About a week ago I decided I needed to photograph my record collection (or at least the ones I care about). I've been wanting to catalog my collection since Jeremy added a table of his records to his blog. Furthermore, Tyson, and now Jeremy, inspired by Tyson, have now consecrated their blogs to a top 50 countdown of their favorite albums, which has only fueled my desire more to document my record collection. Oh, that and I've been wanting to add my favorite albums to Pinterest without having to rip off someone else's photos.
Lucky for me, this weekend I moved into a new apartment with a brick wall that serves as a perfect backdrop for these photos. (I copied the idea for these pictures from my friend Becky, as seen in this post.) So last night when I should've been unpacking, I took my first batch of photos.
Left: Heady Nuggs by the Flaming Lips. This hefty gem is a box set containing the Lips' first five albums on the Warner Bros label spanning a decade, from 1992 to 2002. This also happens to be some of their best stuff (The Soft Bulletin, 1999, is probably one of my top five records). It was released on Record Store Day earlier this year.
Right: Hot August Night by Neil Diamond. I bought this album because, upon browsing the liner notes, I discovered that it was recorded 10 years before I was born, to the day. And because I love Neil Diamond. But I usually don't like live albums. With most live albums the recording engineer fails to capture the raw energy of a live performance, and you're left with a version that's even more stale than the studio recording. That doesn't happen with Hot August Night, though. These live tracks are so rich and warm -- especially on vinyl -- it doesn't necessarily feel like you were there, rather, it's like Neil is in your head* performing for you personally. But you know that he's really not so it's not as creepy as it sounds.
Left: Diary by Sunny Day Real Estate. I wish I'd be so lucky to have an original, now out-of-print pressing of this record but I was nowhere near that cool back in 1994. So I was pretty happy when this album was remastered and re-released in 2009, with added bonus tracks. This has to be one of my favorite album covers ever.
Right: Star Wars by John Williams. I've always wanted to quantify John Williams' contribution to the Star Wars franchise. For example, I'd like to be able to say, with the math and reasoning to back it up, "Thirty percent of the greatness that is Star Wars comes from the score by John Williams." But if greatness is subjective to begin with, then maybe I'm better off estimating a percent without all that math. If that's the case, I'm gonna stick with my previously purported number, 30%.
Pinkerton by Weezer. This is probably my favorite album ever. So I was elated when I learned Weezer would be releasing a deluxe version of this album both on CD and on vinyl (which is four records long, that's over 800 square inches of playable Pinkerton vinyl). The packaging is great too, with photos from the era and photocopied handwritten lyrics and a letter from Rivers to fans. Needless to say, it's one of the crown jewels of my record collection.
So there's the start of my record photo catalog. Five down... at least 100 more to go.
*For the record, I wouldn't mind being incepted by Neil Diamond.