Classic Rock Bottom

The Vinyl Experience - Purchase Street Records, New Bedford MA

For those that know me as a music fan, it likely comes as no surprise that I prefer my music to be portable so I can listen to it in the car and at work.

But I do, at times, like the vinyl experience that I had growing up. I've got a small, very specific collection of 45's and LPs.

However, I recently took in a slightly different kind of music buying excursion when I stopped by for my initial visit to Purchase Street Records in New Bedford, MA.

The store opened in December 2016 and judging by what I've read online, it has gotten off to a pretty successful start.

(In the interest of full disclosure I should mention that the shop is owned by a friend of mine, Roger Chouinard, in the Badlands T-shirt in the photo below)

The shop has already secured a partnership with local radio station 94 HJY (in Providence, RI) to provide albums for the morning DJ team's "Final Vinyl" segment, been featured in a Limelight Magazine article, and had a story appear on Rhode Island TV station WJAR Channel 10.

So to get the experience for myself, I stopped by the shop on Saturday January 14th to catch up a bit with an "old" friend and dig through some of the music bins for a treasure or two I didn't know I needed.

While the overall space of the shop is small, the layout is designed well enough that there is plenty of space for the racks upon racks of vinyl long players as well as a smaller but still plentiful offering of CDs and cassettes and 45's.

The LPs were smartly separated out into various categories with Pop/rock/soul/R&B occupying the outer rim of the shop, death metal offerings had their own spot in the center while my own personal favorite, 80's metal, had their own section next to the free to play Pac-Man video game.

The store's soundtrack is of course provided by their own material and while I was there Stryper was featured along with an album I ended up purchasing (more on that later) and an amazing sounding vinyl edition of the very first Babylon A.D. album (with great songs like "Bang Go The Bells" and "Hammer Swings Down".)

While I talked with Roger in between his dealing with other customers who had come into the shop to browse, purchase or sell some music, I briefly checked out the pop/rock section for some Survivor LPs. They were my very first "favorite band" and I have their material on a multitude of formats and I wanted to see if I could add some of their LPS.

While I did this I took note of the memorabilia, from posters to banners and everything in between, that adorned the walls. Great shots of music legends like Kiss and Ronnie James Dio, to posters of concert tours, all tastefully framed to add some distinction to the wall space. The decoration also includes other vinyl LPS on wall display for the more discerning and higher ticket collector.

My main focus was of course the 80's metal section where Roger joked that I'd lose my mind with some of the stuff he had. He was at least partly right, there were a lot of things that I would've loved to pick up if not for the screaming of my wallet.

Speaking of which, the store also offers the classic band patches and pinbacks by the boatload. There's plenty of T-shirts for bands as well as those shirts that advertise the store.

Thankfully, I did find some relatively inexpensive but to me incredibly awesome stuff to pick up and managed to include vinyl, cassette and CD in that mix.

I picked up copies of Survivor albums Premonition, Eye of the Tiger and Vital Signs. I grabbed up (on cassette) Paul Rodgers' solo CD Now, Hurricane's Over The Edge and the Bryan Adams album Reckless. I received a copy of the 30th anniversary edition Billy Squier CD Don't Say No from Roger. He was involved in crafting some of the liner notes for the album.

While I was still on the hunt for various music interests, Roger told me about a possible artist signing he's working on and if it happens it would be pretty huge and guaranteed to make me attend it.

Oh, and the final thing I picked up was a vinyl copy of the Shrapnel Records release Project: Driver from MacAlpine - Aldridge - Rock - Sarzo. I had the cassette edition of this album for the longest time and loved it but wore it out. So when I saw it in the bins and for a decent price (always important to me), I grabbed it up.

Given the store is a passion for its owner, you know a lot of work goes into stocking it with music that everyone will want. I know that while I was there and searching I came across a lot of stuff that I would love to add to my music collection.

So if you decide you need to have some music on vinyl in your life, you likely won't go wrong stopping by Purchase Street Records at 767 Purchase Street in New Bedford, MA. You can check them out on Facebook HERE.

I know I thoroughly enjoyed my visit, you will too.

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Awesome article TR.  I'd love to visit that store one day, but It would be a helluva long drive.  Do you mind if I ask the average price for the Survivor LP's?

6 bucks each for the three Survivor albums. And while I was there, someone came in to sell some albums and had one of the same Survivor albums I was going to buy. Roger looked at it after they left, said it was in better condition than the one he was selling and gave me both copies.

Wait a second ....  does that sign in the background say no phones or cameras?  If these pics come from a camera phone you could be in big trouble...

I think I'll be okay considering that it was the owner who took the photo.

But I did ask about the sign. It is so people don't take pics of the albums to resell online on their own is what I was told. It is a sign that was leftover from when he owned a tattoo shop.

I should add that I listened to all the LPs I picked up. They all sounded great, though the Project Driver album sounded a little tinny but that was because as I found out after side one that there was a little bit of dust on the record player's needle. Once I got the dust off it was fine.

And I was inspired to check out my vinyl albums. Discovered I owned an unopened copy of the Savatage album Gutter Ballet. Of course, it isn't unopened anymore as I'm listening to it. I also found my unopened copy of the Heretic album Breaking Point, which for those that don't know features Mike Howe before he joined Metal Church and is co-produced by Metal Church guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof.

Oh and found that I'd forgotten that I owned a copy of the Elf LP LA 59! Plus a few more things, like a copy of Doro's LP Force Majeure that I won for having the best screen name in an online chat with Doro years ago. It's hilarious that I forgot about this stuff until now.

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