My Record Collection: A Guided Tour


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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  1. Satanic Majesties was, for some of us, the Stones’ nadir. It was the point at which Jagger & Richards realised they couldn’t out-Beatle the Beatles. Their next album was back to business, Beggar’s Banquet, and absolutely bloody brilliant. They followed that up with Let It Bleed. What more could you want? By the way, I’m pretty sure you’re right that Arcade Fire are the band of the century so far. I would love to see them live.

    1. I agree that Satanic Majesties is not the best Stones record, but I still think it’s pretty good and it shows that the band were competent at whatever genre they tackled. And even though they may have copied The Beatles on the cover, the sound of the record is very different from Sgt. Pepper’s. Also, The Rolling Stones’ pop/psychedelic period may have been heavily influenced by The Beatles, but that doesn’t mean it was bad. Aftermath and Between the Buttons are very highly regarded albums. Satanic Majesties was a little indulgent, but there are some great songs regardless.

  2. Great collection! Very rare shout out to the Kinks. Arthur is good but I live muswell hillbillies!

    Drums/vocals: Levon Helm
    Bass: John Paul Jones
    rhythm guitar: Robbie Robertson
    Lead guitar: Keith Richards
    Keyboard/vocals: Steve winwood
    Sax: bobby keys
    Lead vocals: joe cocker

    Listening to my iPod and thought about this fantasy supergroup

  3. This is really cool! When I was a kid, my dad had a huge collection of vinyl records, and I remember him playing his records every Sunday afternoon. I love vinyl records for they represent and the memories they bring back. Way more than just ‘vintage’!

  4. I got rid of a load of vinyl fairly recently, some was mine which were mainly club music from back in my youth (acid house, deep house, garage etc) others were my dad’s which was a lot of Jazz, big band and swing. I didn’t have the room (nor a turntable etc) so whilst I like music, I don’t have the space for vinyl. I’ve not really listen to much bad from the 60s though, perhaps Ill grab a listen one day.

    1. That’s interesting, too bad you had to get rid of your records! To me, vinyl is like a cool rare relic, but I guess to you it’s pretty commonplace. Also, you probably had many more than I do.

      1. Yeah I had lots, maybe 200/300 but not all of it rare or particularly good. it was mostly in good condition thought.

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