A Guide to Collecting Records by

Europeans & How We Live

 NOTE: This was written back in 1999, so might be a little outdated now.

Best place to get Euros & HWL stuff is still ebay!

Introduction

I get a lot of emails from visitors to the site, and still, by far the most frequently asked questions are about getting hold of Europeans and How We Live records. Well, after nearly a year and half running the site, I thought it might be a good idea to produce a collecting guide of sorts. I live in England, so this is written from an English perspective...

 

Europeans on A&M Records

 

1. What is out there ?

There are three Europeans albums (plus the "All Balls and No Willy" Otway album), one How We Live album, plus numerous single releases. Only HWL's "Dry Land" and the Otway album are/were available on CD, the rest being vinyl and cassette only. Have a look at my discography page, which is always as up-to-date as possible, listing all the releases, with picture sleeve scans and catalogue numbers, and also some promos.

 

2. Can I order items from my local record shop?

Sadly not. All Europeans and How We Live records are long since out of print, or "deleted" from their respective record company back catalogues, so you won't find them in your local commercial record outlet. Hopefully the Europeans albums will be re-issued on CD soon, as Colin, Steve, Ferg and Geoff have hinted. The Otway album is available, details at question 6 below.  Note : The How We Live album has been re-issued on Marillion's own Racket Records label, and is now available to order from www.marillion.com. 

 

3. So, where can I get them ?

 

Good question! There are dubbed copies of the albums circulating among the Marillion fanbase. These range from poor quality multi-generational tapes to clean, crisp CD-Rs. I would always recommend trying to get hold of the original vinyl copies where possible. I can think of a number of places to look:

 

Second-Hand record shops are probably the best place to start. Records could (obviously) be filed under . "E" or "H", or perhaps the shop has recognised Steve Hogarth's name and placed them in a 'Marillion' section. Alternatively, they could be filed under such sections as "POST PUNK", "80s POP", "NEW WAVE", "ROCK", "ALTERNATIVE" There are an increasing amount of second-hand record stores online now, many with fully searchable databases. For the UK, try this page of links : http://www.moremusic.co.uk/links/uk_shops.htm

 

Record Fairs are similar to the above, only often more of a needle in a haystack. Always worth checking out the Marillion sections, or asking the stall owner. Many people at these fairs have certainly heard of Europeans, but rarely have items by them!

 

Online Auctions are always worth an occasional look! Every now and then, Europeans and HWL items come up for grabs on places such as ebay.com or ebay.co.uk  You may well have to outbid other interested parties!

 

Record Searches: There are some people out there that will ask collectors to send them WANTS LISTS. They can then hunt down these particular items, and for the price of an extra commision fee, deliver the goods. These can be quite pricey, but you are usually under no obligation to buy.

 

Free Ads: Publications such as the UK's Record Collector contain hefty pages of classified ads, where private and commercial collectors can buy and sell (usually) rarer items.

 

Others: Of course there are places such as charity shops, car-boot sales, house clearances etc.. that might hold some luck.

 

4. How much should I pay for these records ? 

This is where it gets tricky. I have been collecting all sorts of records for over 10 years now, and have seen some truly ridiculous prices. I'm always very diplomatic, by telling people that "a record is worth what you will pay for it!" I have heard ghastly rumours that an original CD copy of the How We Live "Dry Land" album has been seen on sale for over 100! Likewise, I have seen some Europeans singles listed for up to 40 each. Frankly I think you'd be foolish to spend silly money such as this! Your own perception of a "rare" record is going to be different to others, and we all have our own budgets. However, with little stuff out there, it may be worth remembering that there might not be much opportunity to shop around!!

The monthly UK magazine Record Collector publishes a hefty volume each year, listing and pricing, by artist, records it perceives to be particularly "collectable." This is a great resources, pooling information from around the world. Europeans items were first included in this volume in 2000.  Prices have risen in two years, and have just been published in the most recent edition (2002) These are listed below. Prices are in pounds sterling (), for the record in "mint-condition." (i.e rarely played, unscratched, unmarked cover)

 

How We Live - on Portrait records

 

 

 ()

2000

 

2002

82 A&M AMS 8245

Animal Song / Someone's Changing (p/s)

...

4

 

5

83 A&M AM 113

AEIOU / Voice on the Telephone (p/s)

...

5

 

5

83 A&M AM 138

Recognition / New Industry (p/s)

...

7

 

7

83 A&M AM 158

American People / Going to Work (p/s)

...

4

 

5

83 A&M AMX 158

American People / Going to Work / Someone's Changing / New Industry (12", p/s)

...

7

 

8

84 A&M AM 184

Typical / Falling (p/s)

...

4

 

5

84 A&M AM 201

Listen / Climb the Wall (p/s)

...

4

 

5

84 A&M AMX 201

Listen / Climb the Wall (12", p/s)

...

7

 

8

84 A&M AMLX 68558

VOCABULARY (LP)

...

10

 

12

84 A&M SCOT1

LIVE (LP)

...

10

 

12

84 A&M AMA 5034

RECURRING DREAMS (LP)

...

10

 

12

82 Empire HAMLP1

JOHN OTWAY (ALL BALLS & NO WILLY) (LP, with Europeans)

...

10

10

82 Empire HAM3

In Dreams / You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet (p/s)

...

4

4

82 Empire HAM6

Mass Communication / Baby It's the Real Thing (p/s green vinyl)

...

4

4

82 RSB1

Various Artists : The Snoopies Album (numbered with inserts, 1000 only)

...

15

15

 

Remember, this is only a guide, and prices will fluctuate. Ironically, the most common item I have seen is the "limited edition" Europeans Live album! The "promo" Acid Rain 7" single is also very common, as it was given away free on shop counters across the country.

 

5. What else should I look out for ?

From a collecting point of view, here a few pointers about particular records:

Europeans:

         Original copies of the Vocabulary LP (1983) came with a 12" size double sided 'insert' with the song lyrics, credits, a few pictures and other doodles. You had to write away to get the lyric sheet for Recurring Dreams

         12" sleeves all have different pictures to those on the 7" single sleeves (except Listen)

 

 

Promo Stamp

How We Live:

 

6. How can I get my hands on the Otway album ?

In 1982, Europeans recorded an album with John Otway called "All Balls and No Willy." John Otway has re-issued this LP on to CD, coupled with another Otway LP, "Where Did I Go Right." This CD is available by Mail Order from Otway's own website at http://www.doremi.co.uk/otway/

 

Or you can simply send a cheque for 12 (pounds sterling made payable to John Otway) to:

 

John Otway, Unit 247, Wandsworth Workshops 86-96 Garrat Lane, London SW18 4DJ

 

Let us hope that the albums will be with us on CD in the near future, but in the meantime, Good Luck and happy hunting !!!

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