From the Stacks

From The Stacks: The Police, “Message In A Bottle” (Shape Disc)

The Police’s “Badge” discs are on my vinyl grail list. Every record geek keeps at the very least a mental list of albums, singles, etc., that he or she would love to have. For some these are the big money items, but for most of us they are the records that we missed as kids or to which we have some sort of sentimental attachment. For me, the Police’s badge-shaped picture discs check both of the latter boxes.

I liked the Police, but my buddy Lee G. loved the Police. One afternoon I was thumbing through Lee G.’s albums, and there were the three badges: “Message In A Bottle,” “Roxanne/Can’t Stand Losing You,” and “Don’t Stand So Close To Me.” Five minutes earlier I didn’t even know they existed but now I had to have them. Unfortunately no store in our little southern town still had copies, and that’s how grail records are born.

I found this “Message In A Bottle” badge in my local record store after about 35 years of hunting. Only two more to go, so at this rate I should be done somewhere around 2085. Now, I could go online and buy them right now, but there’s no fun in that. The search for a grail is about the search as much as the grail, after all, so I’ll keep thumbing through the bins, hoping that the other two badges pop up eventually.

You can expect to pay around 25-30 bucks for a “Message In A Bottle” shape disc, but here’s the thing: Shop owners know that old farts like me get excited when they find these things in the bins, so don’t be surprised to see price tags of $50 or more. Happy hunting.

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