This Saturday (April 29), ALDI’s special buys shamelessly look to exploit the inexplicable vinyl revival trend. There’s a $69.99 “vintage turntable“, which is undoubtedly not an antique.
And then there are seven “assorted vinyl record titles” for $17.99 each, with enticing names such as Essential 80s, Disco Fever, Best Of The 60s, Romantic Classics, L’Amour Á Paris, Country’s Greatest and Reggae Sensation.
That price is a lot lower than the $40-$60 you’ll typically pay for new release vinyl. But while I’m often a fan of ALDI special buys, I can’t recommend these.
I was suspicious as soon as I saw the featured artists listed on the disco and 80s compilations. The catalogue images are low-res, but the names Gloria Gaynor, Dead Or Alive and ABC immediately gave me pause.
As a pop music tragic, I know those artists have re-recorded their hits years after the fact (either in studio or live), and those tracks often show up on budget compilations. That’s very much the case here.
This isn’t the version of ‘I Will Survive’ you fondly recall from Priscilla, or the recording of ‘The Look Of Love’ you first heard at the school disco.
A little investigating reveals that this is a partial reissue of the ‘Complete Vinyl Collection’ series issued by UK label Bellevue Publishing back in 2016. Not every record is included: we’ve been spared Essential 70s and Ultimate Divas, for instance.
As a commenter on Discogs notes:
There is not original versions, all bad versions. Is so regrettable
This whole project has been done on the cheap. Case in point: the cover for Essential 80s uses a stupidly-easy-to-find stock image from Shutterstock.
For the terminally curious, these are the track listings for the 80s and disco compilations, which are the only ones I might have been tempted by. But I’ll be staying away, and you should too.
Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse Of The Heart
Berlin – Take My Breath Away
Sabrina – Boys (Summertime Love)
Soft Cell – Tainted Love
Starship – We Built This City
Tiffany – I Think We’re Alone Now
Dead Or Alive – You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)
Kim Carnes – Bette Davis Eyes
Irene Cara – Flashdance … What A Feeling
Michael Sembello – Maniac
Katrina And The Waves – Walking On Sunshine
ABC – The Look Of Love
Anita Ward – Ring My Bell
Odyssey – Going Back To My Roots
Andrea True Connection – More, More, More
The Trammps – Disco Inferno
Gibson Brothers – Cuba
Tavares – It Only Takes A Minute
Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive
Heatwave – Boogie Nights
Edwin Starr – Contact
Maxine Nightingale – Right Back Where We Started From
Jimmy James & The Vagabonds – Now Is The Time
The Tymes – Ms. Grace