On the 13th of August me and my friend decided to go on a day long record hunting trip across three Swedish cities, hitting 4 record stores and flee markets searching for any and all AOR and heavy metal bargains we could find. Of course, record shops are an increasingly rare sight in most cities these days, with most dealers doing their business on the web, but that feeling of walking into a really good record store and browsing through the crates and boxes for that hard to find gem is one that is really hard to beat.
Expectations were high as we set out for Enkoping (a middle sized city about 8 miles north of Stockholm) , which was the first stop on our journey this day. This was the big highlight beforehand as it's the home of one of very few record shops in Sweden specialized in westcoast and AOR. We arrived at opening hours (10 a.m.) and were not dissapointed.
Boxes after boxes of westcoast and AOR albums, mostly vinyl, kept us busy for a good hour and in the end I walked away 40 dollars poorer with some pretty nice scores, although, truth be told, nothing mindblowing. To their credit the prices were very fair and I would definitely recommend this shop to anyone with an intrest in AOR music.
I was particularly happy to find Treat's latest CD "Ghost Of Graceland" as I absolutely loved their last effort "Coup De Grace", a melodic rock masterpiece. This is one I really look forward to listen to in the coming days.
Moreover, I found three missing vinyl singles for my Survivor - Vital Signs collection, a Chicago CD, and another two AOR singles from two albums I hold in high regard, namely Life By Night - s/t and Jimmy Davis & Junction - Kick The Wall.
To top things off another 4 AOR vinyls were added to the batch as we set our sights on the next city, Vasteras.
For this city we had 1 record shop and 4 flee markets looked up, well imagine my surpise when we accidently ran across ANOTHER record store whose existence I had no clue of - a very nice surprise. But more on that later.
The first stop in Vasteras was a shop called Skivbörsen, very nicely located downstairs from a coffee shop in the middle of a shopping mall. This was by far the coolest record shop of the journey and their AOR vinyls selection was absolutely stellar. I had never expected this from a casual Swedish record shop in 2016 - it almost felt like going on a time journey 30 years back to 1986 and the atmosphere was just right.
From here I walked away with another 7 AOR vinyls, 5 of them at the bargain price of $1 each. I was also happy to find the rare second Time Gallery CD as I'm a big fan of the debut, Swedish high-tech AOR pop at it's best. This was another $1 bargain and we both left with a big smile on our faces as my friend managed to score a rare Iron Maiden bootleg.
Jay´s Records, Västerås
As we stumbled our way back to the car we got a bit lost for a second and that's when my friend discovered the other record shop called "Jay's Records". We headed in to discover what was another good record store with a pretty decent hard rock, heavy metal and AOR selection - in fact, their AOR cd's selection was probably the best yet - unfortunately my budget was running short at this point and I had to pass on some albums that I normally wouldn't have. In the end I walked out empty handed, but the store was definitely a nice surprise as I didn't even know of it's existence.
I will save my readers the boredom of describing the flee markets we went to, because honestly they weren't much to write home about, as these kinds of places often aren't. Sometimes you can have the luck of finding something really rare in these places, but most of the time it's just common or throw away stuff. The only AOR-related things worth buying I found in the places we went to where a Broken Edge lp and a Marilyn Martin single, as seen in the picture below.
Vinyl Records Sweden, Köping
By now we were running a bit short of time as we where supposed to be at the last record shop before they closed at 16 p.m, so we headed back out on the highway for the last city of Köping, about an half hour drive from Västerås. We arrived at Vinyl Records Sweden at about 15.20 p.m., which meant that we were right on schedule and had plenty of time to browse through more records.
The store was very small and cd's selection was limited, so we were already done in about 25 minutes. I actually found a Molly Hatchet CD I had been searching for a while called "The Deed Is Done" (1984), which was very nice. As far as AOR goes, they did have some on vinyl but only common stuff, which I normally don't collect on the format.
Hungry as wolves we headed back for the car and another 1 and a half hour drive home. We were both amazed to have been able to follow schedule without any unexpected obstacles and recordwise the journey had certainly been successful too. Maybe I had hoped in finding something really sensational but since there was a time limit on every stop it was simply not possible to browse through every box as carefully as one perhaps would have wished.
In any case, I hope to be able to make a similar journey next year and blog about it on here, perhaps to some bigger cities this time - like Stockholm or Gothenburg.
Until next time,
Bob Wheeler - s/t
Fury - s/t