Masthead
One of my photos

Vinyl Collection Mk2

Sony turntable on top of a cabinet with room for about 50 albums
Bluetooth turntable with the start of a new record collection

Having disposed of a collection of several hundred albums and boxes of singles, I started again in 2022, aiming to have a much smaller but more selective collection of vinyl, possibly limited to no more than 50 albums, and I don’t intend to re-buy anything that I used to have on vinyl or already have on CD – though I might make an exception if I ever see a copy of the 4-track 12″ single of Paul Hardcastle remixes of Ian Dury & the Blockheads tracks – but it does prevent me from re-buying some of my favourite albums like Live & Dangerous, Close to the Edge or A Trick of the Tail. I might conveniently forget that limitation if I see a copy of Entertainment! by Gang of Four going cheap.

Thanks to the temptations of car boot sales and record fairs I broke the 50 LP barrier within 6 months or so…

This is where I got to after about a year:

Collection after one year… I may have to start putting them in alphabetical order.

Albums

  • Athletico Spizz 80 – Do A Runner
  • The Spizzles – Spikey Dream Flower
  • Gary Numan – Intruder
  • Anna Calvi – Hunter
  • PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
  • Public Service Broadcasting – Inform, Educate, Entertain
  • Nadine Shah – Kitchen Sink
  • Peter Gabriel – Peter Gabriel (Melt)
  • 10cc – Deceptive Bends
  • Johnny Marr – Fever Dreams parts 1 to 4
  • Baxter Dury – Mr. Maserati
  • Cate Le Bon – Reward
  • Tim Bowness – Butterfly Mind
  • Jah Wobble – Metal Box – Rebuilt In Dub
  • Ted Nugent – Free for All
  • Bachman-Turner Overdrive – Not Fragile
  • Tony Banks – A Curious Feeling
  • Joe Jackson – I’m The Man
  • Electric Light Orchestra – Discovery
  • Finn Brothers – Finn
  • Steven Wilson – The Future Bites
  • King Crimson – Discipline
  • The Beatles – Abbey Road
  • The Beatles – White Album
  • Soft Cell – *Happinesss Not Included
  • Betty Boo – Boomerang
  • Toyah – In the Court of the Crimson Queen – Rhythm Deluxe
  • Boz Scaggs – Silk Degrees
  • Thin Lizzy – Black Rose
  • Steve Hackett – Spectral Mornings
  • Jean Michel Jarre – Equinoxe
  • Gerry Rafferty – City to City
  • Daryl Hall & John Oates – Marigold Sky
  • Marillion – Fugazi
  • The Good, The Bad and The Queen – Merrie England
  • Yello – Of Course I’m Lying
  • Level 42 – Running In The Family
  • Steve Howe – Beginnings
  • Iron Maiden – Senjatsu
  • Porcupine Tree – Closure / Continuation
  • Riverside – ID.Entity
  • Yes – Mirror to the Sky
  • Bananarama – Deep Sea Skiving
  • Alexander O’Neal – Hearsay
  • Yes – Drama
  • Thomson Twins – Into the Gap
  • Jon Anderson – Olias of Sunhillow
  • The Alan Parsons Project – The Turn of a Friendly Card
  • Cat Stevens – Teaser and the Firecat
  • The Eagles – Their Greatest Hits
  • New Model Army – The Ghost of Cain
  • Al Stewart – Time Passages
  • Soul II Soul – Club Classics Vol. One
  • U2 – October
  • Argent – Encore
  • Was (Not Was) – What Up Dog?
  • Jean-Michel Jarre – Les Chants Magnetiques
  • Wishbone Ash – Argus
  • Bruce Springsteen – Tunnel of Love
  • Stevie Wonder – Songs in the Key of Life
  • Jethro Tull – The Broadsword and the Beast
  • Mike Rutherford – Smallcreep’s Day
  • Marillion – Misplaced Childhood
  • INXS – Listen Like Thieves
  • Jean-Michel Jarre – Oxygene
  • Brand X – Moroccan Roll
  • Ultravox – The Collection
  • The Alan Parsons Project – Ammonia Avenue
  • Dire Straits – Love Over Gold
  • Robert Palmer – Clues
  • Aswad – Distant Thunder
  • Blur – The Ballad of Darren
  • Prince & the Revolution – Purple Rain
  • Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures
  • Madness – The Liberty of Norton Folgate
  • Elton John – Tumbleweed Connection
  • Rod Stewart – Atlantic Crossing
  • Carly Simon – No Secrets
  • Split Enz – Beginning of the Enz
  • Trevor Rabin – Wolf
  • Brand X – Livestock
