Chamber of Horrors – when records go wrong

The LJC Chamber of Horrors

Everyone has their most beautiful records, gathering oohs and aahs from collecting friends. Isn’t it a beauty? Sharp corners, flawless glossy laminate, pristine, no writing on the cover, no storage damage, perfect, mint covers.

Sickening, isn’t it?  

A chance email from a reader prompted a new idea, a new theme: The LJC Chamber of Horrors, where readers can show off not their best, but the worst  condition albums in their collection.  Not just any old album, it must be a premium collectable record, which originally had beautiful original cover, whose beauty previous owners failed to preserve it. Inner  beauty, but outside, now The Beast.

I’ll start the ball rolling, with three of my precious favourite records where I bit the bullet, and adopted a much-wanted but seriously misused album cover for the love of the music within.But first, another horror story.  Just last week a good friend received the following record following through the post:

That is how it arrived, a billhook through the package, that scarred the vinyl. My inner psychologist says this is no accident. Some malign individual, possibly under the influence of the Evil Silver Disc, was provoked by the admonition – Handle With Care – to do the opposite. Readers will be relieved to know the record survived unscathed.

Your  stories or picture contributions welcome. Share your pain. Schadenfreude.


BN 84061 Donald Byrd at The Half Note

What happens to an original laminated cover when encased in a rigid plastic sleeve which, over several decades,  formed a vacuum seal  with the laminate. Taking the cover out of the sleeve left half the laminate bonded to the sleeve.

Next up, careless handling, no excuse, my office, now!

London American, Byrd’s Word

That beautiful London American cover, with a chunk of Byrd’s leg amputated, my grey card prosthetic in its place. How could they be so careless?

Felsted, Chet Baker, I Get Chet.

Final entry, rare as hen’s teeth, the cheesecake cover on Decca Felsted, Chet Baker I Get Chet. How could anyone not look after this lady, mother wouldn’t approve. She Gets Chet, what more could you ask?

LJC reader Nick tells me this story:

I once purchased a record with a good chunk missing from the record mailer. I opened the LP & took a look, then celebrated the fact that the LP had been spared much too soon. I took the record out of the sleeve & went to place it on my turntables platter, & then stared in horror when the LP actually fell into 2 pieces! Right down the middle too! There must have been enough of a connection left in the vinyl for me to get it from the sleeve to the platter without noticing the damage at first. Right down the middle I tell you! Truly horrifying!!!

Reader Charles shared this slightly dog-eared copy of Saxophone Colossus, which saved him a small fortune on this iconic record.







Reader Aaron got this through the post. Fragile? Who’d have thought it?

Ryan S from The Windy City threw in this little oddity, a Savoy album cut out where the discounter stamped the vinyl NR, not returnable.


Ghostly stuff.

Over to you. Fellow collectors, we will feel your pain (or at least, will share it, then probably snicker). Send your photos and stories to: