The first of my baby steps to living a more simple life involves me getting rid of the things which I just don’t use but have attached a lot of unnecessary sentimental value to. First, it’s my vinyl records. I know as well as the next music geek that the sound of vinyl trumps listening through headphones on Spotify… but that only really counts if you actually listen to the records you own. After sorting through the collection I amassed over the years, I realised that although some of them are pretty cool (and yes, I am keeping a few that I just couldn’t bear to part with) somebody else would get way more enjoyment out of them than I do. It’s not fair for them to just sit in a box in my bedroom, unspun and gathering dust. I mean, I didn’t even bring my record player with me when I moved from my parents’ house into my boyfriend’s, and so they seem pretty redundant nowadays. Since I’m keeping a few of them, I’m going to talk through my reasons why, and if they aren’t good enough reasons then I guess I’m a step closer to getting rid of those, too.
Elvis Presley – Frankie & Johnny; Sister Sledge – He’s the Greatest Dancer; Martha Reeves and the Vandellas – Natural Resources; Blondie – Parallel Lines
Because how on earth could I part with these golden oldies? Granted, their sleeves are also part of what helped me keep them – the Martha Reeves album design has me feeling super nostalgic for the 70s and I wasn’t even born until a couple of decades after that (FYI, I have a huge obsession with 1970s aesthetics), and the Sister Sledge vinyl is CLEAR PLASTIC, so cool – but the music also helped, too. And (a bit of a stretch, but I’m new at this!) the Blondie album design is also pretty minimalist if I don’t say so myself.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Blood Sugar Sex Magik; Kanye West – The College Dropout; Madonna – The Immaculate Collection – Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence; Jungle – Jungle; Jamiroquai – Blow Your Mind
Just a few of the albums that helped to shape my music taste: a pretty eclectic mix, no? You know those “car albums” that you have for long journeys, well, The College Dropout was our family’s choice for that. Jungle got me through a pretty tough first attempt at university, when I was miserable and edging closer and closer to dropping out of a course that I hated. The Jamiroquai single was the first 12″ I ever bought, and re-spawned my love for a band that I’d only ever really heard my mother playing when I was younger (I’m so glad they’re finally releasing music again). The Madonna compilation has saved me from keeping every last one of my Madonna albums – I had way too many, and this neat little thing has saved me a ton of space… It is near impossible to part with Madonna’s music! Last but not least, Lana Del Rey. A voice made for vinyl, it’s as simple as that.
Caribou – Our Love; Beats in Space 15th Anniversary; Toro y Moi – What For?
These albums are perfect for when I’m just wanting some chilled-out background noise to block out the sound of my impending assignment deadlines crashing ever nearer. Although I wouldn’t necessarily class them as “all-time faves”, they’re definitely one of a kind and worth keeping for when I have friends over for drinks and want to create a little bit of a more relaxed ambience.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the final result of my vinyl clear-out. Everything in the two boxes above has been listed on eBay, so there’s no turning back now… They’re gone forever! For my first task, I actually had quite a lot of fun letting go of things that would get much better use and love elsewhere. It’s pretty poignant for me at the minute, too, as I thought that this would be a difficult journey for me to embark on, but it’s actually turning out to be very therapeutic instead.