revolve records australia

An Interview with Jon Ordon of Australia’s Revolve Records

I’ve seen a fair few record sellers come and go in Australia, but one seller’s name has kept popping up over the years — and that I have been active buying vinyl from. That name is Jon Ordon of Revolve Records.

I have fond memories of heading down to his shop in Sydney, Australia, digging for hip-hop, funk, soul, disco, jazz, and whatever else was my taste at the time, never leaving empty-handed (but definitely leaving with a much lighter wallet). As time moved on, he moved his inventory onto the web (with many thousand of releases still to be uploaded). Discogs is lucky that Jon chose us as his main method of selling online. Below, we dive in and ask Jon a few questions about his years in the game.

Discogs: Tell us who you are and how long you have been a Discogs user.

Jon Ordon: I started gingerly in 2016. Slow and steady until my training wheels came off. I guess practice makes perfect. You need to take a pragmatic approach.

D: How did you get into selling records?

I began digging for records — new and second-hand records — when I was 15 in 1984. It was so exciting finding unusual music. My top five haunts back then were Recycled Records, The Record Plant, Chatswood Book & Record Exchange, Red Eye, and Ashwoods. By 1987, I had a full-time job and started selling records at the Balmain markets.

Times were totally different in the 1980s and ’90s. You could spend all day filling up boxes with amazing records for 50 cents to $2 each, at OP shops, second-hand shops, garage sales, and markets. I started my first shop in 1991: Discovery Records at West Ryde, then Hornsby. Turned into Revolve Records Erskineville in 2004. Now I operate from our farm in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.

D: What is your favorite record store and why?

I love Underground Records in Adelaide. They have an amazing range of modern and reissue vinyl. Soundtracks, modern synth-wave, etc.

D: Do you have a story that you’d like to share about record-selling? Please tell us!

Record fairs 15-plus years ago were like a game of chess. You had to use your knowledge and experience, no iPhones back then. You could find amazing rare records cheap, but you had to pounce on the right traders as early and quickly as possible.

Flying to New Zealand three times a year in the 1990s, pre-online auction houses, I would bring a suitcase full of records to sell and trade at the Hamilton record fair and I’d spend two weeks non-stop digging. To this day, still some of my rarest finds. My biggest haul was over 2 tons of records I exported back to Australia.

D: Do you have a favorite record of all-time?

My favorite all-time record constantly changes, depending on my mood. My favorite soundtrack is Drive. I always enjoy Exile on Main Street with a couple of drinks and love Starcluster and Marc Almond’s Silver City Ride when in disco mode.

D: What is the most valuable item you’ve ever sold?

J:  My most valuable item would be U2’s In The Name Of Love white vinyl at $9,000 AUD. I also sold the Moods (unreleased acetate Oz garage) for $5,000 AUD.

D: What is your best record find?

One of my best finds was in a second-hand shop north of Auckland where I found half of the top 100 New Zealand prog psych records in mint condition for $2 each. I walked out with over 700 records. Right place at the right time.

D: What is your number one tip for Buyers and Sellers on Discogs?

Be patient with new Sellers and Buyers. Mistakes happen. It’s a lot to get your head around. People make mistakes.

Reveal any minor blemishes i.e. stickers, writing, ring wear, etc.

D: Our favorite pickup from Revolve Records right now:

If you enjoyed this interview and feel like it’s time to buy some records, you can check Jon Ordon’s shop here. Our Crate Minds series showcases some of the best sellers on Discogs. You’ll meet the people behind the crates (virtual and otherwise), get some insights into the life of a record seller, and learn tips on selling records from the best in the biz. Feature image courtesy of Revolve Records.

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