i can get it in another format. for oasis i’m going to get the vinyl, which comes with downloads for the extras. my guess is i’ll listen to them once, even though i love this record. i do love the idea of seeing what kind of collection you can pick up for the 100 quid, but these days good used vinyl is getting harder to find!

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  3. I’m a ‘Scenario B’ guy. Couldn’t see myself spending a huge amount on something like that when there are many, many great records out there …

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  4. I’m a scenario C sort of guy. I’ve had the MG boxset bought for me!

    I bought the Definitely Maybe one, and I’ll also buy Be Here Now when it comes out (assumedly in time for Christmas). Having said that though, I’ve very few other boxsets ((4) DM, MG, Screamadelica, Stone Roses). I’d usually be a Scenario B man. Looking forward to seeing how this goes.

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  5. First off, £116.99 is $209.46 CDN at today’s exchange. That’s a great chunk of change.

    Second, I’m going to become very, very unpopular here, and say I really, really cannot stand Oasis. Never could. I wouldn’t walk across the street to say hello to them, let alone contemplate spending that much money on anything they thought to try to sell me. That is my own opinion and does not assume to reflect the opinion of anyone else who reads and comments here or anywhere else. [assumes crash position, as 1537 taught me to do when expressing a possibly inflammatory opinion]

    Of your scenarios, I’m more of a “B” guy, as well. I could easily blow that much money on all sorts of back catalogue rock and jazz records that would please me for years, and then having people over to have a party? Sign me up! Tell Deke to bring the ‘pops.’

    One thing about my collecting habits too, though, is I am just as likely to spend a good chunk of that amount on new-to-me stuff, in just about any genre, just because I’m in the mood to try things out. A big chunk of my record-spending is finding deals on things cheap and lugging them home just to try them. It could be I read something somewhere, or maybe the album art just catches my eye. Could be any reason. This approach brings me a lot of crap, but every once in a while I find a gem that I absolutely love which I would not otherwise have heard. So I’d add a Scenario “C,” which is basically “B” with a change to half classic records and half speculative purchases. We can still have a party, though, absolutely.

    I don’t know how much I’ll spend when Mike and I go to Toronto in a couple of weeks, but it could well be in that ballpark. It’ll be CDs and vinyls, since we hit a couple of the best spots in town for such things. So, we could use what I actually buy on that trip as my answer to that question, if you like.

    Or, just assume, under the Scenario ‘C’ heading, that in this Challenge I would buy a wide variety of stuff, from unheard-and-possibly-turds total chance records, on up through to the ones that I’ll pass down to my kids, the shoe-in keepers…

    This is a great idea for a challenge! Well done!

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  6. Wait, Peter took Scenario C already (I hadn’t read the rest of the comments until after I posted mine), so change my Scenario ‘C’ to Scenario ‘D,’ for continuity’s sake.

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Trackbacks

  1. You could buy The Oasis Box Set….but why not buy all this vinyl instead…. | Every record tells a story
  2. Brothers in Arms | Musing. Muso.
  3. Tim Burgess’ Great Vinyl Adventure – Every record tells a story

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