Sunday, August 8, 2021

Bollywood Vinyl Records - Suggestions

 Writing a post after a very very long time 😀.

Last month my wife asked me about if Gramophone records are still available, as a child she had seen them playing and wondered if we can still get them today. This is when all the craze about collecting records started !

After a month, I now have 25 Vinyl records in my collection, mostly Bollywood movies. The below review is about my shopping experience on different websites that I have bought records from, pricing, new vs old records. I am still new to Vinyl records collection, so this information may change at later point.

New Bollywood Records

You can get records under this category for new Bollywood movies like Tiger Zinda Hain, Jab Tak Hain Jaan and others, 90's music is also available under this category with movies like Dil Ka Kya Kasoor, Phool aur Kaante others.

Old movies are also available in new records, movies like Jawani Diwani, Gambler, Joney Mera Naam others are available.

Old Bollywood Records

Old / Original pressing Bollywood records are available on internet on different pricing depending on their condition, which includes condition on the sleeve for the record. There are standard that are prescribed for both Vinyl records and their sleeve Gradings that each seller need to follow, the Gradings are as follows

  1. Near Mint ( NM or M-) - A nearly perfect record. The record shows no obvious signs of wear.
  2. VG+ - Will show some signs that it was played.
  3. VG - Noticeable groove wear and light scratches. Surface noise will not overpower the music.
  4. G+ - Can play without skipping, significant scratches, surface noise, groove wear.
In my experience so far, each seller has their own way of identifying the above and you can get a very a record in very different status. The pricing or NM is way higher than that of VG.

I will suggest to ONLY go for NM and VG+ records, otherwise the listing experience would not be great, especially if you are using headphones to listen to old records. Sometimes the surface sound is just too much and makes the music listening experience bad.

Should one buy new records or Old ones ?

This is a very tricky question, when digital recording was not available, then analog recordings are the closest that you will every get to what the music director wanted it to be. That said, the technology is pretty old and there has been no updates to it for decades now, recordings on tapes have been there for ages now.

New Records are available from

  1. Saregama - they have the largest collection of records across generations, they old records are pretty awesome and you can buy VG+ graded records, but they come with a price that will hit your pockets. The new Vinyls are pathetic and I don't recommend them at all, you can skip any old record presented by Saregama through SONY DADC. The Records are available from Rs 1499 onwards, some are sold at a very HIGH price, like that for Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar movie is available for Rs 7999.
  2. Tips - Tips also has a good collection of movies with them, the pressing company again here is SONY DADC which does not do a good job either with record or even the record cover. I personally don't recommend them, but if you want some 90's music, then you can add to your collection.
  3. Universal - this one is GOOD !, they also have a very good collection of movies. The pressing is great for all the records that I have and I would suggest to buy new records of OLD movies that they release. Some records are sold for very High Price, SAAGAR and SHOLAY are available for Rs 4999 onwards.
  4. T-Series - have not tried yet.
  5. Yash Raj Music - have not tried yet.

To begin with, I started buying records for whatever price they were available, just wanted to get some for playing, but now I only buy if I get the correct price and also more importantly for old records, correct grading ( Only VG+ and above).

The pricing is an issue, considering that this is a tradition that people are trying to keep alive, the records are sold at a very HIGH price according to me. A very few are available for less and Rs 1000, which makes this an expensive hobby. Most of the Good ones from R.D. Burman or Lakshmikant Pyarelal are available expensive, SHOLAY and KARZ for example will not cost you less than 4000 rupees for each ( VG+ condition). So it all depends on how much you want to spend.

I have a few in English records as well and as English records are imported, they will cost you Rs 2500 and above, so it's better to add them to your shopping list which traveling abroad.

You can buy records from lots of ONLINE shops, I will have another blog post for Online shops that sell Records and my experience with them.

happy spinning !

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