Much of our music today comes in the form of streaming services. Up until the late-1980s, the main source of listening to a personal collection of music came from physical copies of vinyl records.

Vinyl records are 12” diameter circles of vinyl that are pressed to record and playback recorded audio. They are a valuable asset to the history of music.

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I decided to start collecting vinyl records since I enjoy a lot of music from the ‘60s and ‘70s. During my freshman year of high school, my grandma gave me her original copy of The Jackson 5 Greatest Hits. I love The Jackson 5, so for her to give this to me meant a lot. My collection has now grown to over forty original vinyl records, and my oldest record is Here’s Little Richard by Little Richard from 1958.

Pricing of records varies depending on the popularity of the artist, the record’s condition, and how many copies were printed and still exist. It also depends on if the record was made during the album’s original release era or if it has been re-released. I only buy and collect used records that were pressed during the original release year. I don’t like buying new and re-released presses of vinyl records because they lack character and generational history.

Obtaining used and original records means that at least one other person owned it before me. I find beauty knowing that somebody else enjoyed this record before it made its way into my hands. For me, it is okay if the cover is worn or if there are a few skips throughout the playing of the album. This shows that it was heavily played and undoubtedly appreciated by previous owners.

If you are looking into buying records for the first time or simply want to browse the shelves, I recommend Main Street Records in Manayunk and Repo Records on South Street. Both offer a prolific and diverse range of original and new records that will be sure to catch your interest and ear.