A few weeks ago, I told you all about my complicated, on-again off-again relationship with vinyl records. So this week, I thought it would be fitting to give you a guided tour of some of the highlights in my record collection. Without further ado, here are the crowning achievements of my grand, two year-long record hunt. Enjoy!
The Crown Jewel: Self-titled by The Stone Roses (1989)
I still remember the joyous feeling that coursed through me when I read the e-mail from my local record store, Siren Records, that listed the debut record by my favorite band in the “New Additions” section. I got to the record store as soon as I could. Not only was the record just sitting there under the letter “S” in the indie section, but the label on the record mysteriously had “gold marble” written on the price tag. Well, I had no idea what that meant, but when I got home and took the record out of the sleeve, I found that the vinyl itself was printed to look like it was made out of marble. That fascinating detail coupled with the fact that The Stone Roses are my favorite band makes this record the clear favorite in my collection.
The Original: The Velvet Underground & Nico by The Velvet Underground (1967)
It just goes to show you how much of a music nerd I am that this was the first record I ever bought. Listen to this one now if you haven’t already.
The Trippiest One: Their Satanic Majesties Request by The Rolling Stones (1967)
This record, an original pressing, has a 3D cover that probably blew people’s minds back in 1967. But the trippiness doesn’t stop there. This Sgt. Pepper’s ripoff (some might say) comes complete with a psychedelic gatefold. The maze is impossible to complete, so I’ve heard. I don’t know. Why don’t you try it and get back to me?
The All-time Favorite: Arthur by The Kinks (1969)
This is my favorite album of all time. I found it in a very hipsteresque clothing store in Boulder, Colorado. Here’s the gatefold:
The Coolest Texture: Déjà Vu by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (1970)
It may be hard to tell from the picture, but this record has a leathery texture embossed on the front cover, a unique feature among my collection.
The Worst Misspelling: Odessey and Oracle by The Zombies (1968)
Yup, that should be “odyssey”, not “odessey”. That’s what you get for hiring the bassist’s roommate to design the cover of your masterpiece.
The Most Unnecessary Censorship: If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears by The Mamas and the Papas (1966)
Check out the bottom right corner of the record. Back in the sixties, having a toilet on your album cover was considered too tasteless for public consumption.
The Anomaly: Time Out by The Dave Brubeck Quartet (1959)
This is the only jazz record I own. I have tons of respect for jazz (I played in my school’s jazz band for six years), but I like pop melodies too much to really get into it.
The Angriest One: War by U2 (1983)
It’s like he’s staring into your soul.
The Newest One: Funeral by Arcade Fire (2004)
This is the most modern record I own. Controversial opinion time: Arcade Fire are the greatest band of the 21st century.
The Funniest One: Tigermilk by Belle and Sebastian (1996)
For some reason, this album strikes me as friggin’ hilarious in a very surreal sort of way. A woman breast-feeding a stuffed animal? I think this one belongs in the canon of great album covers.
The Rarest One: Self-titled by Moby Grape (1967)
One of the great lost records of the 1960’s, Moby Grape is not available digitally, and a new CD can cost you up to $75. That may be a good thing, because this record needs to be played on vinyl.
The Twins: Talking Heads: 77 (1977) and Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols by The Sex Pistols (1977)
Same year, same color scheme. Coincidence?
The Best Cover: Forever Changes by Love (1967)
This is probably my favorite album cover. I actually wrote an analysis of it for my junior year English class. The band members’ faces are forming the shape of an actual human heart (not the continent of Africa, as I originally thought). This is a commentary on the hippie obsession with peace and love. The album itself could be described as a dark and realistic take on the counterculture, which is reflected on the cover by their biological representation of the heart instead of the heart “icon“.
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