  • Average White Band – Average White Band
  • Elton John – Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player (x2)
  • Genesis – Nursery Cryme
  • Deep Purple – Made in Europe
  • Steely Dan – Can’t Buy a Thrill
  • Steely Dan – Pretzel Logic
  • The Crusaders – Street Life
  • Mike Oldfield – Incantations
  • 10CC – Bloody Tourists
  • Al Stewart – Russians & Americans
  • Al Stewart – 22 Carrots
  • Maze – We Are One
  • Hot Chocolate – 20 Hottest Hits
  • Weather Report – Weather Reports
  • Heaven 17 – Penthouse and Pavement
  • Robert Palmer – Heavy Nova
  • Peter Gabriel – Car
  • Spandau Ballet – Journeys to Glory
  • The Streets – Original Pirate Material
  • Mel & Kim – FLM
  • Thomson Twins – Quick Step & Side Kick
  • The Rolling Stones – Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass)
  • Roxy Music – Greatest Hits
  • Joe Jackson – Look Sharp
  • Imagination – Body Talk
  • Tom Robinson Band – Power in the Darkness
  • Kid Creole & the Coconuts – Tropical Gangsters
  • Simply Red – A New Flame
  • Judas Priest – British Steel
  • The Alan Parsons Project – I Robot
  • The Clash – Combat Rock
  • Rory Gallagher – The Story So Far
  • Patrick Moraz – Out in the Sun
  • Talking Heads – Little Creatures
  • Level 42 – World Machine
  • Elvis Costello & the Attractions – Armed Forces
  • Al Stewart – Year of the Cat
  • 10cc – The Original Soundtrack
  • The Alan Parsons Project – Tales of Mystery & Imagination
  • Dire Straits – Making Movies
  • The Boomtown Rats – A Tonic for the Troops
  • Simply Red – Picture Book
  • David Essex – Rock On
  • Chris Squire – Fish out of Water
  • PFM – Chocolate Kings
  • Bronski Beat – Age of Consent
  • Spyro Gyra – Catching the Sun
  • Elvis Costello – This Year’s Model
  • Japan – Gentlemen Take Polaroids
  • Madness – Theatre of the Absurd Presents C’est La Vie
  • Genesis – BBC Broadcasts
  • Mike Oldfield – Hergest Ridge
  • Mike Oldfield – Ommadawn
  • Mike Oldfield – Crises
  • Pet Shop Boys – Actually
  • Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water
  • The Orb & David Gilmour – Magnetic Spheres in Colour
  • Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells
  • Mike Oldfield – QE2
  • Mike Oldfield – Five Miles Out
  • Mike Oldfield – Platinum
  • Rod Stewart – Foot Loose & Fancy Free
  • ABBA – The Album Super Trouper
  • Al Stewart – Last Days of the Century
  • Gordon Giltrap – Perilous Journey
  • Rod Stewart – A Night on the Town
  • Rod Stewart – Smiler
  • Ultravox – Quartet
  • Robert Palmer – Secrets
  • Phil Collins – Hello, I Must Be Going!
  • The Alan Parsons Project – Eve
  • Dire Straits – Dire Straits
  • Santana – Santana’s Greatest Hits
  • Focus – Moving Waves
  • Be Bop Deluxe – Modern Music
  • Paul Simon – Greatest Hits, Etc.
  • Bruce Springsteen – Darkness at the Edge of Town
  • Bruce Springsteen – Born in the USA
  • Wings – Venus & Mars
  • The Police – Synchronicity
  • Steven Wilson – The Harmony Codex
  • Pip Blom – Welcome Break

12″ Singles

  • Viva Lula – Dad Sings the Blues
  • Uropa Lula – Fell Upon A Jewel
  • Kitchens of Distinction – Breathing Fear

7″ Singles

  • Spizzoil – 6000 Crazy
  • Spizzoil – Cold City
  • Spizzenergi – Soldier, Soldier
  • Spizzenergi – Where’s Captain Kirk?
  • Athletico Spizz 80 – No Room
  • Athletico Spizz 80 – Hot Deserts
  • Athletico Spizz 80 – Central Park
  • The Spizzles – Risk
  • The Spizzles – Dangers of Living
  • Spizzenergi 2 – Work
  • Spizzenergi 2 – Jungle Fever

10″ EPs

  • Dead Kennedys – Holiday in Cambodia/Too Drunk to Fuck + original B sides

Not sure where to go next, but it will be a mixture of new music and classics and suggestions welcome below…

Current thoughts of things that might be nice to listen to are: Steely Dan, Billy Joel, Siouxsie & the Banshees (pre-Ju-Ju), XTC, Kate Bush, Paul Simon (pre-Graceland), Rory Gallagher, Can, OMD, Fugazi, Matiel, Joni Mitchell, and some reggae (dub or dancehall probably).

