Vortex no longer deals in exclusives as the person tracking them down now owns Good Music on Queen West. All future exclusives will be handled by that shop.
But back in the day...
Below are some of the records Vortex has been the only shop in the city or country to offer to customers. They're always limited edition items and, when we're not giving them away as door prizes during a sale or Record Store Day, they always sell very fast.
SHARON JONES AND THE DAP-KINGS
GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT (MONO)
I'm not 100% certain no one else has the limited edition version of this title, which is a mono release, but after a call to every competitor in town the day we received it, no one else said they had it or were expecting it--most were unaware it even existed. The pressing is a one-time-only run of 2000. At the time of this writing, we still have a few remaining. Of course, we also have the standard stereo release that other shops are offering.
BLUE BLOOD BLUES TRIPLE DECKER 12”
Two 12” singles with a 7” of unreleased material sandwiched inside. 300 were made for the world. We had the only ones in Canada. Sold out within minutes of us posting their arrival on Facebook.
These have sold online for as high as US$1400. As with all of our exclusives, we sold them for our usual markup, which I believe was forty bucks.
A year or so later, one of the customers traded his back in. If I remember correctly, all he wanted was a Numero Group box set. We ended up giving that one away for RSD.
MISSISSIPPI RECORDS' 5LP AFRICAN GUITAR BOX SET
This 5LP set was limited to just 200 copies world-wide. Each was in a hand-constructed wooden box made with wood from the Mississippi Records store in Portland, Ore. We had the only copies in Canada and, with nine of them, the most of any store in the world. Besides Mississippi itself, of course. We sold most of them but did give one away as a raffle prize.
JEAN-LUC GODARD - BANDES ORIGINALES - 1959-1980
One-time pressing of a 2LP set, hand-numbered to 500. Vortex had the exclusive for Canada and, at 20 copies, almost three times the qty permitted to other stores. Housed in sleeves with pasted on front and back covers and hand-stamped spines. Every one of these sold by pre-order to subscribers of our Specialty Mailing List.
A | A ALIEN OBSERVER &
A | A DREAM LOSS
To raise money for Japan after they suffered a devastating quake, Grouper created a special limited edition version of the records, pressing just 10 copies. Each package consisted of:
1 x A I A Dream Loss LP, with customized art
1 x A I A Alien Observer LP, with customized art
1 x art print
1 x hand printed t-shirt
Vortex had two copies of the package. We gave one away for Record Store Day 2011.
On this CDR Marissa Nadler covers 17 of her favorite songs (she’s sworn me to secrecy regarding the titles). The only other way you’d be able to get one was directly from Marissa. Pressing of 500.
Don't know Nadler? Click on the album art to hear her cover Radiohead.:
FOR EMMA, FOREVER AGO
This one was autographed. We gave it away on RSD.
Yes, we had a Dinosaur Jr Farm skatedeck. I don’t know how many of these were made but we gave ours away on Record Store Day 2010.
FIHAVANANA - A COLLECTION OF FIELD RECORDINGS AND PHOTOGRAPHY FROM MADAGASIKARA
200 hand-numbered copies exist on Mississippi Records. A bunch of them were warped during a storage snafu. We had the only copies in Canada—all mint—but for one store in Vancouver that had two copies. We gave one away in a free raffle on Record Store Day and sold the rest at our usual markup.
ANIMAL CRACK BOX
3LPs in a snazzy box, all wrapped up with a ribbon. 1000 copies manufactured for the world. Sold out in 12 hours. We had four of ‘em. We sold one; we gave two away on two separate Record Store Days; Lincoln owns the last one.
WIDE LP & HE KNOWS 7"
The original pressing of the Wide LP was in an edition of 1000. I’m not sure what the print run was on the He Knows 7”. We gave both away on Record Store Day as part of our free raffle.
ABANDONED IN SLEEP (TEST PRESSING)
Anduin‘s Abandoned in Sleep was released in late 2009 to very positive reviews (“A quietly epic, dense and harrowing sonic experience - do not miss.”—Boomkat).
One test pressing of the album exists on vinyl. We gave it away in our free Record Store Day raffle.
MAN BIRD DRESS (TEST PRESSING)
One of Lincoln's favorite albums, Svarte Greiner‘s Man Bird Dress is an ambient doom masterpiece. The LP was limited to 350 in its first run and it took 35 test pressings to get it sounding just right. We had two of the 35. Lincoln kept one and we sold the other.
BLACK TO COMM
VINYL BACK CATALOG
Black to Comm was pushed into the spotlight with Pitchfork’s review of Alphabet 1968. We had three sets of most of his vinyl back catalog, which included:
Alphabet 1968 LP (limited to 500)
Incidents 7” (limited to 292 copies)
Fractal Hair Geometry LP (limited to 500 copies)
Black to Comm / Aosuke Split 12” - s/t (limited to 500 copies)
Wir können leider nicht etwas mehr zu tun… 2LP (limited to 500 copies)
Rückwärts Backwards LP (limited to 222 copies)
s/t 10” (limited to 250 copies)
A WORD ABOUT EXCLUSIVES
The above items were sold to us by artists, labels or distributors who insisted we would be the only store in the city or country to get them. However, we of course cannot be responsible for whether or not they keep their word. If you bought one of the above items at a shop in Toronto that wasn't Vortex, please email me and let me know.
Of course, if you work at one of our competitors and offered these items to your customers, I'd be curious to know that as well.
In either case, if I can verify your end of things, I'll yank the item from this page.
Note that I'm referring to items in new condition only. It's certainly possible a customer could purchase an exclusive from us and then resell to another shop, though we hope that if they do wish to sell, they'll give us first refusal.