….or ten. I just bought myself a record player (for the first time), which finally arrived yesterday. I don’t know what exactly drove my decision to get one other than a sense of nostalgia that’s come over me recently, but regardless, I’m now the proud owner of my first record player. I decided to start with a cheaper one, partially because it’s gorgeous, portable and it’s the first one I fell in love with– as well as being affordable for a postgrad without a job and with plans to move.
Audiophiles and lovers of vinyl, forgive me for not knowing what I’m really talking about (yet). I’m new at this.
I’ve started my collection with some classics, some recent favorites, and a couple of records from my parent’s collection (one of which was actually my grandmother’s). Here’s what I have so far:
AM Arctic Monkeys
I love the new Arctic Monkeys album and can’t stop listening to it. The sound quality on the record player itself is also stellar. It’s very clear and the music retains its haunting but relaxed tone.
Kind of Blue Miles Davis
If I ever needed a good jazz album in my life, this is definitely one of the best. Miles Davis is a genius, and the songs of this album sound perfectly suited to vinyl. I feel like I’m right there in a jazz club listening to the performers.
The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is my favorite. Though new to the fan base (well, I’m about two years in now, but I didn’t grow up listening to him because my mother is not a fan of his), this is by far my favorite record of his. My favorite song (perhaps ever) is on it (Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right), and though slightly tinny, the record sounds fabulous.
Blonde on Bonde Bob Dylan
Told you I was a fan. This has my second favorite song on it, and was recommended as one of the classic records I should have in my starter collection. I’m not lying: I’m thrilled I have two Bob Dylan records to help me start on my way to being a collector. It also sounds a bit tinny, but that may just be the record player.
For Emma, Forever Ago Bon Iver
This is absolutely my favorite Bon Iver album, and that decision was not easy to make. But I grabbed this when I was out shopping and I am so thrilled to have this as part of my collection. Listening to it puts me right back to relaxing in my friend’s dorm room and nearly falling asleep because I was so comfortable and happy just listening to this record. Sound quality on this one is perfect.
The Stranger Billy Joel
This is one of the two records I grabbed from my parent’s collection, because they had two copies. Both of my parents are huge Billy Joel fans, which became even more evident when I noticed that there are a lot of scratches on the vinyl. Regardless, I’m really excited to listen more to this album (and any other Billy Joel I can get my hands on). Until it really starts annoying me that I keep skipping my favorite parts of Vienna, I’m happy to have this older copy in my collection. It makes me feel somehow closer to my parents. Or maybe to their past selves at my age.
Praise God I’m Satisfied Blind Willie Johnson
I’m not entirely sure how I became acquainted with Blind Willie Johnson (I think it was an episode of Star Trek… seriously), but I was thrilled to find this album when I was out searching for records. His music is not what I typically listen to, but I’m so glad that I have such an iconic blues singer to become more familiar with on this little musical journey I’ve started.
Legend Bob Marley & the Wailers
Bob Marley is another artist I adore but haven’t become familiar enough with over the years. His music has this unique ability to both relax and energize me simultaneously (as counter-intuitive as that sounds). The sound quality is good, and I can’t wait to pretend I’m on vacation and relaxing on a beach when I put this on next.
The Best of Edith Piaf Edith Piaf
This was my grandmother’s record, but the sound quality is spectacular and it has almost no scratches. Edith Piaf’s music also makes me feel a fundamental connection to my grandmother, who adored her music. So, on many levels, I can feel that this is going to be one of my most-loved records.
Radio Tisdas Sessions Tinariwen
Tinariwen is an African band that I discovered at the same time I found my record player for the first time. Having never heard them before, I bought one song that I enjoyed the iTunes preview of and I’m now hooked. It’s a sound completely unlike anything I’ve heard before, and though this record also sounds a bit tinny, I am so glad to have more of their music in my life. I don’t understand the words, but the group has a clear mastery of music that transcends language.
I also bought David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, which hasn’t arrived yet. I also have a Robert Johnson record in my sights now as my next purchase.
The two things I’ve learned for sure from all of this? One: I need more jazz in my life. Two: I have to stop finding the most expensive hobbies.