Monday, 16 November 2015

Vintage Vinyl #13

99.9F° by Suzanne Vega 7"
Bought from: D'Vinyl 

Price paid: £1

You may remember I told you about how I had intended to visit D'Vinyl but became waylaid by another record shop along the way. Well, I did make it back to D'Vinyl in Cardiff's student mecca that is Cathays, and I've never seen a place like it. The place is so bursting with records, you actually cannot access them all. There are boxes of records placed on top of boxes of records placed on top of boxes of records. In order to see the ones at the bottom, you have to physically move the ones at the top out of the way. This immediately poses two problems: one - the boxes are very heavy because they are crammed with records; and two - there's nowhere to put them if you do manage to lift them, other than back on top of the records you've just moved them off of!

Of course, this all just adds to the fun and curiosity value. I spent a bit of time there wading through the intimidatingly huge horde but quite frankly you'd need a month to get through the place, and by then there'd be a bunch of new stock to work through. MrsRobster dropped in to haul me out and even she was taken by the place, hanging around for a few minutes to take it in, and even having a chat with the owner, a lovely guy called Huw, who let her take a couple photos of the shop. At some point, I shall venture back in when I've got some time on my hands and money in my wallet. On this particular visit though I managed to contain my excitement and picked up a small clutch of singles.

I quite like Suzanne Vega. She's made some great records, but everyone seems to only remember the first two albums. '99.9F°', released in 1992, was her fourth album and by this time her commercial popularity was on the wane. The title track was released as the album's second single and is an undoubted highlight. I love the dominant bassline, almost reggae-like. Suzanne's voice is warming and reassuring. The overall sound though is somewhat claustrophobic, with a close, comsuming production that perhaps tries to emulate in some way the discomfort of the temperature implied in the title.

I think it's a really good single. The record-buying public didn't agree. But then, when the fuck did the so-called record buying public know anything?


Still not able to rip my vinyl so no b-side I'm afraid. But then, it's just a live version of Tom's Diner. Record companies did this a lot back in the 90s - stick a live version of an old classic on the flip to try and sell a few more copies. A cynical ploy, and I'm not sure it worked.

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