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Starting and Growing a Vinyl Collection

Collecting vinyl records has become a hobby that lots of people are getting into or are re-visiting. Lots of companies sell inexpensive record players that can be found just about anywhere. The idea of starting a vinyl collection can be somewhat daunting. Knowing which albums to buy can feel overwhelming and not completely easy on the pocket. Albums usually start at around $20, but go up from there. The following are some tips and considerations to make when you are starting and growing a vinyl collection.

Track down your “island list”

Most people are familiar with the game where people discuss which crucial items they would want with them on a desert island. Think about what your all-time favorite albums would be and search for those. Don’t necessarily search for albums that you’ve “heard” are good, get ones that have been tried and true in your life. One of the benefits of listening to albums is that you’re not likely to skip around tracks, you’re probably going to listen to the whole thing straight through, so think about records that you love listening to from start to finish. Think about the ones you are emotionally invested in and could jam to time and time again.

Think back to your childhood

If you’re over the age of 30, chances are good that your parents played vinyl around the house. What is an album or albums that you have fond memories of? Maybe it’s a record that you remember your mom and dad dancing to in the kitchen. Perhaps it’s the soundtrack to a movie that your whole family enjoyed. Or maybe it’s a holiday album that played every Christmas morning. Whatever it may be, it’s tremendously satisfying to find the old records and add a splash of nostalgia to your collection. There are lots of places that sell used records that (even though they aren’t always in the best shape) are worth getting to recall wonderful, old memories.

Creating an art museum

Vinyl is, of course, wonderful for the music it produces, which is the primary reason to get it. You should also consider the value of both the album artwork as well as the vinyl itself. One of the sad realities of CDs, and now downloadable music, is that we miss out on the full splendor of the album art. With vinyl you get a 12” X 12” canvas of artwork that is beautiful to behold, but you also get something lovely to display while the music is playing. Something to contemplate and consider. Album art is carefully selected by musical artists to accompany the music that they have created. So if you are looking to grow your collection, why not judge a book by its cover, as it were? See some cover art that makes you feel something? Buy it and you just may be introduced to a new world of tunes. Furthermore, many times you will find that the vinyl disc itself can be a work of art. Lots of albums come in colorful options, which are sometimes a little more expensive but worth the investment. Some vinyl is transparent, some covered in splotches, and some are even shaped differently!

So there you have it: Three different ways to look at your approach to starting and growing a vinyl collection. Don’t try to create it all in one day. Part of the fun is searching for vinyl over time at garage sales, thrift stores, record stores, and different online retailers. Have a blast, and happy listening!

Now that you have your music, let’s talk about the Must Haves for a Home Bar.

What do you think?

Written by Damien Cowger


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