Category: The Lost art of Album Hunting

The Lost Art of Album Hunting

The days of hunting though bargain bins and rows of cds/vinyl are slowly vanishing.

When I first starting building my music collection, it was the mid 90s. 1996 to be exact, I was a young 18 year old in my first year at university and finally had some money. Not a lot on the student allowance but way more than I had at school…which was none.

In Christchurch at that time there was Echo Records and Galaxy Records.


Echo records was like finding King Solomon’s Mines to me. Vast rows of cds and tape calling my name, Mark Mark come and buy us. Enough to give me cold sweats (I do have a problem I know).

The most important thing that they had, was the second hand sector for cds and bargain bins. In the 90’s cds were still going at a crazy price of $34.95, and that was too much for a poor student. In fact I can only think of a couple of cds that I have ever paid that price for.

The bargain bins had 3 for $20 cds in them, and spending time looking though them was like magical journey. I soon learnt that if there was a cd I wanted just to get it, as I would find that on the bus road back to the University Hall of Residence I would just think about it. I would think about it while having tea and trying to go to sleep. The next day I would catch the bus to go to town to get it….only to find that it had gone!!! This has happened to me a couple of times and so I learnt just get it.

They also had a cheap $2 cd and tape section (when tapes where still around). Some of my favourite albums today have come from these bins. When they are cheap you buy based on the cover and on the inners. I have been lucky not to have found a bad album. Does that make me an Album Whisper???? They call and I hear.

Galaxy records ( which is still around today, was a small bouquet store. They had second hand and new vinyl and cd. My best memory from here is finding most of The Cures Deluxe reissues here for $20 each.

Now days, there is Real Groovy, which has massive sections of new and second vinyl and cds ( and I also find that The Warehouse has some good deals if you look. Each Warehouse seems to get different store of cds, so I like to pop into as many as I can. The best Warehouse for me has been The Warehouse, Timaru. Man have I got some bargains from there in the past,

Overseas they have some massive places like amoeba record store ( . I think I would need to take a backpack with supplies and a sleeping bag as it may take me weeks to get out.

The Holy Land
The Holy Land- Amoeba Records

So while it is getting harder get lost in record shops and feel the rush of finding something you have been looking for, there are still places where you can it. I will be highlighting records stores in New Zealand and around the world in Record Store Profiles. If you have a favourite record store, let me know who they are so I can highlight them.

What gets you excited about finding music?

See below, a clip of the thrill of the record hunt