Recently I've been putting serious thought into starting a record collection. I realise I am very late to the party with this thought, as records are selling more than they have in years. I've always previously decided against starting the collection though as I have thousands of CDs I've collected over the years and don't really want to restart my collection. More and more though, mostly thanks to talking to Avon (my wonderful editor) and then meeting Emma (my wonderful designer, contributor and girlfriend), I have become interested in starting my own collection.
First of all the cool thing about records is how they look. They are big, much bigger than a CD, so you can really appreciate all of the artwork. Artwork is one of the main reasons I still buy CDs, I really enjoy looking at the art and reading through the liner notes. The other reason I'm having this debate with myself is because that listening to a record feels much more like an event than any other means of listening to music. The most common way that I listen to music is through my laptop. All that involves is clicking the fallen over triangle button known as the play button. It's much different with a record, if you're listening to a record then you really want to listen and it's not just background music (most of the time). Because of this I have decided that if I am going to start a record collection (including things from my massive CD collection) it has to be the perfect record. Talking to Emma last night about my debate on starting a record collection she said that she would like to buy me my first record. I asked what she would buy me and she said it would be a surprise. This got me thinking, what record would I buy? It would have to be a special record to me, one that's perfect. Here are five that I think are.
Apologies, I Have None - London
This album doesn't have a bad song on it. From the opening of 60 Miles to the ending of Long Gone, London is ten songs of complete, anthemic punk rock brilliance. Every time I hear it I want to sing along with every word Dan and Josh sing. This is the best UK punk record ever.
Iron Chic - Not Like This
Iron Chic have had a few, newer, fantastic releases since 2010's Not Like This but this is the record I always go back to. Jason Lugano's vocal style is so unique and really sets Iron Chic apart from many of their counterparts. Whenever I hear any song on this album I am transported to an Iron Chic live show, which are some of the best in punk rock.
The Smith Street Band - Throw Me In The River
This was my favourite record of 2014. There aren't many lyricists better than front man Wil Wagner (the only one I can think of currently is Off With Their Heads’ Ryan Young) and Throw Me In The River is an album full of amazing lyrics. It's as if Wil wrote himself a self-help book and turned it into a record. Throw Me In The River is thoughtful, honest, heartbreaking and inspiring.
Against Me! - Reinventing Axl Rose
There is always a long running argument about which Against Me! album is the best. For me it's definitely Reinventing Axl Rose, this is the album that made me fall in love with them. The production is raw and gives the whole sound of the album so much energy. That coupled with some of the best sing-along punk ever written makes this record so perfect to me.
The Bouncing Souls - How I Spent My Summer Vacation
I haven't really spoken about my love of The Bouncing Souls since I started doing Colin's Punk Rock World. They really need to release a new album and get back to the UK! How I Spent My Summer Vacation is the classic Souls album. The New Jersey quartet have a fantastic ability to write catchy punk rock anthems that will stay with you forever.
These are five of my most perfect punk rock albums and would make worthy editions to any record collection. Writing this blog has made me think about just how much I love these albums and how every time I listen to them it is a bit of an event. Writing this blog has made me realise that I should bite the bullet and begin my record collection. My first step; find myself a decent record player!