BUYER BEWARE


Showband U.S.A.: Let Me Down Easy
From Una Linda Senorita (Hacienda, 1982)

10CC: The Worst Band in the World
From Sheet Music (UK Records, 1974)

Given that I buy a lot of records off of eBay…you always have to be wary of how things get pitched/marketed. It’s tricky to try to pass off something that, in real life, may be rather mediocre or common as more brilliant or obscure than it actually is. I’m not saying this to hate on anyone: certainly, when I sell records, you want to find some comfortable middle between being honest but also sexing up the product a bit. Here’s two recent examples that I saw on the ‘Bay that I thought were rather humorous given how far the sellers went to really sell the albums in question.

First of all is this Showband U.S.A LP. The pitch (CAPS = in the original):

    OBSCURE TEXAS PLATTER, PRIVATELY RELEASED ON HACIENDA RECORDS. MOSTLY TEX-MEX MATERIAL WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE TWO LATIN-SOUL STEPPERS “THE FIRE I FELL” & “LET ME DOWN EASY”. THE LATTER WOULD MAKE A KILLER ADDITION TO THE MODERN SCENE.

The reality: “The Fire I Fell” is not remotely a “stepper.” More like a bland ballad. I did, however, actually enjoy “Let Me Down Easy” which definitely is on some modern soul tip but I think “killer” is far overstated. It’s pleasant (and hey, I like pleasant).

A more hilarious example was for this 10CC record which was listed only as “J-DILLA ORIGINAL HIP-HOP SAMPLE FAT BREAKS”

The pitch:

    Secret record
    Original sample for “Workinonit” by J-Dilla on Donuts…
    Sampled by Jay Dee on his latest release on Stones Throw. Donuts. I don’t think this record had been discovered yet …. Nice nice work by Jay-Dee but the original track is very nice too … R.I.P J-Dilla !!!!!

The reality: Sheet Music is one of the more common 10CC albums out there. You can cop one for less than $10 in most cases, including online.

Remember: I’m not hating. I respect anyone’s record hustle who is able to move so-so material at prices higher than the market would typically command. I don’t feel like I got taken on the Showband LP personally. But the fact that someone could get over $25 for a 10CC LP (not to mention the $14 in shipping on top of that) is deserving of awe.

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