Thursday, April 25, 2013

vinyl memories

Record Store Day was Saturday, so I'm running a little late with this, but I thought I'd share some favorites from my own collection of vinyl.  I became a real music fan in the 1980s, when loving music meant:  listening to the radio, making mixtapes, watching that exciting new medium, the music video...and buying records.  I spent a fair amount of time hanging out in record stores--the town I grew up in had two independent record stores downtown--and I still do, on occasion (shout out to Grand Rapids' wonderful Vertigo Music!).

Just looking at some of these album covers brings back memories, almost the way an old photograph does.  Most of these records have traveled with me from Colorado to New York City, and from New York to Michigan.

I've owned the above four records since the 1980s.  The Psycho Candy album still has its $9.98 price sticker from Wax Trax Records in Denver.  The Joy Division record has a list of the album's songs, handwritten by me, slipped inside (since there was no track listing included with the album).

Sometimes I buy a record--ususally at a garage sale or thrift store--just because I like the cover.  I have a lot of cool old cocktail records that fit this description.  The Anatomy of a Murder album not only has a great artwork, but it's a fantastic soundtrack (and a fantastic film, set in Michigan's Upper Peninsula).  Those gorgeous flowers are on a more recent purchase, the Mark Lanegan Band's "Blues Funeral."  It's a double album with really cool marbled-look vinyl.  It is also, naturally, a fantastic sounding record.

That Dylan "Biograph" boxed set...well, I've owned it since I was 17 or 18, and you can tell it's gotten a lot of play.  "Hunky Dory" is one of my favorite Bowie albums, and this is the 1990 double album reissue with extra tracks and nifty clear vinyl.  (David Bowie was my gateway drug into music; he was the first good music I liked, and I was an obsessive fan of his as a youngster.  I own most of his work on vinyl.)  The Cat Stevens and Carroll and Lear Nonsense Verse records both belonged to my parents, and have now passed on to me.  Cat Stevens = the music of childhood.  The Nonsense Verse record is probably the oldest in my collection; it's from 1957.

And a bonus: Isaac Hayes' "Black Moses" album.  I'm not sure better album packaging has ever been done.  Amazing, isn't it?



  1. So many gems! I'm not familiar with Mark Lanegan Band, but that's some gorgeous album artwork. Off to check 'em out now!

    1. A, if you like Nick Cave, you may like Mark Lanegan! He's also done some great work with Isobel Campbell from Belle & Sebastian.

  2. Wow! Looks like you have an amazing collection!
    I was never really into records when I was growing up. I think I had a few and I do remember receiving 'The Cocktail' soundtrack as a present one Xmas… so yeah. Not great! ;) But I did love making mix tapes.


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