Manuel M. is a marketing consultant who tells me that his life goals include "listening to metal, meeting former Brazilian soccer star Romario, attending every Alestorm show for the next two decades, traveling to Houston and see the Rockets win their 3rd NBA ring, then peacefully submitting to death." Well, now!
In addition to his lofty/scary goals, Manuel is an ardent vinyl hound, and he's also the latest victim of the site's Record Collector series.
How long have you been collecting records?
First of all, let me point out that I do not consider myself a collector at all. Collectors are posers willing to impress their friends with 367 different editions of the very same album. To me, it’s all about the love for music on this format, in 99% of the cases I will buy one copy upon release and that will do it for the years to come. To answer your question: I bought my very first LP as a kid back in 1986. It wasn’t until 1988-89 that I started purchasing vinyl on a regular basis, though. Three decades and over 2300 items later, I’m still as dedicated as on day one.
Where/how do you usually find your records these days?
Mailorders almost exclusively. Physical stores are almost non-existent where I live and even when they carry vinyl it’s mostly mainstream stuff which I have zero interest in. Metal and rock festivals all around Europe sometimes provide a decent vinyl selection and I will always be happy to leave a few hundred $$$ in the hands of local dealers/distros. I used to be a regular at vinyl fairs but not anymore, inflated prices and way too many rip offs around make the whole experience unbearable to me. The golden age of sweet deals at fairs is sadly over, as far as I’m concerned.
What is the most you paid for a single record, where/how did you obtain it, and what was it?
It must be the $100 I sent via registered letter (those were the days) back in 1996 to a Swedish bloke for his own copy of the original Deathcrush mini-LP by Norway's Mayhem. Quite a good deal considering it sells for 20x as much now [laughs]. I remember the guy asked me to take good care of it since it was such a special item. I guess I did since it’s still in my collection (you can spot it in the picture) and won’t move from there until my day of decay [laughs].
If you to pick one record label you feel had/has the best track record of quality releases, who would that be and what are some key titles you love?
Uh, tough one. I would say Deathlike Silence Productions, probably. Only six albums released but each and every one of them is a genre-defining masterpiece. These days, I appreciate what labels such as Iron Pegasus, Underground Power Records, and on a larger scale, Peaceville and AFM, are doing, i.e. releasing heaps of killer heavy metal in proper vinyl editions at a regular affordable price.
Of everything in your current collection, what is your most prized record and why?
Another tough one! The following is a short list of records I’d defend with my life if need be, they changed my existence and hold a special place in my heart:
- Iron Maiden, Iron Maiden LP + Live After Death double-LP
- Metallica, Kill 'Em All LP
- Slayer, Show No Mercy LP
- Mercyful Fate, Melissa LP + s/t mini-LP
- Accept, Objection Overruled LP
The first Satyricon LP [Dark Medieval Times] would also be something I’d probably try to save if my house caught fire [laughs].
Is there anything that frustrates you about the current record collecting scene?
Plenty of things! Completists and their retarded stamp-collector mentality being the most annoying factor. I mean people owning each and every press of any given record around, what’s the point with that? That shit has nothing to do with love for music and more in common with psychiatric issues/obsessive compulsive disorders. This isn’t personal as I’m lucky enough to own pretty much all the albums I need but when I see dedicated, honest fans who struggle to enjoy their fave record on vinyl (or have to resort to a cheap BOB repress) whereas one of these sad losers owns like 10 copies out of mere greediness and materialism…that’s when my blood starts boiling.
Those “heavy metal museum” bald wankers are a cancer. People having no knowledge whatsoever of vinyl manufacturing yet trying to be wiseguys and lecture you about it also piss me off to no end. You know, the clueless morons who claim that modern records sound better as “they’re pressed on 180gr wax which makes them more stable on the turntable” [laughs]. Gatefold editions of single LP are also annoying as fuck since they translate to a huge waste of room on the shelves (first world problems I know heh!). So yeah, since vinyl has become big again quite a few things have gone horribly wrong, at gigs I even stumble upon guys telling me they buy vinyl even if they don’t own a turntable since “it looks cool to do so”. Can it possibly get dumber than that?
Which records are still on your want list that you've had a tough time tracking down through the years?
Accept's Deathrow double LP is a bitch I regret I missing out on when it came out, and I still haven’t managed to track it down. Two Alestorm albums and several old Metallica bootlegs are still not on my shelves. My main want at this point would be an old Mercyful Fate bootleg called Die Schwarze Maske, but the chances of acquiring it without having to sell one of my kidneys are slim to none. Thanks for your questions, I really enjoyed answering them! To all metalheads reading this: keep it hard, heavy and old school!
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Tagged: record collector