I envy my father. He comes from an era where a record collection was truely a record collection. Stacks and stacks of vinyl from 7-inch to 12-inch leading to the impressive display in the living room that I used to thumb through in my youth. Back then the names were unfamiliar, silly and strange. Now though I recognise them as music greats. The Temptaions, Howard Jones, Bee Gees, Taj Mahal. Gorgeous covers with a slightly musty smell.
Now record collections run the risk of being nothing more than a track list on your computer hard drive. A little grey (or pink or green) box you carry around with those oh so stylish white headphones. ( I refuse to wear those head phones. They’re actually very tinny and say quite freely to potential muggers ‘ohhh look I have an iPod.’)
A lot of my friends say I have an amazing record collection. “Wow you name it, you’ve got it.” At a gig last night a customer was really impressed saying he’d never seen such a variety. I am, however, reminded of the saying quality not quantity. This is where dad-envy comes in. You see my dad’s collection was a proper collection, artist albums. These days most collection are made up of compilation albums. It is often the easiest way to get music you want. Gone are the works of art that used to grace the cover, sure the covers are a lot smaller these days but now lack the striking collages of Sgt Pepper or the simple striking imagery of Dark Side Of The Moon. Instead you see the easy way out – photos of the artists and that’s about it.
When I’m older I will have, and already have, a very large CD collection. But I doubt it’ll evoke the same nostalgia as that of my dad’s.