I got my beautiful Crosley Cruiser Turntable for Christmas 2014; I was starting to take a real interest in music, as opposed to a casual one. I’ve been brought up in a very music oriented household, there isn’t a weekend that goes by where Dad hasn’t got the speakers blasting Joy Division or David Bowie on full. I like to think I was brought up on an eclectic music collection Mum loves Blondie and Madonna, and Dad, although thinking the pair of them are fit, usually listens to iconic bands like The Smiths or Oasis, and it’s nice to share something like that with family. For the past 2 and a bit years, I’ve been collecting some nice pieces of vinyl, most of which have their own little story, so I thought I’d share my, albeit small, collection with you.
I’ll start with my first vinyl, which got absolutely hammered within the hours of it being my one and only vinyl: The 1975’s debut album. A lot of people slate The 1975, I mean, Healy is pretty pretentious and outlandish, perhaps a little too much so. However when the band released the debut, they were modest and had quite chilled, easy-listening music, which is what I love about this album. Girls and Chocolate were the upbeat ‘hits’ but tracks like Sex, Heart Out and Robbers are actually quite heart wrenching and, lyrically, quite clever. This definitely isn’t an album I’m embarrassed of owning.
Then there are a selection of records that Dad passed down to me, which include David Bowie’s Hunky Dory album and Wild Is The Wind 12” single, with Golden Years as the B-side. Hunky Dory has some proper classics on it, like Life On Mars, Changes and Queen Bitch, I also love how the sleeve is quite worn – this record was definitely shown a lot of love when Dad was younger.
I have four records that I own but have never actually played – I feel like that’s a crime – these were also from my Dad. Queen – A Night At The Opera, The John Lennon Collection, Paul McCartney – Tug Of War and U2 – The Unforgettable Fire, which has the song 4th of July on it, which is my Dad’s birthday.
Another Bowie vinyl I have is one that I brought last January in Manchester after a weekend out, I’m sure it was only about a fiver. It’s the Let’s Dance 12” single with Cat People on the B-side. Let’s Dance is a contender for one of my favourite Bowie songs.
Christmas 2015 I was brought two vinyls in memory of my friend Jordan, who passed away in that October. The first was Legend – The Best of Bob Marley and The Wailers; Jordan loved Bob, and when we were all at the local church, the pub, or just any social event where all of Jord’s family and friends were together, we’d play Three Little Birds and One Love. The next was Ed Sheeran’s – Multiply; as Jordan’s family and friends walked his coffin down the aisle they played Photograph – it’s a beautiful song and I’m pretty sure I can’t listen to it all the way through without ending up in a blubbering mess yet. Being given this album for quite an upsetting reason actually brought me to discover more of Ed’s incredible music, the song Nina is a particular favourite.
Next up is my Stone Roses records, both studio albums and Beautiful Thing single. I’d quite like to get All For One, but the track itself is just a bit, naff. Sally Cinnamon definitely needed to be put on one of the studio albums though, I must find it on vinyl somewhere.
I think Alex Turner was my first true love, in fact, Arctic Monkey’s was my first ever gig in 2011. Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not was the second vinyl I ever got and I love it’s raw, laddish vibe. My other Arctic Monkeys’ vinyl is Humbug, which I’d say is their weirdest album, but I still love it.
Catfish and The Bottlemen had my heart from the get go. Jake and I share a love of the band and went to see them at Castlefield Bowl last year. Hourglass is one of ‘our’ songs, and for Christmas, Jake got me The Balcony on vinyl. Don’t think it’s really come off my record player since December.
Another Christmas vinyl was Oasis’ – What’s The Story (Morning Glory) which I was so happy about receiving as I hadn’t owned any Oasis vinyls prior! I recently brought the CD to play in my car (when I eventually pass my test). The sleeve is gorgeous too, coming with posters and pictures of Noel and Liam – really nice piece.
I’ve got a soft spot for ska music. Jake hates me for it. Madness and The Specials though, there’s just something about them that ignites the happiest spark in me. Dad gave me the Complete Madness album a couple of years ago, which includes One Step Beyond and Baggy Trousers, this year for Christmas he got me the Best of The Specials. I think he just revels in the fact his daughter has great taste in music.
I was totally heartbroken when The Enemy announced their split. We went to an emotional farewell gig in Manchester and I brought their last album, It’s Automatic, as a memoir. It’s not my favourite work – their earlier work is – however it was their last so, it felt right. The Enemy taught me a lot growing up, and it’s incredibly sad to think that Tom was dealing with some rather difficult issues. Don’t Let Nothing Get In Your Way is definitely a lasting message from their final album, it’s the end of an era for me though.
My final 12” is actually from the local Stoke band, Psyence, these lads are such a laugh and there was a big buzz around them in the past year. I went to one of their gigs and brought their single Phoenix on vinyl, but I actually prefer the B-side Chemicals For Breakfast. The vinyl is red and is absolutely gorgeous to look at, I need more coloured vinyl. I need more local music on vinyl too, for that matter.
Finally, my 7” vinyls. Pink Floyd – Another Brick In The Wall (part 2) with the B-side One Of My Turns is a vinyl that Jake is incredibly jealous of since he discovered a new-found love for Floyd. I also acquired John Lennon’s Imagine from somewhere, I’m not entirely sure where from. The B-side is Working Class Hero, both of which are quite eye-opening tracks. I do like some of Lennon’s solo work.
Next up are two singles from two of my Manchester Man Crushes. Firstly, Mr Johnny Marr, who’s book I’m currently reading. Johnny is a very cool man, and I went to see him when he played The Sugarmill a few years ago and I bagged Easy Money with Use Me Up on the B-side. I’d not listened to Johnny’s solo stuff until I heard it like, and Easy Money was a track that really caught my attention. Then there’s Manchester Man Crush number 2, Noely G. This one includes Ballad Of The Mighty I and Revolution Song.
And last but not least is another local music act; Friends Of Ken. My good friend Ben McManus was in a band in his highschool days called friends of Ken who used to ‘get pissed and chat shit’. This is another red vinyl that I totally adore the look of and the tracks are Spray My Name and Pantone NoughtThirtyTwo.
So there we have it. My collection of 26 records will surely grow bigger and better this year. Let me know what your first ever record was!