A-HA 1985 Hunting High and Low Picture Disc (World Tour)

Red Eye records is an institution in Sydney, Australia. There are two stores separated by a lonely corridor walk. The brightly lit warm store houses the new albums, rare collectibles all at import international shipping prices to scare away the casual collector. The other store of second-hand used stock held treasure of a different variety. One came of age in the new store then travelled to find hidden gems in the other. I wasn’t old enough to see A-HA at one of their first world concerts in Sydney 1986 but I did find the picture disc of world tour dates (even though Australia didn’t feature on the map in the centre spindle!) It was my first record but also my first picture disc and I was amazed at how precise the printing was on the surface and how they could manufacture it. It started my love of picture discs (not all are created equally) and I was intrigued equally by what was on the groove as the sound contained within them. The lack of a protective cardboard gatefold sleeve cover alarmed me so I trotted over the the second-hand Red Eye store with my meagre left-over change. I was stunned to find a used second-hand Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds LP set with insert pages, graphic design and a wonderful unbelievable price of 98 cents! It started my love of concept albums, rock operas and sleeve artwork. Over the years I upgraded both albums onto expanded remastered CD sets an purchased re-releases of both bands at recent Record Store Days (RSDs). It would take me 34 years to see A-HA play in Sydney and I loved watching Jeff Wayne’s updated reimagining’s on Blu-ray. Those two records (the first that I owned) still hold a special place in my heart and are worth more than what a paid — the a-ha one was considered a fortune — all those years ago. I am glad I came of vinyl age even if I didn’t realise it so much at the time!