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Hippo Records | Greensboro
I was kind of bummed out the last time I visited Greensboro and tried to visit Hippo Records, I believe it was July 4th, and so the store was closed.Disappointing, since how often was I going to be in Greensboro? As it turned out, I was there nine months later. We arrived at the store and entered to find Motörhead on the sound system and a clean, brightly lit space. No CDs that I can remember seeing, so it was all about 7″ and 12″ vinyl here. The 7″ section actually had some Monk-bait, but ultimately, nothing that I didn’t already own. This insured that I examined the 7″ers fairly well.
I ignored the new vinyl, which filled two wall’s space for the ancient, crusty vinyl that gets my motor running. The first thing I spied that I needed was a Prince 12.” I’m up for collecting those mixes and B-sides now that there’s a finite aspect to the task. The 12″ of “U Got The Look” had an extended remix of “Housequake,” so that was all mine. I basically ran through all of the used 12″ vinyl that was not separated out into genres of no interest.
I came across a copy of Vivabeat’s “Party In The War Zone” and I remember this record from back in the day on its release, in 1980. Having never heard a note from it, I always passed, but nearly 40 years later, I cling to such releases like a life raft. I didn’t think there was a CD of this title, so we’ll see what charms it holds in the near future [crosses fingers]. We could have another REVO project here. Looks like there is only the “Man From China” single for the non-LP B-side, “On Patrol.” Hmm. Noted, and now in the want list.
I next came across a real doozy of a record; a never-before-seen UK 12″ of “Grace Jones’, uh…seminal, “Pull Up To The Bumper” 12″ single! For $1.99 in PS??!! Crazy! I was not fully certain if these remixes of the A-side and “Feel Up” were on the recent DLX RM of “Nightclubbing,” which I’ve yet to buy, but I was not taking any chances. I’ve never seen this single for sale in any shape or form in the 36 years it’s been out in the world. I now see that it might be the 5:05 “Party Version” on that DLX RM, but it’s definitely not on the “Private Life: The Compass Point Sessions” discs.
Finally, I found the type of record that I always re-purchase when given the opportunity. It was five years earlier to the month when I had purchased my first copy of The Headboys eponymous album… for a historically accurate $6.98. Since then I have been collecting 7″ material [I’m halfway there] to account for the necessary bonus tracks on the REVO edition in my mind. Here was another reason to buy a copy of this album. It was still sealed for just $2.99! I don’t know about you, but when digitizing vinyl for CD-R, there’s no way better than with a record that has only been played by you that single time. Game over!
All in all, I spent about an hour in the store, and one thing I couldn’t help but notice was the preponderance of Graham Parker albums there. I saw most of his oeuvre from his Mercury through his Arista phase. When I looked in the slim bootleg section of the store [maybe two dozen discs, all told] I found that about 10-15% of them were Graham Parker boots from the late 70s! ¡Muy extraño! I can’t say why this treasured artist had such a large presence here, but I could only nod my head in approval.
I valued my time and money spent at Hippo Records, and would return there again for the all-important second visit that determines if there’s going to be a third one. I also appreciated the small section of Japanese vinyl segregated and available for purchase. Nothing I wanted, but it showed that they cared. Is there any better bait for us vinyl geeks than a JPN pressing with obi? I didn’t think so!
Next: …The McKay Dossier