Entrevues de Vinyl Sound Radio avec des collecteurs de vinyle du monde entier
When did you become a collector?
At first I became Michael Jackson fan in 80’s after I saw Motown 25 performance of Billie Jean on Soviet TV: it completely blew me away after all those soviet singing heads. I became obsessed but, unlike people in a free world, we couldn’t go to record store and buy whatever we wanted: Soviet record company Melodia was a monopolist and if you wanted to get something foreign – the choice was pretty poor. I mean, Michael Jackson and Madonna weren’t the names everybody knows. They were prohibited. They even took off songs from licensed albums for words like “I want you”, so seeing Madonna rolling on stage at VMA’s in wedding dress was something unimaginable.
My father, who worked for transportation company that was responsible for export and import of stuff to Western world, risked a lot when he bring Barbra Streisand “Woman In Love” 7” from Germany. Of course we had “black market” of records and since Estonia, where I am from, was one of the “least Soviet” republics in Union, we didn’t had it as bad as in Russia, where markets were raided by militia and people got jailed for selling foreign records. But still it was very expensive for young person to buy on those markets. Luckily my father were fortunate enough to sneak some Madonna and MJ vinyls from Germany and I learned my English by translating lyrics on the inside envelopes. That’s why I’m a bit upset when I don’t find song texts in many releases now a days.
What was the first record you bought?
If we’re talking about a record that I wanted to buy and my parents got it from me – it was definitely some Alla Pugacheva record. She was our Soviet Madonna, Tina, Barbra, Cher and everything else. She was the first who wasn’t just a singing head. Her records were sold out long before most of us even knew it was released. Record Store Day haven’t seen lines to record store like a line to a record store to buy Alla’s new LP.
But we talk about a record that I bought with my own money: I still have it. I bought it on that black marked after saving for a very long time. It cost 25 rubles when normal salary in USSR was about 150. It was Michael Jackson’s Motown compilation “Love songs”. I was a bit upset when I heard that he was a kid when those songs were recorded, but in the same time it was Michael anyway, so I was happy.
What genres do you collect?
I eat them all. In music I need a melody first of all, so my tastes vary from German disco gods “Modern Talking”, Shawn Mendes and boy bands, to “Fall Out Boy”, “Garbage” and bands like “Tender”. I mostly buy albums that contain at least 50% of music that I like. That’s why I miss time of singles: for example James Bay’s last album is not something I could listen to, but I would be the first in line to buy “Pink Lemonade” as a single.
How many records have you got?
At the moment my collection is not something to impress: I cheated on vinyl with CD’s, I confess this sin. Now most of my collection is Michael Jackson records, but I do buy a lot. In last 1.5 years since I came to my senses and started my collection from scratch, I bought over 100 record.
Do you prefer album or maxi singles?
Albums for you can enjoy them longer with no need to turn to the other side.
Have you got colored records or records made in a particular form, not usual?
Actually when I started my vinyl collection again I planned to only collect colored vinyl. I don’t care what people say about it’s quality: I think it’s that case when everyone is an expert. I just love it. Unfortunately most interesting colored vinyls are usually metal music, for whatever reason, but still there are more and more releases in nice colors. To be honest – I hate when lables like Rhino release re-issues of pop classics on black vinyl: come on, we have that already.
Have you a favourite artist? Singer, band or musician?
How many turntables have you got? What brand are they?
I have 2 Pioneer turntables.
Is there a song that remembers you any particular moments in your life?
Oh, most of my life I remember through music. I remember moments because of songs while other people remember songs because of moments.
Where do you buy your records?
I mostly buy online. I love record stores, but I never have enough time. And I hate that to get to something you like – you have to go through tons of David Bowie re-issues.
What do you feel when you buy a new record?
Oh, it’s hard to explain… Impossible! It’s not like “Oh my god, I need to get home to listen to this!”, cause it’s not always a moment you get is a moment to listen to it. Everything has it’s own moment in life and even in a day.
Do you often listen to your records or you prefer to conserve ‘em and not using ‘em too much?
No, no, no: a lot of people may disagree, but to me records are living only when you spin them. It’s like… you know, Soviet grandmothers never had too many nice things in their lives, a lot of then went through WW2, and as funny as it may sound, when someone gave them tea of coffee in some cute can – they kept it like a treasure, cause it was something beautiful comparing with their grey life. Many of them never even tasted that tea they die and their kids just throw it out. I don’t know if it makes sense but that’s what I thought about when I read this question.
What do you like more of a record: music, cover, smell, color, form, noise or all these things together?
All things together. I already said about inner sleeve with lyrics and color, but cover is important too. I have some records with damaged cover, records with a story, with memory. Like my first LP: I had a friend who clued photos of singers to her original vinyl record sleeves and I had to do the same – I thought it was so fun and nice and I honestly believed it looks better! I won’t buy used record with very damaged cover, cause it’s not my story, not my memory.
Do you buy only new records or used as well?
Yes, I do buy used vinyl: some music they just don’t re-release…
Have you ever done any trades with friends or other collectors, or are you jealous of your records?
I did few times in 90’s and I’m very sorry for that now. Not because of the records itself, but for some exact copies for how they got to me.
Why vinyls and not cd or mp3?
It’s just beautiful. And not just in sound but looks too: that’s why I started my Instagram page @beautyofvinyl It’s mostly for myself, I enjoy doing it, but some people seem to like it too and it only makes me happy. I have mp3 playing at my work and I download things, but at home I enjoy the sound of vinyl.
I guess you heard about this return to the vinyl records we live now, what do you think about?
Oh, once my partner’s 13 y.o. niece visited us and saw the record player. We haven’t seen her for the rest of the night: she was just in that room watching record spinning. When she was leaving she said she saved for new laptop but now she wants a record player. Obviously we got her one for her birthday along with her first vinyl (DNCE on clear vinyl) the Happiest girl in the World! So what I think about it? Future is vinyl!
Thank you so much @beautyofvinyl!
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