Girl with the flower: Record Collecting

Published 2011-09-26T20:49:00Z”/>


Leila Rodriguez

My record collection is complete. For now, that is.

Elvis Costello’s “This Years Model” proudly sits among my other adored vinyls. Although the hunt for this rare and incredibly wonderful record has come to an end, I still have others to add to the pile.

I’ve been collecting for years and have accumulated almost the entire Beatles’ discography, including the banned 1966 album cover of “Yesterday and Today” featuring the Fab Four with raw meat and headless baby dolls on their laps. Within hours of sitting on music shelves, the record company had recalled the album cover and sent out a more respectable photo of the Beatles to be glued over the original. I own both copies.

Collecting takes a lot of time and love. There is something wild about rummaging through old music piles and then stumbling upon a favorite artist.

Along with collecting comes the responsibilities of proper storage and maintenance that cannot be overlooked.

Forty-fives aren’t like CDs – records need special care for a long-lasting shelf life. They can’t be stacked on top of each other, and dust often falls in the tiny grooves, which should be avoided when handling them – all of which is part of the fun.

A lot of my collection was passed down from my parents. The rest of what I own are oldies and have been found in record shops or at swap meets.

Now a lot of new artists are putting their music on 45s. I always opt for the 45 if a current band I love has a vinyl option.

She & Him released their albums only on vinyl with a code allowing free online downloading of their record with the album purchase.

Longtime Melody Records employee De Andra Schmid shares my feelings about vinyls.

“It’s authentic, you can feel the history of it when you hold the record and its past owners,” Schmid said. “It’s cool because the raw recording you can hear, the instruments are better and it’s not just all-over layered like digital.”

Though the bulk of what Melody Records has is old, its variety is vast. I usually go to Melody Records downtown for jazz. I’ve purchased many Dinah Washington and Oscar Peterson albums there because the store’s selection is better than most I’ve seen.

Melody Records is the only record store I’ve seen in town, but Marysville and Sacramento have great shops to venture through for great music.

I enjoy having tangible music and dropping the needle on my album to listen to the old sound. Part of the adventure is thumbing through piles of gently used vinyls. And it’s rewarding when you find what you’re looking for.

Vinyl collectors know the cover is worth more than the music it makes, but the love of this old-fashioned way of music is a classic love that never dies out. And there are no surprises for this year’s girl.

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<strong>Leila Rodriguez can be reached at</strong>

<em>[email protected]</em>


  1. Arts Editor