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20/05/2021 I have been building a collection for quite some time. I came across a first press “the wall” in 2015 and always kept my eyes open for a copy of my favourite “wish you were here” I received a phone call at 9am on this day letting me know my uncle Peter(massive pf fan) had passed away in his sleep. Whilst I was driving home that afternoon I decided to throw my Spotify on random. Shine on you crazy diamond began playing. I drove into town I had to collect some items and I was walking past my local record store and just out of curiosity stuck my head in. Wouldn’t believe it a first press of wish you were here was sitting there looking straight at me as I walked in the door. Postcard and everything all still intact. I’m not big on fate, but all the signs that day pointed me in the direction of that record.
I was a kid in Liverpool when this was released.
My Aunts and Uncles had a Dansette record player and every Saturday in the front parlour this and many more records would come out.
It came with me to Australia
It began a lifetime of collecting vinyl that to this day continues…………..
I grew up in a household full of music, whether it was the old radiogram or just the radio, hidden under my pillow at night time. For many of us who are collectors of vinyl we have inherited our parents vinyl collection, sadly my parents stack of 78s were donated to a local school and I don’t have them. But I do have some classic albums and singles. My parents were children of WW11 and the English town they lived in was a base for American GIs. My parents musical tastes were highly influenced by their American visitors! There are a couple of reason why I chose Nat King Cole over all the others, the year it was released is one of those reasons, 1958, my birth year. Plus my now love for jazz and blues music. So I’m thinking my parents did good and raised me to love and appreciate music of all genres and I would like to thank them for that.
Black and White is not the oldest album I own but it is the most important (the picture is of it framed and proudly hanging on my wall in my music room). In 1978, at the tender age of 13, I went to my first gig at the Glasgow Apollo and experienced the Stranglers, something that changed my life and made me who I am. The music, the performance, the audience and the venue are still with me today – etched into my memory. I found myself that night and have never looked back, I played in bands and still attend gigs when ever I can. I am proud to say that despite CD’s and digital versions, the original black and white coloured vinyl is still played today, it may be a bit worn (like me!) but still sounds fantastic.
They just don’t make it like they used to!
It’s a phrase often used to describe all sorts of “things” in our lives; be it clothes, cars or anything that means anything to us. But in this case, I refer to the type of music rather than the record pressing itself.
Backpacker rap. Indie rap. Or must independent music. Before such monikers were applied to the musical output of El-P. Before El Producto was popularised for his solo albums from the early to mid-noughties. Before the mass appeal of Jamie Moline’s Run the Jewels projects (they’ve now released 4!) with the powerhouse rapper that is Killer Mike.
Company Flow’s first LP represents the prime of late 90s underground hiphop music, pressed up on the-long-since-defunct record label Rawkus Records in 1997. It represents a period New York City rap music that was hardly accessible to the average fan of hip hop music. At the time of it’s release, I owned the CD version when because I remember buying it from Soul Sense, just off George Street where all current music from the R&B/Rap/HipHop/Soul/Funk genre was available. Rap music was not a popular genre, particularly when compared to how it exists here in now in the modern music streaming era. And so the fact that this album is not available on any of the streaming services; puts further resonance to its existence in my music collection.
I finally acquired the vinyl release in 2019, before the pandemic situation we find ourselves in here and now. At one of my favourite music stores, Egg Records in Newtown. I lived in Marrickville at the time, and would occasionally wonder down through Newtown via Enmore, to vist the likes of Papa Disquo, Repressed Records, and Halcyon Daze.
At Egg Records, I rarely look at the second display wall, not the wall immediately on one’s left upon entry to the store which also displays t-shirts, but the second wall of displayed records on the right, just after the glass shop counter. Because 2nd hand hip hop music, is just not that popular or readily available.
But there it was, barely propped up and somehow magically pinned to the black felt covered wall, piercing the clear plastic sleeve that enshrined the 22-year-old record. The distinct blueish purple hued painted cover of two alien-like creatures with the words: COMPANY FLOW plastered at the top of the cover, was screaming at me. My internalised excitement could barely be contained.
Before I could reach up to retrieve the artifact before me, I looked over at Baz at the counter, he was busy cleaning what appeared to be an endless pile of second hand records, and asked when it had arrived.
“It came in last week, but I only just put it up this morning” said Baz.
“I wasn’t sure what to price it” he added.
I looked at him in amazement. The price was irrelevant. I had to have it. I didn’t bother checking Discogs on my phone either. I inspected the condition of the records briefly and could tell it was immaculate. Clearly Baz had cleaned it thoroughly as he normally does. And with a few breaths it was paid for, bagged and carefully tucked in under my arm.
