Why I Started Collecting Vinyl

Where is the perfect place to commit an impulse buy?

Your first response probably wouldn't be Walmart, but as I accompanied my mom at our local store, I wandered off down the raises while she went grocery shopping. It was then that I saw it: a vinyl copy of Fine Line by Harry Styles. This album has been on repeat at my house since it was released in December. I enjoy the honest storytelling, imagery, and instrumentals that Styles conveyed throughout the entire album, but I had been seeing fans posting videos of how certain songs sounded on vinyl since December.

It would always make me feel a different type of way, hearing how some of my favorite songs off the album like “Golden” and the title track “Fine Line” sounded on vinyl compared to just streaming the album on Spotify. I remember being thirteen, scrolling through Tumblr and seeing all these aesthetically pleasing photos of Crosley suitcase record players. Back then, I always wanted to start collecting, but in my eyes, it was too expensive. The most popular vinyl’s I would see all over my Tumblr feed was 1975  and AM by the Arctic Monkeys.

 

With this in mind, I decided to purchase my very first vinyl.  But with all honesty, the plain answer to why I started collecting was boredom, and I wanted to start a new collection. I am still one of the few people I know that enjoys buying a physical copy of a CD, so why not add to my growing collection and start collecting records as well?

Keith Caulfield described in an article for Billboard that was posted in March of this year that, ”overall album sales are tumbling, and streaming continues to go through the roof, the once nearly-dead vinyl album format continues to be a bright spot in an otherwise bleak album sales picture.” This demonstrates that other fans alike are continuing to support a format of music that provides enjoyment to them. With purchasing a physical copy of an album, it also goes to support the artist more, especially if they are smaller producers that depend on physical purchases of their music to help them in climb the music charts or increase their overall revenue.

An interesting thing I have loved about collecting vinyl since I started is colored pressings. Most of the colored pressings I have managed to find I got them at affordable prices either on the artist's website or second-hand through eBay or Depop. One of my favorite colored pressings I have is actually the pressing of Fine Line. It is a beautiful black and white splatter on clear vinyl, and I just love it. Since vinyl collecting is not very popular, colored pressings tend to go up in price big time. Although I would never imagine selling one of my colored vinyl, I do know that some of the records I have in my collection are rare.

 

It is expensive. I will give you that. If you do want to start collecting, make sure you are prepared for how much it is going to cost, because you will have to buy a turntable, external speakers and obviously the vinyl. From my limited research, I would say my setup is basic, but it was worth the cost. Initially, I did want to purchase the Crosley record players I had seen all over Tumblr in 2014, but after reading many reviews from people online saying that the record player would scratch the vinyl’s, I decided to purchase one that costed more. It has been so worth it. I ended up getting an Audio-Technica LP60X and just purchased a random computer speaker that has been working perfectly fine for me.

I feel that since I started my vinyl collection in May, I have a deeper appreciation for the music I listen to. The instrumentals really shine through, as you can clearly hear the bass and guitars better than compared to listening on your AirPods. It creates a different type of feeling when I pull a vinyl record out and place it on my turntable. Just having to physically drop the needle, feeling the slow anticipation starts as you wait for the beautiful sound of your favorite album to begin...I have enjoyed it so much every time. 

Vinyl collecting may not be for everyone, but if you want to hear music on a literal other level, then I highly recommend making your first impulse buy!