Welcome! / Best Buy in Deptford Gives Vinyl a Spin

1)     This is my first post on For the Record – South Jersey, so firstly, I’d like to say welcome to my blog to all of the curious record collectors and vintage audiophiles out there in the blogosphere. Look forward to a constant stream of useful info regarding everything vinyl and retro-audio down here in Southern NJ.

2)      Vinyl sales are up and big music retailers are starting to take notice. Vinyl sales grew 89 percent in 2008 and more and more outlets are increasing their vinyl offerings to capitalize on this newly emerging, mini-vinyl-renaissance. Last year, music conglomerate, Best Buy decided to dedicate eight square feet in each of its 100 “test stores” to vinyl records. Fortunately for us down here in Gloucester County, NJ, one of these test stores happens to be right here in Deptford.

An example of what to expect at a Best Buy vinyl rack. A delightful mixture of old and new.

An example of what to expect at a Best Buy vinyl rack. An eclectic mix of old and new.

I recently stopped in to take a look and see exactly what Best Buy offered in terms of records. What struck me wasn’t the new albums or artists that were available on vinyl (those have been available through small record stores and amazon.com for years), but the generous offering of classic albums by artists such as, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Cream and The Doors. Most of these albums are relatively newly re-issued on 180 gram vinyl by their respective record companies and sound better now than ever. For those of us not too concerned with the actual monetary or nostalgic value of vintage vinyl but who still seek classic rock albums on vinyl for that delightful, warm, vinyl sound, this is like striking gold.

Every once in a while, I’ll be sifting through dusty bins of records in a local record store and I’ll find a still shrink-wrapped copy of a twenty to thirty-some-odd year-old record. This would be considered a gem if you are a serious record collector. I remember finding a mint, unplayed copy of Supertramp’s Breakfast in America, complete with the original, faded store price tag from the late seventies. I’m racking my brain right now but I think it sold for about $6 or $7 when it was new. maybe even less. Sadly enough, right below this beautiful and misleading vintage price tag was a clean white one with a big, bold and discouraging $35 on it. Yeah, I still bought the record (Come on now, unplayed, vintage supertramp), but if I knew I could have ran over to best buy and gotten a reissue of the same record for a more modest $15-$20, I probably would have.

$35 or $15-$20? Depends which way you lean-- collecting or listening

$35 or $15-$20? Depends which way you lean-- collecting or listening

Like I said, newly printed vinyl sounds better than vinyl that was put out even in the heyday of vinyl. While the rest of the market looked away, vinyl recording and analog audio technologies kept advancing, even though vinyl slowly became somewhat of a niche hobby.

Not anymore.

Vinyl is finally gaining some much needed steam as distraught kids across America are becoming frustrated with their itunes purchases that include a shoddy, overcompressed, digital piece of music and a piece of art the size of a sticky note (if you really zoom in). Still, youngsters are coming across their parents’ record collections and are being turned onto one of the most satisfying hobbies imaginable. Not only is there optimism, but there are cold, hard numbers that show progress. And hell, if its at Best Buy, it must be big.

So for those of us audiophiles more interested in sound than price and collectibility, new vinyl reissues of classic albums is a winner and Best Buy is a best bet. I’d still highly recommend going onto amazon.com and doing an advanced search with vinyl checked off in the format checkbox just to see what’s floating around, but if you live in the Deptford, NJ area, be sure to swing by and check out the vinyl rack. It’s straight ahead and an aisle or two to the right when you walk in. If somebody asks you why you’re looking at a vinyl rack at Best Buy in the year 2009, tell them to go find a new hobby, or just say you’re there “For the Record.

Deptford Best Buy:

1851 Deptford Center Rd Deptford, NJ 08096 – (856) 374-0404
Open Mon-Sat 10am-9pm; Sun 11am-7pm

Picture 1

(the main highway on the left is route 55)

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