So you want to become a collector-scum

Why paying 50 dollars or more for a record when You can copy your friends CD’s or even down load MP3 files for free on internet? Don’t You find that really really stupid? And even if you have money to spend! – why not use it for concerts rather than feeding the eBay-scums

I guess there are several reasons for collecting records and to understand this better we have to look at different types of collectors

The Audiophile – these guys (yes they are guys) is normally interested in certain kind of genre (like psych or jazz) but is really looking for that perfect press with the perfect sound. They love music with a lot of dynamic and which is technical difficult to play (read – pretentious crap). If you meet these guys in a bar you should for sure avoid the topic of MP3 or you will get a one hour lesson on how superior vinyl is over MP3 and even CD’s. These guys are not only spending a fortune on records – they also currently trading their 26:th amplifier searching for the perfect sounding one, priced as a new car. When they get going on “true class A amps” you better look for the emergency exit!

The generalist – This type collects records of music he likes (What a moron!!!) and thinks vinyl is COOL. He buys the 180 gram press of a Monster Magnet Album (with a big ugly fucking sticker on it). His “collection” is a kind of a mix of everything he run into. You will find both Iron Maiden and Misfits represses together with the Johnny Cash American series. Vinyl makes him a little bit more cool when he shows off at his house party. On top of this there is no-one with a remote that can change tunes on the CD, making him feel like a king. This type is much despised by the type below.

The Genre Collector – this is a collector who often have some history with the genre. It’s not to uncommon that he played in a band, promoted concerts or worked on a small label few people give a shit about. These collectors focus on certain areas like US hardcore, Norwegian black metal or maybe finish label “Poko records”. A typical collector prefer the first press but here you will also find the completist. The later is someone who want everything including that re-issue on blue vinyl that was released in 100 copies. In this group you will also find the “Mint fascist”. This guys only buy records in perfect condition – meaning that they can’t even play the record and must therefore buy re-issues to actually be able to play. The “rare-freak” get going if the is only 100 copies pressed and gets a pathological urge to own it. If it’s within the area of collection he will kill for it. If music is good is secondary. This type is also a true show off – when a collector friend announce that he just acquired that rare first press the rare-freak of course informs him that he own the test-press … misprinted!

There are several social and physical disorders related to record collecting. A true collector would with no second thoughts sacrifice the graduation of his daughter (even though is not likely he has a wife or even children he knows about) for that great record show. Other afflictions related to record collection is “finding frenzy”. It occurs prior records shows as rumors circulate that your much sought record could be somewhere in the 2 dollars bins. After hours of searches the “finding frenzy” is changed into the completist depression as you leave the show with that 7″ which you skipped on the compilation CD because you never liked it. Bootleg paranoia is another affliction which occur in the period between spending a bunch of money on an on-line auction and nervously wait until the records reach your door. The collectors is shaking because he not sure he have bought the real deal or if that seller with three previous sells is shipping you a bootleg.

Overall the collector always suffer from the completist disillusion as the aim is to have a complete collection. The problems is that when there are no more records to buy and all records have been upgraded to Mint condition suddenly the the area of Algerian crust or Peruvian grunge seems like a new interesting area of collection and it’s all starts all over again

So to answer the question above – “Do you want to become a collector-scum?” – can’t be answered!!! This as any obsessive–compulsive personality disorder is never a choice. I know this for sure since I have all the symptoms addressed above myself. The following page with however help you to keep this under control


  1. Martin

    Hahaha, very spot on!

  2. Niklas

    You’re so right, i’ll check your site every now and then. Best of luck at all times.

  3. Very well said! To the point! The funny thing is that i can see myself through these personality types..a hybrid..scary!! Take care and do keep up what you guys are doing..good stuff!

  4. Simon

    That’s good stuff, man. And spot on. Been afflicted myself for too many years to mention. I was pleased at how many of your coping strategy parameters I already employ. Especially with old stuff: I have learned to love reissues and, in some cases, would rather own a neat audio superior sound pressing to an expensive fragile original. Good work fella!

  5. Agreed. This can become a serious addition that must be addressed before the collector becomes completely isolated from society and the outside world. Especially dangerous if he/she becomes interested in more than four genres. Heaven help the “music appreciation” type collector (smile).

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