From connection to collection: love for vinyl
Written by Raquel Wood on April 26, 2023
Vinyl collecting is a timeless hobby that allows music enjoyers to connect with the art. In a time where music is widely accessible through streaming, what motivates one to keep up with it? Each person has a unique vision and reasoning behind their collection. Perhaps it’s the element of exploration in the process; time spent in record stores flipping through the tabs for that one album, and coming across unexpected gems. Perhaps there’s something about physically holding adored music and bringing it home to the record player that makes some people’s hearts beat with happiness.
Something that keeps me drawn to the physical copy of a record is the creativity that can be found on the packaging as well as within the record sleeve. The aesthetics, the posters and lyric booklets all designed as expressions of the album’s theme. However, the ultimate factor that brings a record to my collection is the impact it’s had in certain moments of my life. It becomes part of something I call a “chronological curation”. The records have become symbols of my experiences. Like the scent of a certain candle, a song can bring those memories back to me.
To put it short, I enjoy collecting records that mean a lot to me, and I’d love to tell you about some of them. Consider this to be a small list of recommendations as well.
Timeless: The All-Time Greatest Hits by Bee Gees
Bee Gees was the first music group that I became entranced by. At 8 years old, I was totally wrapped up in their late ’70s sound. The harmonizing vocals and groovy disco instrumentals always makes me think of a retro-styled diner that I once went to, where sometimes their songs would play through the speakers. Now when I hear a Bee Gees song, I also hear the sizzling of burgers, remember the sense of a busy atmosphere, the sound of people talking loudly over each other, and the taste of fries and a chocolate milkshake.
As I got older, I searched more of the trio’s discography and grew an even deeper admiration for their music, especially when I took the time to read lyrics and enjoy the songs in a much calmer setting. However, Bee Gees will always rekindle that thankfully safe and bright feeling of childhood back to me. Sometimes self- care is dancing and singing along to “Stayin’ Alive,” “You Should Be Dancing,” “More Than a Woman,” and getting a milkshake.
Ctrl by SZA
I am still in the middle of completing my undergraduate degree, but I already know that Ctrl will exist in my collection as the staple symbol of college. The alternative R&B album has accompanied my dear friends and I on late night drives to the beach, where we sit with the soft rising and falling waves. Those nights are always remembered as something so lovely, especially when there is a gentle breeze, and the stars are just a little more visible in the sky. SZA’s confessional lyricism and soothing flow has also made Ctrl the only album that I feel suitable to be the soundtrack of messy moments of my insecurity and confusion. I consider it to be the comfort album of my early 20s, and I’m sure that there are a lot of 20- somethings who have also shared messy times and sleepless nights with this record.
Alive II by KISS
I had never been interested in listening to Kiss, until my grandpa gave me his original copy of Alive II after I told him that I started a record collection. Despite it being a rock album, I think of it as the gentle hug within my stack of albums because it has been handed down to me by someone who had his own memories and connections with the music.
I find that the stories and sentiment behind a record truly that warms my heart, and I see myself giving pieces of my collection to people who I know will appreciate and care for them when I’m no longer able to. I’m only 21, so for now, I’ll continue to cherish spinning these records and listening to some good music.