One of the things I’m most proud of is my vinyl collection; first thing I bought on my first paycheck ever was a record player, followed by countless LPs, EPs and 7”s. I’m a huge sucker for rare vinyl, especially rare B-sides or coloured 7”s, ranging in genre from indie rock to post-punk to grunge.
My record player is a beautiful Auna Jerry Lee Nostalgy, and it’s a converted briefcase with black and white leather, giving it this really cool 60s vintage look. Vinyl has been making a huge comeback recently, with sites like Pledge Music and Flying Vinyl helping get those small independent bands pressed into wax.
The vinyl revival is on! Sales peaked at £2.5 million- how mad is that? My mum was one of those hip teenagers in the 70s, and passed on all her old records to me (mainly The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Blondie), but most of my collection is actually modern rock bands. Arctic Monkeys, Slaves, Royal Blood, Foals, Black Honey, Catfish and The Bottlemen, and Nirvana are just a few of the bands I own records of.
I can proudly say I own exactly 100 records on vinyl, from rare 7”s to more mainstream LPs. I thought I’d go through my collection and list of my favourite pieces for you:
- Arctic Monkeys- Matador/ Da Frame 2R 7” on limited edition white vinyl
- Slaves- The Hunter 7” on limited edition red vinyl
- VANT- Fly By Alien 7” on glow in the dark vinyl (Record Store Day release)
- Royal Blood- Royal Blood LP on limited edition reverse sleeve, number 503)
- Black Honey- Headpin EP on red vinyl & All My Pride/ On Your Time 7″ on mint blue vinyl
- Wolf Alice- Blush EP
- Blaenavon- Let’s Pray/ I Will Be The World split 7”
- Slaves/ Wonk Unit- Take Control/ We Are The England 7”
- Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes- Modern Ruin LP on split cranberry and white vinyl
- Catfish and The Bottlemen- Hourglass 7” on limited edition white vinyl
In terms of my set-up, I’ve basically transformed my bookshelf into a vinyl shelf, with my LPs, 7”s and CDs all set up on there. What I love about vinyl is that pure authenticity you get with it; that little scratchy raw sound is just so enthralling to listen to, just giving you the most vivid rock sound.
It’s not just that touch of gravel and more vintage bite the sound has which makes vinyl records so amazing, it’s the whole look of them. Most of my 7”s are coloured, and so stunning to look at, for example my Foals Cassisus clear 7”, or King Nun Tulip neon yellow/ green 7”. The artwork on vinyl is so much more impressive and staggering too, with the intricate artwork and clever design much more clear than what you get on a digital version of the artwork.
For me, having albums like Pink Floyd’s The Division Bell or Arctic Monkeys’ AM really emphasises this. The inner sleeve is gorgeous too, something I’ve picked up on all my Arctic Monkeys and The Last Shadow Puppets LPs. For any rock music lover, vinyl really is quintessential; unlike the pure refined sound from CDs or MP3 audio, vinyl produces a rough, scratchy sound, with that pure authentic rock edge.
The sheer overwhelming beauty of reverse sleeves, the little poems and anecdotes inside the sleeve, and the mesmerisingly stunning coloured vinyl are all reasons why I collect vinyl and play them all the time- and it’s beyond clear with the rise in vinyl sales and the popularity of vinyl records in recent years that a vinyl revival is completely taking over the music industry.