Music History

How Many Copies Do You Have of the Same Album? Probably Not More Than This Guy.

If you’ve been collecting music any length of time, chances are you’ve managed to somehow acquire multiple copies of the same album. For example, I have no fewer than nine copies of Elvis Costello’s This Year’s Model. My first was a cassette purchased at Kmart so I could listen while driving mom’s Pinto. That was followed by the vinyl, the original CD, a series of remastered reissues, an expanded set, something from a box set and a few others for a total of nine. Same record, nine editions.

The same thing just kinda happened with Rush’s 2112 (Current count: seven.) I also own five different versions of Ten from Pearl Jam, five Sgt. Pepper records (original stereo vinyl, stereo vinyl reissue, mono vinyl, two different CDs), seven Joshua Trees, four Achtung Babies–you get the point.

This guy, though, makes anyone who’s ever collected multiple versions of the same album look like a silly amateur. He has 800 editions of The Velvet Underground & Nice. EIGHT HUNDRED. Most people don’t own that many albums, period. From NPR:

[V]eteran music publicist and longtime Velvets fan Mark Satlof, who collects original pressings of the album. He owns more than 800 of them – he’s actually not sure exactly how many – which are neatly filed on shelves in his study. They account for an estimated 1 percent of all copies manufactured in the U.S. before March 1969. A first mono pressing, still in its shrink wrap? Check. Promo copies — both the version with the yellow label and the much rarer, white-label edition? Natch. The “Close Cut” 1972 edition with an alternate printing of the banana sticker, without the border? Over there. Original U.K., Canadian and New Zealand editions that don’t that doesn’t even have a banana on the cover? Yup. … the covers featuring a shirtless Warhol acolyte Eric Emerson in the background of the group photo on the back (“The Torso Cover”) … the ones with a sticker pasted over Emerson’s photo after he sued (“The Lawsuit Cover”) … the ones with his photo airbrushed out (“The Airbrushed Cover”) …

Read on.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38134 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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