Hey Dear KMA Readers, welcome to a short (two-day) series I’ll call The Weekend Of Reading (for lack of a wittier or more creative title). It’s Saturday, and, against my current brevity attempts, today’s missive is a fairly long excursion. I know for sure it’s worthwhile, though, so grab a coffee and get comfortable. Enjoy!
Like many of us, I have several items on my Grail List (see link at top of page for the Master Grail List). That’s the whole point of the list. We put the things we dearly want and have never found in the wild onto that list, and then we can all access this list and help each other out wherever we are in the world! This system has already yielded great results, with people finding things for others in their own local shoppes that have never appeared in other places. Community!
One item on my list has always been the main attraction. It has always been the only item on anybody’s Grail List in red text, to highlight its glory, priority, and importance to me.
Copies of this item exist, sure, and given unlimited funds I would already have had a M/M copy ages ago. But typically, lesser-rated copies list at $100-$200 (CAD), and some appear for more yet. Quality and ratings vary widely within that range, too. I’d have a hard time paying that for an LP set, no matter what it was. And that’s prices without shipping added on yet!
Part of the problem is that this album was only ever released on LP in the UK and Europe, so here in Canada it’s an import. The price goes up. It’s also a 2LP gatefold set. The price goes up again. It’s also from 1993, a time when LPs were being shoved aside in favour of 1537’s least favourite format, the shiny silver discs, so that means there were (comparitively) fewer copies out there. The price goes up again.
I’ve had this LP set on my Discogs Want List for a looong time. It may have even been my first-ever item added to my list. And not a week goes by that I don’t get a new notification from them saying ‘hey! we have a newly-added copy! It’s only £95!’ Well, that’s a lot more to me, with currency conversion considered, so how about no.
And then. AND THEN. Finally, after all these years, I recently clicked on one of these notification emails (as I always do) expecting it to be another wildly expensive copy, and it wasn’t. It was reasonable. And rated VG+/VG+. I didn’t even think about it and, recognizing my chance, I hit Order.
The seller was super-fast, receiving the order and processing the payment that same day. They shipped the next day. That kind of turnaround is crazy. It came from the UK, so it took a while for the boys in the canoes to get it here, but arrive it did.
Can I tell you how happy I was? I even messaged the seller to thank them, and they were happy it made me happy. Wa-hooo!
Now, you wonder why this album. What’s the big deal?
Waaaaay back in the autumn of 1998, my lovely wife and I started dating. On our second date, she visited me in my town, and we made dinner together in my little apartment. We shared a bottle of chianti my Nana had brought back from Italy. And this was the album that I threw into the player that evening. That was the CD copy I still have today! On reflection, I don’t recall any real calculation to choosing that particular album, I must’ve just reflexively figured it would go well. It did. And it became ‘our’ album. We’re sentimental fools.
So, finding this on LP has always been a goal of mine, just for the beauty of hearing it on the Rega, and for having the 2LP gatefold gloriousness in our house.
Even better, this year was our 20th Valentines Day together, now married 15 years, with two beautiful children, and loving life. We’ve come a long way and covered a lot of kilometers (in three provinces) from that date at my place, but then again, we’ve been friends for 40 years, so we just call it a lifetime of awesome, all is as it should be. And this set made an excellent gift for both of us on this 20th Valentines!
And now, if you’ve gotten this far, you must be wondering what the hell album it was, that I was so careful not to tell you about all through this big long text, eh? Well here ya go:
Yessir, it was Van Morrison’s ‘Too Long In Exile.’
BEHOLD THE MAJESTY:
If you’ve read this far, you’re a true KMA Reader, and for that I thank you. Happy weekend, everyone, and as it is also Family Day weekend here in Canada, Happy Family Day as well!