ALDI special buys vinyl records: Why you shouldn’t buy them

Selection of vinyl records on sale at ALDI

Update: Read all about the August 2023 ALDI vinyl records special buys in my separate disc-by-disc guide.

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.

Cover art for Essential 80s and L'Amour Á Paris

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.

Cover art for Disco Fever, showing a giant mirror ball

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.

Essential 80s

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

Disco Fever

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

2 responses to “ALDI special buys vinyl records: Why you shouldn’t buy them”

  1. I was the PR Manager for CBS Records at this time and had the dubious pleasure of promoting a lot of these originals. If I NEVER hear “Ring My Bell” by Anita-bloody-Ward again it will be too soon …

  2. I bought 15 albums from Aldi. They sound horrible no high notes all muffled no clarity it sounds like you put a sock around your loudspeakers the worst buys I ever did all 15 record the same they really bad masterd . It sounds like the half volume then, all my other records

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