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JL Records - West Lafayette, Indiana


heavyharmonies
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Most of my music listening in the last 8+ years has been in the form of digital files rather than physical media. I can't remember the last time a record label or band sent out promotional material as physical CDs... and my vehicle no longer has a CD player. Over the course of time, I've greatly reduced my physical CD collection outside of a handful of artists that I'm still an OCD completist about (Ten, Gary Hughes solo material, Fair Warning, Harem Scarem, Threshold, Within Temptation, Blind Guardian, and a few others).

However, every now and then I get a hankering for browsing in a good old-fashioned CD store... the problem is that they don't exist anymore. I remember the late 1990s and early 2000s when I used to do monthly rounds of all the pawnshops and used CD stores in the region, writing up my "Scrounger's Report" reporting on all the cool stuff I found. *sigh* Those days (and stores) are all long gone.

Well... there are a few still around. If you ever find yourself in central Indiana, I recommend taking the time and losing a day of your life browsing at JL Records (https://www.facebook.com/JL-Records-164268600276480) in West Lafayette (Purdue University). They stock all manner of classic rock, melodic rock, and heavy metal on CD and LP. Material from the Frontiers, AFM, and Rock Candy labels, in depth. Imagine being able to go into a physical store and see H.E.A.T and Jeff Scott Soto catalogues in stock right down the aisle from Coney Hatch, Powerwolf and Sabaton! Unheard of in today's age.

Now admittedly the prices aren't cheap, ranging from $14.99-24.99. For many titles from a purely price perspective, you're better off buying on Amazon or eBay, but there is a lot of New Old Stock material and you can find some out of print material. There's also a lot of Japanese imports floating around and the walls are lined with box sets. And there's just something to be said for the sheer enjoyment of browsing in-hand the way we used to.

They have an old-school buyer's club card like music stores used to have back in the day, where you would get the card stamped with every CD purchase and once you fill it up you get a free CD. You also get $1 off every CD on your birthday. Man, I remember when stores used to do this stuff...

I spent yesterday there and saw hundreds and hundreds of titles that were I still actively collecting, I would have backed up the shopping cart. That said, based upon what I saw in stock, I made an impulse decision to start putting together a physical collection of one of my favorite current bands, Dynazty, as upon doing an impromptu search of Amazon and eBay while shopping (thank God for mobile phones!) the prices were actually decent given that for some of these I'd have to shell out for international shipping, which absolutely destroys the budget these days. I also decided to flesh out my Kissin' Dynamite collection (yeah, imagine any store having both of those bands in stock...)

Photos of my pickups as well as an interior shot (stolen from the JL Records FB page) to give you perspective of the size of the place.

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Nice and I too miss those scrounging reports and the good ole' days of $.25 cd's for days. That's how I amassed by collection.

I must say and I am no voice on new CD buying cuz I don't but $15 buxx seems reasonable for an import?

And your right Dan, promotional CD's are almost non existent and when I reviewed the latest Kissin' Dynamite it was a "STREAM ONLY" so I couldn't even download it. LAME AF!

 

Got to ask in that JL store did they have a clearance section? Bin? As that would have been where I spent my time.

 

@heavyharmonies

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2 minutes ago, martinsane said:

Got to ask in that JL store did they have a clearance section? Bin? As that would have been where I spent my time.

 

@heavyharmonies

They did, but it was relatively small. You're better off looking through the regular inventory for used CDs ($5-12 for the most part). There are also CD singles as low as $1.99.

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2 minutes ago, heavyharmonies said:

They did, but it was relatively small. You're better off looking through the regular inventory for used CDs ($5-12 for the most part). There are also CD singles as low as $1.99.

I guess those days of seeing the dude with 2 boxes of cd's and the used store trying to offer him $20 store credit and you swooping in and handing him $50 for the lot are long gone as well.

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My frequent jaunts were the defunct Record & Tape Traders here in Maryland. I miss the days of spending hours sorting through CDs and the club card that gave you a dollar off every CD. I spent so much money in there. They once had like 9 locations. All gone now. :(

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Wow, that's a very nice haul!  I miss the days of shopping for music in person.  It's hard enough to even find a record store in most areas, but to come across one that carries all the artists you mentioned is pretty amazing.  The next time I drive up that way I will make a point to stop there.

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9 minutes ago, Crazysam said:

Wow, that's a very nice haul!  I miss the days of shopping for music in person.  It's hard enough to even find a record store in most areas, but to come across one that carries all the artists you mentioned is pretty amazing.  The next time I drive up that way I will make a point to stop there.

If you do, I would allocate at least a half day, if not a full day, especially if you also do vinyl, as the second floor (smaller) is all vinyl.

The picture of the shop above is an older picture. What you don't see are the boxes and boxes of overflow stock that are now on the floor underneath the blue racks, placed (approximately) beneath the corresponding titles above.

To do the place justice takes a LONG time. I flew through the stock, skimming certain sections of the alphabet and it still took me 3+ hours. If you stop to check comparison prices/availability online as you shop and go methodically it will easily burn a day or more.

There's also sections for DVDs, VHS tapes, cassettes, and laserdiscs.

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44 minutes ago, heavyharmonies said:

If you do, I would allocate at least a half day, if not a full day, especially if you also do vinyl, as the second floor (smaller) is all vinyl.

The picture of the shop above is an older picture. What you don't see are the boxes and boxes of overflow stock that are now on the floor underneath the blue racks, placed (approximately) beneath the corresponding titles above.

To do the place justice takes a LONG time. I flew through the stock, skimming certain sections of the alphabet and it still took me 3+ hours. If you stop to check comparison prices/availability online as you shop and go methodically it will easily burn a day or more.

There's also sections for DVDs, VHS tapes, cassettes, and laserdiscs.

Stop it now you are just teasing the rest of us who don't have access to anything like this amazing place.

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