Monday, January 19, 2015

Laser Discs: Memorabilia Or Rubbish? Keep Or Bin?

It used to be called MPH or Malaya Publishing House, a building along Stamford Road where book lovers and students used to gather to get their fix. Those were the earlier years  and books cost a few dollars. Name the books and MPH would have them in stock. Not all though, because in Singapore some titles were banned remember? Even some classic pieces couldn't be found on the shelves. Well...
                               Old MPH building with a new look.

As the years went by the shop sold other things as well. In the 1990s, after buying a book or two from the ground floor, I would amble to the first floor and target the LDs or Laser Discs on display.  They didn't come cheap and would cost as much as $50 (big money then) or more a piece. 

Since movies were also my concern I would eagle for these shiny and large silver discs.  Take one out from the sleeve and this humongous CD would glitter under the display lights. It was heavy too.

Buying the old Elvis Presley movies was more exciting than buying a new book. But since they cost a bomb I could only purchase one or two pieces each time. Images below show some of the titles I have. 

While doing a CNY spring cleaning recently and looking at my LDs I thought I had spent money on a worthless collection since they are the precursor to DVDs and are obsolete today.
Question: Is an Elvis LD counted as Elvis memorabilia?
But I realised I would never discard them. These LDs are harder to come by as more people are keeping them as memorabilia. There are also companies on the internet that are willing to purchase them for the same price and store them in their Laser Vaults (whatever that means).  With enough space to keep books, records and travel mementos in my home I have decided not to get rid of them.  
As I was surfing the net searching for comments about the status of LDs, I found these gems below:

1. I sold mine for next to nothing and regret it. For the money you'd get, you might as well keep them. 

2. Still have mine and my old player although haven't used it for ages. Not sure what the e-bay market is like, it went through a boom and then collapsed a couple of years ago, not sure if that's changed.
3. Just like vinyl records, the laser disc may have little value, but the cover may end up being worth something, depending on the cover art. 

4. It's the vinyl of the movie world. There is a magical quality to it, and who cares if your kids scoff at it? There's no way I'd give up my vinyl collection, no matter how many million songs you can fit on an iPod. 
A Laser Disc Player @ $450 a piece in the 90s.
5. What galls me is seeing some of the discs I paid $60-$100 for selling for $10 and under. Sigh. Oh well, I enjoyed them at the time.

6. Another vote for hang onto them. You won't get much and laser discs are lovely things to hold.

7. If space isn't a problem I'd say keep them as well...  I agree that Laser Disc packaging looks lovely, so it would a huge shame if you did end up binning... 

8. I've begun collecting laser discs recently, however only movies that are not on retail DVD, so I can convert them to DVD on my own.
Fun Information on LD sleeve covers.
For me? Another good reason why I will keep them. The sleeve notes are fun to read. And informative too. And once you hold them in your hands you wouldn't want to part with them. 

Then again you could store all the songs and movies in a thumb drive?

Silly huh? So how? Keep or throw away? Let me know.
Comments from:
                  You Tube Video: Elvis' Memories by Wanda Harrell.

Elvis Presley Memorabilia:
The novelty retro items and vintage toys produced red in the mid 1950s reap the best value for money and have potential to greatly increase in value. The genuine posthumous Elvis stamps too are collectibles.

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MCHUA said...

I remember LDs! I used to sing Michael Learns to Rock numbers on my Karaoke Machine with these LDs. :)

Thanks for sharing Andy!

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Oh thanks for taking time off to make a comment. From where you're coming that's a sacrifice.


Hi Andy

I read your interesting article and your collection of old. For the LD, it is good that you have decided to keep your most treasured hand pick pieces.

For the LP vinyl record, if you are lucky to keep the right one, you may get a windfall as some of the older one especially those found to be the first print may even bring you thousand of dollars a piece so hold on to it as you never know you may be keeping some of the priceless few.

Thanks for sharing the write up as it brings back the good old days, the MPH AT STAMFORD ROAD which I myself used to go there and buy some nice jazz CD at that time, that was many many years ago.

Thanks and Cheers

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hullo Sir,

Thank you for taking time to write in. I am glad you still remember MPH with its CD collection. Those days there were so many outlets all over Singapore. Now with the computer and a thumb-drive, we hardly see these shops anymore. Fit, click and download. No more burning even.



I have some LDs from my dad and my own. I still have an LD player! I also just have one away.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Aha, interesting. If you can't find space for them...


Randy Lee, Tan Teng Teng, Toh Richard, Jimmy PresLee. Thanks for appreciating the posting.

