The first time I can really remember listening to a vinyl record is in my parents basement after a trip to my grandparents house. They had been cleaning out their own basement and found a bunch of records and singles they didn’t want anymore and let my dad and I go through. I remember grabbing some original Beatles singles, which I am realizing as I type this that I had no idea where those are now….. hmmmm.
Anyway, I remember that this trip to his parent’s place inspired my dad to pull out his own record collection that had been gathering dust, and my mom brought hers out as well. I remember being shocked that we had had all of these records in our house the whole time and I never even knew. We ended up getting a record player and some speakers from my grandparent’s Great Basement Clean Up of ’08, and my parents sat me down to teach me how to actually use it. I remember the wires connecting the turntable to the speakers were old and a bit frayed so they had to be held juusttt right for them to actually work. Quite a bit of my time listening to records in my parents basement involved me standing infront of the speakers just holding the wire so it would be in the sweet spot.
When I moved to San Francisco for college I missed having access to a record player and all of my parent’s vinyl. Luckily I had a friend down the hall in my freshmen year dorm who brought a record player to college (a genius move), and our school’s radio station hosted biannual “Rock n Swap” days, where all the record shops in the Bay Area would come to campus for a huge market.
From there I started building my own collection, and once my parent’s turntable died they let me poach all the records from their collection that I wanted. Because of that I’ve been able to build my stash of records for really cheap, because vinyl is expensive y’all! Damn hipsters jack up the price of everything.
I wasn’t sure how to best display my records for this post, so I decided to just highlight a few with some superficial superlatives that I made up while going through them. This is obviously a Very Professional blog I run here. Anyways, here we go:
FIRST RECORD I REMEMBER LISTENING TO
The first record I ever really remember listening to is this Greatest Hits collection of Bob Dylan. This was right around the time I started getting obsessed with Dylan and I would listen to this record over and over again while doing my homework. This was right around the time I had bought “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” on CD, which is an album that I consider to be a cornerstone of my being. The album changed a lot of things for me, and listening to Dylan on vinyl is tied into that memory as well.
LAST RECORD I LISTENED TO
The last record I’ve listened to, and what I’ve been listening to basically for the last month or so, is Outlandos d’Amour by The Police. This was also a big big record for me in my formative years – I remember listening to this as a CD in my WALKMAN when I was in middle school. I apparently always insisted on listening to music in the most outdated way possible because iPod absolutely existed when I was in middle school. I have been searching for this record for so long and for some reason could never find it, but my parents once again saved the day and found this for me at a store in their neighborhood and grabbed it for me. What would I do without them?
RECORD I PAID THE MOST FOR (SO FAR)
I don’t really keep track of these sort of things but I’m pretty sure the Trainspotting Soundtrack Orange Vinyl is what I have paid the most for (so far). This was rereleased on the 20th anniversary of the movie and I got it for $35 I believe at Amoeba Records in San Francisco. Trainspotting is one of my favorite movies and the soundtrack is legendary, so of course I had to get it. Also, anything with a big picture of Ewan McGregor’s face on it is a necessity in my book.
RECORD I PAID THE LEAST FOR
Not including all the record I’ve poached from my parents or that have been gifts, this Sinatra record is the one I’ve paid the least for, and I’m not even really sure how to quantify how much I paid for it, to be honest. There is a used bookstore near my current apartment that I’m obsessed with called Human Relations and a while back I sold them some of my old books that I knew I would never read again or just didn’t like. I got a $6 credit with them from the trade in ($$$$big money$$$$), and used that the other day to get 3 books and a this record from them. They don’t usually carry records at all so I was so excited to see a teeny tiny little stack of them on their $1 cart outside. Was this record free? Was it $1? I don’t quite know how to ring this up, but either way, it’s definitely the cheapest record I’ve ever gotten.
WEIRDEST RECORD I OWN
Confession time: I’ve honestly never even listened to this one. I LOVE Fats Domino, but I’m scared to listen to this/I don’t even know if I can?? I’m terrified that the needle is gonna wear away the picture of dear Fats over time, so I have kept this guy in his case all this time. I found him among the stacks at Amoeba Records as well (I’ve had a lot of luck there, for obvious reason) about 2 years ago. It didn’t come with a real sleeve either, just a clear plastic one. I’ve tried to do some research to see if I can find the history behind this pressing, but I have yet to have any luck in that endeavor. The mystery rages on…
My full collection of vinyl. I organize it alphabetically by artist’s last name, but duos going by the first billed artist’s last name. I don’t bother to alphabetize the records by multiple artists (ex: The Clash), they usually just go in the order of most to least frequently listened to.