Vinyl Countdown

Oldcastle. Jul. 2020. 368p. ISBN 9780857303141. pap. $34.95. MUSIC
Sharpe (Poker’s Strangest Hands) began buying records in earnest during the 1960s, but though vinyl was eventually replaced by CDs, MP3s, and Spotify, his dedication never wavered—he just had to look a little harder for his vinyl treasures. In this offbeat work, he details the journeys he’s taken in pursuit of his passion, traveling across the world from England to New Zealand; visiting vinyl shops, auctions, and record fairs; and bonding with record store owners and fellow compulsive collectors. Sharpe, who targets only albums from his own era, generally seeks out rare gems that never made it to a mainstream audience. While sharing his fascinating, and occasionally strange, journey, Sharpe also leaves behind a trail of memories and nostalgia, offering some analysis of the music he grew up listening to (such as a comparison between the music and cover images of the Beatles’ album Please Please Me and the Rolling Stones’ self-titled LP).
VERDICT Sharpe’s enthusiasm is contagious

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