Back in the day when I had far more disposable income and free time, I was an early adopter of the whole ‘Home Cinema’ thing. In hindsite, I spent a dreadful amount of money on a 40inch back projection TV, Dolby surround amp, later a Dolby Digital amp (back when it was called AC3) and of course, being pre DVD, a laserdisc player.

Like vinyl, laserdiscs were glorious 12inch slabs of beauty, just silver. The covers were equally gorgeous in many cases. In a precursor to what later became the norm with DVD, laserdiscs often came with director’s commentry, extras and even physical bits and bobs – Spinal Tap came with a Spinal Tap plectrum.

Anyway, time has moved on and I’ve now started selling them all off. It’s quite heartbreaking seeing laserdiscs that cost £100+ now going for £3 but that’s the way it goes. I also found that where laserdisc looked fantastic on an analogue, projection TV, a modern LCD makes them look pretty poor as the digital processing causes them to look not much better than VHS which is a shame.

Anyway, here’s a few of the covers as a reminder of days gone past.

tIMG_1718 Black Adder The Third. This one was still sealed, I never got around to watching it. From Encore Entertainment who were great supporters of LD in the UK.
tIMG_1719 Black Adder (one). This one was also still sealed.
tIMG_1721 Towards the Within by Dead Can Dance. Great live concert footage but have to say, the interviews are cringeworthy. Seriously up their behinds.
tIMG_1722 Ah, Micromusic by Gary Numan. It took me years to find this on laserdisc before some kind soul in Germany told me he’d seen one in his local shop and sent it over to me. Very trusting, total star. Also has the honour of being the only laserdisc I sold for more than I paid for it.
tIMG_1723 Aliens – the only way you could get the special extended edition was on laserdisc as a deluxe boxed set. For extra quality, it was encoded using CAV rather than the more common CLV format. This essentially meant perfect still frame but at the cost of only being able to store 30 mins per side and a lot of disk turning (yep, laserdiscs had to be turned over, just like LPs unless you were lucky to have a player than could do this for you by spinning the heads around). It had masses of extras and was a serious showcase for LD. It was also over £100 to buy…
tIMG_1724 The Fall of the House of Usher and the Pit and the Pendulum with Vincent Price. A glorious pair of movies. Somewhat oddly, this came as two discs but with one side containing the end of film 1 and the start of film 2. Still, a good excuse for a twin feature session.
tIMG_1725 Subway by Luc Besson, Another still sealed one that I never got to watch. It looks cool though in a dodgy 80’s sort of way.
tIMG_1726 Thunderbirds are Go AND Thunderbird 6, the rather less well known sequel movie that I’ve never seen for sale apart from this laserdisc. That said, it’s pants so I’ve not really looked very hard. The first movie is great though and features my favourite space ship, Zero-X.
tIMG_1727 Tubular Bells II live. The premier at Edinburgh Castle was excellent (wish I’d been there) and this Japanese laserdisc captured it nicely.
tIMG_1728 Another great concert. Pink Floyd. How I Wish They Were Here.
tIMG_1730 A serious slice of the 80’s 20 Videostars – Men Without Hats, Yazoo and (18) more. Not that common a disk, it seems.
tIMG_1731 Communion, staring Christopher Walken. I was slightly disapointed by this one first time but enjoyed it more on later viewing.
tIMG_1735 Highlander Special Edition. A gorgeous gatefold sleeve, extra pics, information and a laserdisc that ticked all the boxes, THX, AC3 (Dolby Digital), Directors Cut (a good one, for once)