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How to Start a Record Collection 🎶

Written by: Carlyn Warren and Sarah Beth Perry

Starting a record collection can be a fun and rewarding hobby for music fans. Not only do vinyl records offer a unique listening experience, but they also provide a tangible connection to your favorite artists and albums. Keep reading to hear some tips on how to start your very own record collection! 😍

The History of Vinyl Records

Vinyl records, also known as phonograph records, have been around since the late 1800s. The first vinyl records were made of a material called shellac, which was brittle and easily damaged. However, in the 1950s, vinyl records made of a more durable material called polyvinyl chloride (PVC) became popular. These records produced a higher-quality sound than shellac records and were more resistant to damage. 🔊

In the 1960s and 70s, vinyl records were the most popular format for music, and many classic albums were released on vinyl. However, the introduction of cassette tapes and later CDs in the 1980s led to a decline in the popularity of vinyl records. In the 21st century, vinyl records experienced a resurgence in popularity, as many music fans appreciated the warm, analog sound of vinyl and the tangible experience of holding a record in their hands. Today, vinyl records are once again a popular format for music, and in 2022 it was popular for most artists to release a special edition album on a gorgeous colored vinyl record. 📻

Starting Your Record Collection

First, it's important to decide what kind of records you want to collect. Do you want to focus on a particular genre of music, or do you want to have a diverse collection? Are you more interested in classic albums, or are you looking for the latest releases? Once you know what type of collection you want to create, you can start looking for records! 🔍

Where Can You Buy Vinyl Records?

One option is to buy records from a record store. Many cities have independent record stores that offer a wide selection of records or some smaller stores might specialize in a particular music genre. These stores can be great places to find rare or hard-to-find records and get advice from knowledgeable staff. 📍

Since vinyl records have gained more popularity recently, easily accessible stores like Target and Walmart are even carrying vinyl records in-store and online! Many artists like to collaborate with Target and Walmart to offer exclusive pressings or colors. A few examples include Walmart's exclusive orange pressing of Lizzo's Special and Target's splatter paint version of Harry Styles’ Fine Line. 🌈

Another option is to buy records online from sites like Discogs or eBay. These sites offer a wide selection of records and often allow you to search for specific albums or artists. You can also often find records on artists’ websites. Check out their online store for their latest release on vinyl; they might even have an exclusive color available online! 💻