FL said...

I think with the introduction of DVD disc, the sales of Laser disc (LD) & LD players have fallen and disappeared through the years. One of the reasons for this could be the size of a DVD being small. Technology keeps changing resulting in the disappearance of vinyl records, cassette tapes, video tapes & recorders, etc. Over the years, many big and small record shops have folded. What a pity!

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

You are right FL. Everything's recorded on the thumb drive nowadays. And you don't even need a player since the TV, tablet or computer is sufficient.

Yes and many record, DVD shops have folded up. I remember running around those years looking for Elvis' "Jailhouse Rock" DVD but only found a Japanese edition of, "Loving You" and paid five dollars for it. I still have it with me; it has become another Elvis memorabilia.

On another occasion, I had a shop to record on VHS the movie, "That's The Way It Is" and paid ten dollars but when I got home I played back a blank tape. I tried to return it a week later but the shop had closed down. I guess I deserved it.

Thanks for your visit again FL. You always trigger off memories...


SUNNY WEE said...

Interesting article on MPH, books and LDs. U r right about keeping and not discarding the old LDs. I'm keeping mine for sure. Thanks for the valuable tips in your write up.

Ya, good, solid old action movies. Errol Flynn in ROBIN HOOD, Victor Mature in SAMSON AND DELILAH, Burt Lancaster/Tony Curtis in TRAPEZE, Gary Cooper in HIGH NOON. And of course, the one and only hero John Wayne. MY RIFLE, MY PONY AND ME sung by Ricky Nelson.

Long story.

We tend to watch action movies during our teens, like HANG TUAH, SEMERAH PADI, etc.


ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks Sunny for your contribution and for visiting the blog. I see that you are a movie enthusiast. I do the same too. Yes I think LD's are worth a keep, not much space used too for storage.

Jasper Sng said...

For me it would be a problem. Moving countries and can't keep them. Any idea where I could sell them? I don't mind giving them up for cheap as much as I would love to keep them I can't :(

Jasper Sng said...

Willing to let it go for cheap. Have about 20 of them.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Well if readers are interested. Perhaps Jasper can leave his email address and if anyone is interested I can always relay his connection to the buyer. No obligation, no charges.

matt tan "guitar magician" LOL)canada said...

I can only speak for myself , not for others... but to me, the wheels of time
roll by quickly ... I used to own Gibson and Fender guitars (SD175, EBO, SG, 330, Les Paul, .. Telecaster, US Strat, Jeff Beck signature Strat, etc) each time I see a guitar I bought it because I spent the money I made playing music on buying guitars, and amps. I always bought tons of Cds as reference, every single Bird, Trane, Miles, Monk, Lenny Breau etc.. as well as every rock and fusion group i copycat in the 70s etc playing in clone bands to fusion bands. I also spent thousands of dollar in a home studio in 93 paying about $10 grand just for a TEAC 1/2 inch reel to reel 8 track and a 32 channel mixer Fostex along with fender rhodes to add bass, synth guitar, and drums pads for my original recordings.
last april, i paid $300 for a Tascam digital 8 track to be able to record with far better sound quality then all the cash outlay i "wasted" in 1993 to record inferior sounding analog music. same goes for my efx equipment, a fraction of the cost i paid from the 70s to the late 90s before i quit music.
not including the photography equipment i owned when i went pro ..view camera, rolleiflex slx medium format, 35 mm ..all of which also became obslolete with a DSLR.
hey, that's life! today, everything can be got for free on the internet.
and worst, those digital super machs are all going to be obsolete in a year,
unlike the stuff we played with which went obsolete in what? 10, 20 , 30 years?

chill my friends! as one of my band boy's girlfriend used to side with me when people ask why i spend so much money of stuff like that? she stood up and said, "the only thing that counts is whether after spending that cash Matthew derived pleasure ! the same thing i can say for you guys spending your money on football , basketball, hockey tickets, junk food and giant screen TV !!!"

that was yesterday 200 years ago, and yesterday's gone! but the pleasure i derived
, as Sandie so profound put it, i still have in here in my mind. and it was all worth it. I am still spending money today on digital equipment and Made In China guitars and efx pedals which could go obsolete with the next wave,
but hey, so long as I get the kick out of using them, what is money?

as someone else said, your stock portfolio and bank statement of millions of dollars is no more than useless paper, until you spend it. if not, tomorrow, with another stock market crash, it could also be worth nothing more than blank paper.

what do you think??? excellent article btw !!! ;)