The joy of collecting music, and the stories they tell

I have always found such a profound joy in music. And especially in collecting music. I can still recall the first record I ever bought – a 7″ single of Earth, Wind and Fire’s Fantasy (1977), and today I still treasure the early albums that my mother presumably bought for me when I was very young – including the Rupert the Bear soundtrack, and remarkably Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.

Over the years I’ve amassed a generous amount of music, on cassette, CD, vinyl, and minidisc, all of which are arranged alphabetically, ready for immediate access should I have a sudden desire to listen to Tod Dockstader or Demdike Stare, or the soundtrack to Under the Skin, or an old Zoviet France cassette. My collection offers real personal meaning to me, carrying such memories with it, a picture of whom I once was and still am, changed yet still the same. Worn down 7″ singles speak of the angst of youth, LPs with beaten sleeves ring out with tales of repeated listening.

Every day I admire my collection, it’s visible within my home, not hidden away. Frequently I will randomly pick out a release to listen to it again and find a flyer inside for a show, or in the case of artists that I’ve befriended over the years discover some witty comment on the inner sleeve, such as Matthew Herbert writing “meet you under the clock tower at midnight” on an early release of his for me. Every release tells a different and personal story and that’s why they matter.

Today the very entertaining website Concrete Shelves features a rather playful feature on my record collection and I encourage you to take a read of it, then wander through other short features on other artists and their thoughts on collecting.

And now – it’s back to the music!

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