By Alex Mosier
Most people have never heard of the folk-punk band Larry and His Flask. I hadn’t until Warped Tour 2011. The easiest way to describe them is Mumford and Sons on speed. As I’m sure you have figured out by now, the less recognized the band, the harder it is to get your hands on their vinyl record. Much to my surprise, this little known group had already taken the time to play with colored vinyl records.
The only difference to colored records is a dye added to the vinyl before the album is pressed. Some bands use this to boost the collectability of their albums. Larry and His Flask did this by pressing copies of their album All That We Know in traditional black, yellow, red, green and blue; each color was pressed in different quantities. The most sought after was the blue vinyl with only 250 being printed worldwide at the time.
As soon as I heard the speed folk group, I jumped online to order their vinyl. After researching this colored vinyl game, I found that most vinyl websites were selling the album by color. Given what was available, you would have to choose what color you wanted the record in and pay accordingly. The traditional black was only $12.99 but the prized blue was $45.99.
One night, as I was sitting down to finally order my copy, weighing my options of color choices I took a small chance. I went to Amazon.com and searched for the record. A sealed copy was $21.98 before shipping; more expensive than just plain black, but it gave me a chance, however slim, to get a colored record. It was even possible to pull a blue copy.
About a week later, my package finally arrived. I wasted no time in tearing open the cardboard, but once I got to the sealed plastic, I paused. As soon as the plastic was torn I would know if I had made a smart investment and got a beautiful colored vinyl for half price or purchased a plain black album for a marked up price. Reluctantly, I sliced the plastic along the opening slit and removed the album, still in the dust wrappings. Along the top of the lyrics sheet, a small lip of the album hung out with light creeping through. A dim blue glow from the sun on translucent vinyl threw a streak across the table.
I took a risk on purchasing the original sealed product and ended up getting the most sought after colored vinyl by sheer luck. Sometimes it is worth taking that chance, but not when you are truly dedicated to a specific color. The thrill of not knowing may even add that extra exhilaration you want.