I couldn’t wait to go home and transport myself back to that time and place of hip hop history, and in my mind, the glory days indie rap music.
A couple of years ago my wife and I were on a trip to Japan where we stumbled upon a Disk Union store in Shinjuku. The store boasted several floors, a genre for each floor in fact.
I was browsing the jazz section when I came across George Benson’s Breezin’ (released 1976). I had always loved the track ‘Affirmation’ and I couldn’t believe the condition knowing its age, with OBI intact too!
This isn’t a rare record by any means but it holds a special place to my heart (and ears) and when playing always reminds me of our trip to Japan.
I was 13yo, growing up in England and just starting to explore different musical styles. According to the press Emerson, Lake & Palmer were a “supergroup” so I thought this would be a good place to start. A few weeks of saving pocket money and I had my first album: Pictures At An Exhibition. The fact it is based on a classical piece of work was a bonus as my Dad owned our only record player (HMV) and he liked classical music so I was able to get it played without too much hassle. Not that he liked it! It is the first album I bought with my own money and I remember agonising over the purchase. The other contenders were Slade and Uriah Heep.
One morning in August 1971, when I was ten years old and my family were holidaying in Bournemouth on the south coast of England, my grandmother said to me, ‘If you could have anything you liked right now what would it be?’
It was to be our last holiday. My mother and father, my brother and me were migrating to Australia in the first week of September.
I asked, ‘If I had all the money in the world?’
Grandma snorted and said, ‘What if you had just five pounds?’
Just five pounds? It seemed like a fortune. The answer was easy.
I’d wanted the Beatles album ever since the film had been on television a few months earlier. I’d talked about it none stop and thought that maybe my parents would buy it for me as a Christmas present, though they’d give all the credit to Santa.
Grandma swung her legs over the side of the deckchair. ‘Come on then, our Dad, we’re taking this young man into town. We’re going to get him some help.’ Making it sound like I was sick in the head.
We went to a department store in the centre of town, and headed straight for the record department, where Grandpa watched me lift the Help! album from a revolving wire stand.
Back at the beach, we walked along the Promenade, my grandmother’s arm scraping against mine. I could feel the age beneath her skin, the roughness the years had added to her, and felt afraid. I did not want her to die. I looked down at the sand where people sat in deckchairs, at the children running in and out of the tiny surf, at the pleasure boats on the bay, and thought, I never want this to end. Wishing it could go on forever, that we could transcend time, continue living this moment through eternity.
At our Chalet I showed my mother and father the Beatles record.
‘Hmm,’ my father said, one eye on the newspaper. ‘Good.’
My mother looked out over the top of her sunglasses, said, ‘He’s done nothing but talk about that record since the film was on television.’
I pulled out my battery-operated mono record player.
‘Every time you play that record you’ll think of us,’ Grandma said.
‘If you do start to forget us –’ Grandpa said.
But Grandma said, ‘He won’t forget us,’ and she leaned over and kissed me on the lips, sealing the promise.
And nor did I forget. Though Grandma and Grandpa are long gone, each time I hear that original record I’m transported back to them and to that day on the Promenade in August 1971. Help!, more than any other of my albums, certainly does transcend time, and I continue living that last holiday again and again.
I’ve (technically) had this record all my life. It belonged to my father and we’d listen to it on Saturday mornings when I was young. I grew up in the US and my dad is African-American so there was always lots of pride and culture in the music we listened to. Since I moved out here and my dad’s gotten older, he gave me a bunch of his old records, this one included. I love playing it because it reminds me of him and home.
The oldest record and pinnacle in my vinyl collection is The Who Dance Session EP from 1966.
My story – I picked this up in a pawn broker in Ballina back 28 yrs ago where I was visiting and walking past the front window display and saw this sitting on a small stand for 50c! I knew nothing about it (other than it was Pete Townsend and The Who) but went inside and bought it, purely because I thought the cover was so cool.
It was only years later when reading Aust Record Collector magazine that I discovered this was a rare pressing.
Back then the magazine described the 7″ EP as ‘impossibly rare’ and rated it as top 3 most collectable Australian EPs ever! Recorded on the Blue and White Festival label, its unknown how many copies were originally pressed.
Unbelievably, it turns out its estimated value is anywhere between $1,000 – $2,000!!! Ive since validated this on Discogs but I love it so much now I just cant part with it. Looks like Ill need to pass it down to my kids 🙂
I bought and played the Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP game on my iPod when I was a kid and was captivated by the music and the strange use of the vinyl in the game. So I bought the record from Jim Guthrie’s website.
My parents were seperating and my mum threw out a whole bunch of my dad’s stuff. I rescued this because my dad got it when he first arrived in Australia. He got it to fit in.