CollectingEarlier today, I visited a consummate vinyl collector.  It wasn’t the large collection of vinyl in the traditional manner, i.e. accumulating albums from everyone.  No.  Instead, it was a dedicated collection that gathered every recorded things from certain bands.  We’re talking singles, EPs, flexi-discs (some very rare), LPs from every production country like UK, US, Japan, Germany, etc, and posters, cassette boxes, and other items.

What particularly struck me  about this collection is that most, if not all of the bands were from the very late ’70s, through the ’80s.   Which led me to a conclusion that th eperiod mentioned was rich with recordings of all kinds, and in various forms.

While many albums were collectible through the ’60s and ’70s, none were as rich as the availability of recordings, special press vinyl, and assorted B-sides and EP releases that were released by the prolific bands of the ’80s.

The ’90s, or any period thereafter up til now has been weak in such extra materials.  And yet, this period has never been more ripe for such proliferation of special additions beyond the standard releases.


Is this now a dead part of music?  Would such wealth of extra recorded materials, singles, vinyl (with colors, gimmicky pressings, and odd shaped vinyl), bonus collections of outtakes, etc be enjoyed by fans of certain bands?

Not only had the bands gotten into extra collectible materials during the height of their careers, but the labels did as well.  I saw amazing things in this collection that had me wondering why such activities could not exist today.

Do we have a rock period today that is, by and large, lazy, and not very clever? I wonder if the labels would be interested in producing such feverish collections.

I do know that some bands do this today; My Chemical Romance comes to mind with their recent distribution of collectible singles.   But not so much others.

If you were/are such a collector as I spoke of earlier, would you collect from a favored band in such a way?  I recognize that we’re not all completists, but such an interest could be contagious fun.


By MARowe

3 thoughts on “The Spirit of Completist Collections”
  1. I am a completist in the strict definition of – there are certain bands/artists that I will buy anything they release with new music or perhaps even a compilation with no new songs.
    However, when it comes to variations like those mentioned above – unique packaging, recordings released in other countries, singles, all formats, etc. – count me out. It may be a fun hobby but I only buy music for the music. When the switch from vinyl to cds took place in the late 80’s I gave away all my vinyl as I replaced them with cds. Did the same with 8-tracks and cassettes. For those that get off on such things, more power to them. It’s just never been something I’ve been interested in pursuing and the last thing I need is more “stuff” laying around.

  2. I wonder if the 80s were rich in this was because of the hardware that was still being used. People had cassette decks, turntables and by mid-80s, were investing in their first CD players – so all formats could be played. I understand being a fan and collecting all things, but if the majority can’t play what is issued, might it put a damper on what is produced by the bands and labels?

  3. I’m with Bill on this one. It’s about the music, and some artists I buy all the music they put out. But I can’t see buying everything including multiple copies of the same music across formats or because the label was printed in a different country. I’m constantly trying to down size my collection just with one copy of everything.

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