Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Fingerprintz: Distinguishing Marks (1980)

The curious thing about this record is the jacket. Both the front and rear covers are perforated so that one can separate the segments and use them as postcards. I have no idea who would want to do that. I guess if you have 12 friends and you ran out of postcards, these would be a good substitute. You will note, however, that this copy is a promo, and so it has a giant white label on the front, thereby undermining the point of the jacket.
In a similar vein, I have a copy of Beck's The Information on CD and it allows owners to use the supplied stickers to create you a custom cover on the almost blank white insert. I did not do that.

And, all of that brings me to the issue of writing on records. My sister always wrote her name followed by "record #___" on the jacket and inner sleeve of all of her records. She did the same for 45RPM 7" singles, adding her name to the sleeve and record label. In the early days, she convinced me to do the same, and I still have a few records with my name scrawled on them. I abandoned that practice when I decided that I didn't want to deface my records any longer.

A person I worked with used to do the same, and he told me that he was in some sort of thrift store, and he saw a pile of records that he used to own with his name on them. I have never seen any of my former records that had my name on them anywhere.

Generally, I refuse to buy a used record if someone has scribbled their name on it. But, I do have a few items with a name written inside the outer sleeve, which is less objectionable. I knew someone who used to affix return address labels to the front cover and to the labels. That is obnoxious. I have clear memories of finding near mint records for excellent prices that I passed on buy simply because some guy put his name on it.

Oddly, this might have helped me back-in-the-day. I lent a few records while living in residence at university and I never got them back. If my name had been on the covers, I might have gotten those back.

Anyway, back to Fingerprintz. I would say that the record has a more polished sound than the first, and I would argue also that this is a bad thing, despite the fact that the music is still great. The most recognizable track from this album is Bulletproof Heart. There is a live clip on youtube, but the uploader has prevented it from being embedded.

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