Places to buy records

Back in the day records were mostly only available in shops and the only choice was whether to go to a generic high street shop like Our Price or WH Smiths, a massive shop like Tower Records, Virgin Megastore or the HMV in Oxford Street, or a local independent if you had one. There is less choice of shops now (though it is getting better thanks to the young hipsters) but more variety of other choices.

Here are a few of the places I have tried looking for vinyl

  • Online Stores
    The big one is obviously Amazon. It has nearly everything but apart from a few special deals it isn’t cheap. I have found things on the HMV store that I couldn’t find on Amazon.
    It is also worth looking at more specialist stores that are associated with labels for things on that label, especially Cherry Red, Burning Shed and Soul Jazz Records and it sometimes you can do well looking at artists’ own websites.
    There are a couple of Twitter accounts that point out good deals but you need to be quick to snap them up. I did manage to get the Beatles’ white album and Abbey Road as a bundle for £20 thanks to a tip-off from them.
  • HMV
    After closing lots of shops, HMV has been expanding again and with a much larger vinyl section. Can be some bargains if what you want in the in the 3 for £55 or similar deals. The selection is not what it was back in the 70s or 80s shops but getting better.
  • Charity Shops
    Some people keep posting on Twitter about the brilliant bargains they have found in the chazzas, but I have not been so lucky. I have looked in all the shops in Heathfield, Crawley, Coulsdon, and Horsham and not seen a single thing that tempted me, except one record I already had. There is a tendency for anything slightly decent to be over-priced. A good place to look if you want Reader’s Digest classical boxes, 70s easy listening, Peter & Lee, Ray Conniff, or the Shadows 20 Golden Greats, but otherwise a big blank so far.
  • Car Boot Sales
    These can be a bit hit and miss, and you probably need to get there early for any real goodies but I have still found a few things of interest. Certainly more chance of finding something than at a charity shop. Also: some markets are very similar to car boot sales and can be fruitful.
  • Record Fairs
    There are a lot of these now. We have regular ones in Crawley, Horsham and East Grinstead that are convenient for me. I am not interested in the expensive limited editions, rare Japanese imports and similar because I’m collecting to listen to the records not for the sake of collecting or as an investment but there are plenty of expensive rarities if that floats your boat. Of more interest to me is the wide choice of records in the £5 to £10 range, usually with some discount for buying multiples – like £5 each or 5 for £20.
    I will usually leave a record fair having spent £20 to £30 and with between 4 and 10 records.
  • Brighton
    There are shops selling a mixture of new and second-hand records popping up in lots of places now, unfortunately not in Crawley though. Where they do exist they tend to be the only one in the town or village but in Brighton there are loads of vinyl shops in a small area, so great for a spree.
    Resident Records is great if you want new vinyl and are prepared to pay full whack for it. Bella Union is obviously the place to go for anything on that label. Otherwise there are plenty of shops with various specialities and some bargains to be had in the street markets and the indoor market.
    On my first shopping trip to the Lanes I spent £40 and came home with a dozen LPs.
  • Online Markets
    I have yet to try buying anything from eBay, Discogs or Facebook Marketplace. Discogs looks good for if you want something very specific but I prefer browsing.

In order of preference, I think I like record fairs best, then Brighton, then car boots for browsing. For specific new releases I like sites like Cherry Red and Burning Shed as a first choice.

1 Comment

One Comment so far ↓

  • David Flint

    Hi Andy,

    Just found your website (again). Happy to report the Sondek is still going strong – the original power supply finally gave up the ghost this year so I fitted a new one (with electronic speed control, very fancy shmancy). Once I got it up and running my daughter fell in love with the sound and she’s now the proud owner of a Rega Planar 3 50th anniversary and is rapidly overtaking me in no of records owned. Still makes me smile whenever I put a disc on… Thanks again for letting me buy it from you

    Dave

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