Record Collectors: “Obsessive, Socially Maladjusted Oddballs in Thrall to Acquisitive Drives.” Yep. That’s About Right.

If you’re into collecting records, you may find this article from Psychology Today a little…disturbing.

When it comes to record collecting, I appear to most fit the second (i.e., fetish) type. The artists that I collect are an extension of my own personality and say something about me. My tastes are diverse and eclectic (to say the least) and range from the obvious ‘classic’ artists (Beatles, David Bowie, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin), the not so obvious (Adam Ant, The Smiths, Bauhaus, Heaven 17,Depeche Mode,GaryNuman, Divine Comedy), the obscure (Art of Noise,JohnFoxx, Propaganda) and the downright extreme (Throbbing Gristle, Velvet Underground).Arguably, most people’s conceptions of record collecting (if they are not collectors themselves) are likely to be based on media and cultural representations of such individuals (such as John Cusack and Jack Black in High Fidelity, or SteveBuscemi in Ghost World). I agree with Professor Moist who asserts:“Most record collectors fit well within Belk’s definition, passionately acquiring sets of records both as objects and cultural experiences. As with most types of collecting, the ‘thrill of the chase’ is a major part of the experience…[However] today, with eBay and other online resources, the amount of time required for the hunt has been reduced, and collecting is also less of a face-to-face social activity since one can search in private rather than actually traveling to find records…Music writer Simon Reynolds notes that record collecting also ‘involves the accumulation of data as well as artifacts,’ a factor that can be seen in magazines devoted to record collecting such as Goldmine and Record Collector, and that has only increased as collecting has gone online.”

Yep. That’s me.  Keep reading.

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 37439 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “Record Collectors: “Obsessive, Socially Maladjusted Oddballs in Thrall to Acquisitive Drives.” Yep. That’s About Right.

  • An interesting read. I collect records out of (the way I perceive it) a desire to archive excellent music in a durable and aesthetically-pleasing format. My criteria is simple: I like things that are considered the best representative works in their own genre. I have gangsta rap next to Chopin next to old country next to Bossa Nova records, and I love them all.

    What doesn’t get talked about much is the inherently lonely nature of record collecting. Nobody has the exact same tastes as you, and when you’re digging through the racks you often see other collectors as competitors rather than contemporaries.

    And lord help you if you end up trapped in a conversation with an Audiophile… There is no group of men (yes, they’re all men) who can suck all of the joy out of music faster than the Steve Hoffman crowd.


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