I recently developed a bad addiction… to record collecting. My love of vinyl is not a new thing, but I never had a record player until my boyfriend got me one for my birthday this past November. Now, a whole new world has opened up. The act of collecting records is so much more than just having them in your possession. It’s the hunt. I don’t like buying the new, remastered versions of old classics, I want to find vintage copies. Since the record player made its way into my home I have visited several record stores and spent countless hours hunched over crates of used records breathing in a scent that is not so different from old library books. As you flip through endless stacks one by one, anticipation builds, never knowing what treasure is hiding behind the next record. When you do find one of those rare treasures it’s such a gratifying feeling, turning it over carefully in your hands and sliding out the vinyl to check for scratches. And then it’s yours and you get to listen to it, and appreciate its sound, in the way it was truly meant to be heard. In the brief amount of time I’ve been collecting, I’ve acquired a few records that have become instant favorites and prized possessions. Check them out, and listen to a playlist of my favorite tracks below!
Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited
I found this at Long In The Tooth, a great record store in Philly. It was on top of a stack behind the counter and at first, I walked out without it. I barely made it around the corner before I ran back and asked if I could buy it, and I’m so glad I did. Not only is it mono, which is really old (they pretty much stopped making mono records in the late 60s, having moved to stereo), but it’s just an amazing record and I love the photo of Bob on the cover. Favorite tracks: Queen Jane Approximately, Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues.
Rolling Stones – Sticky Fingers
My boyfriend found this one for me and it’s the best Stones album I’ve found yet. I love the album artwork by Andy Warhol, which features a real zipper. There’s also a list of names on the back of the record that I imagine are previous owners… it’s kinda cool to think about all the places this album might have been. Favorite tracks: Sway, Can’t You Hear Me Knocking.
Beatles – The White Album
This is the first album I ever bought, years before I had a record player. I found it at a thrift store in Ocean Beach, San Diego, buried under a stack of Elvis albums. I bought it even though I couldn’t play it, just because it’s my favorite album of all time. Favorite tracks: I’m So Tired, Happiness Is A Warm Gun, Sexy Sadie.
Crosby, Stills & Nash – Crosby, Stills & Nash
I found this one at Amoeba in San Francisco and it was one of those albums that I bought not only for the music but because I love the cover! It’s one of my favorite photos, and I’m considering getting a frame for it. I love the photo on the inside, too (below). Favorite tracks: Suite: Judy Blue Eyes, Long Time Gone, Helplessly Hoping.
Derek & The Dominos – Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs
This album is in pretty rough shape but I bought it anyway because it’s one of my favorites. I love the collage of photos on the inside so much! Favorite Tracks: Bell Bottom Blues, Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad?
The Allman Brothers Band – Live At Fillmore East
Lastly, this record was a gift from my sister and her boyfriend, which made it even more special than it already was. It’s a classic, and I love that two songs are so long they take up entire album sides. Favorite tracks: Statesboro Blues, Whipping Post.
Do you collect vinyl? I’d love to hear what your favorite records are!