How my record collection got started

If you’ve listened to any episode of Guess That Record, you’ll know how my record collection is a huge part of the show, it’s what inspired the creation of the podcast after all. The initial idea of the show would have been that I pulled a random record from the collection, and that record would be the topic of discussion for that episode. However, I noticed that there were other podcasts with that format, which forced me to get creative (and that created this podcast so it worked out). My collection consists of 366 vinyl albums, and that’s not even including the CD’s and Tapes. This journey all started during Grade 10 back in 2014.

As a high school kid who rediscovered music and was now more interested in it than ever, I was envious of my bandmate’s vinyl collection and wanted to get into collecting. As he had shown me, vinyl had a superior sound, and there was something magical about putting on a record and letting the sound take over. As I’ve learned more about the process of creating an album on vinyl, the reason why so many people prefer the sound is scientific. For one, a vinyl record is a direct copy of the master recording that your favorite artist came up with in the studio. Our brains also hear things in analog.

That’s a big reason why so many people in this day and age are still drawn to vinyl. I didn’t know this stuff as a 15 year old when I started collecting albums, but I always felt like playing a vinyl album was like having the band playing in the same room as me. It offers a depth that digital recordings don’t have. You can really hear the room and all the little details on a vinyl record. My collection really began from my Dad who saved his turntable and all the albums he bought from the early 70s to late 80s. When I told him I was interested in getting more albums, he let me have all those records that were his. Almost like a starter pack for me.

He had some great records: The Beatles Blue Album, CCR’s Greatest Hits, Hotel California, Born in the USA, Purple Rain and so on. However, I was in my Led Zeppelin phase, and I needed one of their albums. On a cold spring day, I went down to Recordland, a shop in Calgary’s Inglewood neighbourhood, and bought a copy of Led Zeppelin IV for $20. Recordland felt daunting the first time I visited. It has so much for sale that it can feel intimidating if you don’t know what you’re looking for. But buying that Zeppelin album felt like a rite of passage.

To this day, I still make regular visits to Recordland, where the collection has slowly become a more accurate representation of my tastes and who I am as a person. The collection really exploded in size over the summers of 2017 and 18, when Recordland had a dollar sale. They would open up their back room stock and make everything in that room a dollar. I would grab at least 10 albums each time I went during those sales, because why not? It’s only a dollar after all. I’m very proud of my collection, and have no plans on slowing down. Here’s a list of some of the more noteworthy albums that I own:

  • All Things Must Pass by George Harrison (American first pressing)
  • The Smile Sessions box set by The Beach Boys
  • The Born in the U.S.A. 12″ Single Collection by Bruce Springsteen (A collection of singles that was only released in the UK. Came with a poster that I framed and hung up)
  • Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen (A scarce promotional copy of the album that would have been distributed to radio stations before the album’s release in 1975. Features a big Columbia Records sticker on the front that states to not resell the album. I purchased this copy at Holy Cow Records in Seattle)
  • In Through The Out Door by Led Zeppelin (With original paper bag outer sleeve. Given to me as a gift by Pat McAuley of Heavy Heart Sound. Pat recorded and produced my EP and first three singles)
  • Who Are You by The Who (On red vinyl. This version was only sold in Canada)
  • Hemispheres by Rush (Also on red vinyl. This version was also exclusive to Canada)