Thursday, December 31, 2015

Gruesome End To A Year

It's the end of the year, and that can only mean that everyone and their grandmother are shoving Top 10 lists in your face, showing off the shit that got them off in 2015. Like it or not, here is my Year In Review.

Let's start with the numbers. Over the course of the year, I bought 192 records...I also had a couple episodes of picking up some original CD pressings, which boosted my 2015 total to 223. It may sound like a lot, but when you look at where this blog has been the past few years, 223 new records ain't shit.

This past year, I made attempts to try and restrict my record shopping...or at least make better choices when I'm buying. I vowed to not chase every single pressing for each record I bought. No more. I'm only playing that game with a select few. In addition to my more restrictive buying habits, I was also very much in a Metal state of mind, and couldn't be bothered to chase every Hardcore release. I don't have the money to spend on everything that I want right now, so I had to make some not-so-tough decisions, and I only paid close attention to shit that gave me a charge. Focusing on Metal caused my 7 inch count to drop from 129 last year, to a pathetic 48 this year.

While I may have cut back on the number of records that I bought, that didn't mean that I was going cheap. I still bought some cool shit. I imagine that this list will bum some people out, but these are my Top 5 favorite vinyl purchases from 2015.

1. Black Sabbath 'Master Of Reality' Vertigo pressing - As long as I'm buying Black Sabbath UK Vertigo swirl pressings, you can expect to see them in my Top 5 for the year. Finding this record, with the original poster, and in great shape is no small task. New watermark high was set for how much I'd be willing to spend on a single record.

2. Savatage 'Sirens' original Par Records pressing - I've had wet dreams about this pressing for a long time. While it doesn't match the insanity of the colored vinyl pressing for this, picking up the black vinyl ain't no joke. Quite possibly one of my favorite Heavy Metal records.

3. Iron Maiden 'X Factor' original pressing - Yeah, it is a Blaze Bailey Iron Maiden album. You got a problem with that? As Summer was winding down, I found myself obsessed with the two Blaze Bailey albums from Maiden. If you think that the original vinyl pressing for X Factor carries a ridiculous price tag, don't even think about trying to mess with Virtual XI.

4. GBH 7 inch singles - GBH were one of the few non-Metal bands that I obsessed over this year. These original 7 inches from Clay Records didn't break the bank, but they were fun as hell to chase and finally add to the collection.

5. Manowar 'Into Glory Ride' Megaforce silver label pressing - No joke. This record was my white whale. I was pretty sure that it existed, but I'd never seen one with the original silver labels from Megaforce. Listing after listing on eBay is for the black label with red Manowar logo, and I was starting to doubt if Megaforce pressed this with their trademark silver labels. Finding one of these elusive records puts Manowar on this list for 2015.

I still love Hardcore, but man, I had a tough time staying interested in it in 2015. No doubt there are still some cool bands doing their shit, and doing it well...I've just had my attention focused elsewhere. If you've still been following this blog as I dribble out Hardcore posts in a flood of Metal, my hats off to you. Thanks for sticking with me.

Now you are fucking talking! 2015 was all about the Metal. Classic stuff from the 80's, those sticking it out through the 90's, the resurgence in the 00's, and those new bands slugging it out today. I listened to it all, and I listened to it a lot. You know that the year was good for Metal when Iron Maiden drop a new album, and it can't even work it's way into the Top 10.

So, that was my year collecting records and generally just loving music. I still enjoy writing this blog, and believe it or not, I was able to keep up with it this past year, and not fall too far behind with the vinyl backlog. At times this thing can be a chore, but generally I still get a kick out of blogging about how great my musical tastes are...even when I'm talking to nothing but a computer screen. If you felt the desire to keep up with this diary of a vinyl madman, I thank you...there is more to do in 2016.


mcs said...

The biggest shock of all is seeing this appear today. I was expecting it to drop tomorrow. I'm sure we discussed that before and you were adamant that it always got posted after the year ended? Anyway, an interesting read. Gonna have to go back again for more, but damn, I liked the graph. Seeing your numbers were pretty much the lowest ever means that it's perhaps no surprise you didn't experience a backlog.

mcs said...

I have two more issues that need raising. Firstly, the inclusion of two demos in the hardcore list. Does this mean that anything counts in your list, whether you bought a physical copy of not? And also, is that the same reason that the Magic Circle LP is included in the metal chart?

J@screamingforrecords said...

Ah?you threw a picture of your record area! Love it!!! I need to move so I can have a dedicated area like that. My turntable and 7"s are in a closet (albeit a big one) in the bedroom and my lp shelving units are in the dining room. Which means the LP's are never really to hand when I'm listening to music.

J@screamingforrecords said...

Also, is that a bottle of Iron Maiden Trooper at the back??

Mike said...

Marcus, I was torn on including those two demos. I'm okay with True ID since it got a vinyl pressing through React, even though it hasn't arrived (same deal with Magic Circle). It was a tougher call for Union of Faith, since it was basically a download release for me, as I'm not buying the cassette. I debated if I should include it, but in the end, my Hardcore list is stronger for it being there.

Mike said...

Yeah Jake, I included that photo just for you! :) And that is a bottle of Maiden's Trooper ale on the shelf. A friend had an empty bottle, so I took it for the Maiden collection. Fuck beer though...that shit's gross.

J@screamingforrecords said...

Yeah no I know you don't drink that's why I wasn't sure. I have the same bottle near my turntable so great minds and all that!