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It's always something every vinyl addict likes to ask of another collector. If you think about it, this isn't something the current generation of music lovers will be able to do in the future with the same feeling. "What was your first download?" doesn't have an ounce of romance about it, does it? It isn't an event, the way buying a record was. You don't have to save up pocket money for it. In an era where everything is available instantly, nothing has the importance it once had. But back in the early 70s, this was not the case. Records were to be treasured.
Now, there are some important distinctions to make when considering what was your first record. There's the first record you owned, and the first you bought with your own money. For example, my parents bought me my first single - Doo Wah Diddy by Manfred Mann for my third birthday in 1964. Apparently, I used to groove around the house to it when it was on the radio, so it was bought for me to play on the Dansette record player. I can still see it in my mind's eye. It was on the HMV label and came in a red and white striped sleeve.
The first album bought for me was The Best of Status Quo in 1972. This was a Christmas present, and it's a good album to begin any collection, and is still a favourite of mine.
But presents are all well and good, I feel that you only really start collecting records when you buy them for yourself. These are how you start to build your badge of identity, I think, even if that first record you buy is something you now consider to be a stinker.
Luckily, possibly due to being a very cool kid who wore purple and green loon pants with orange zig zag stitching, I made two great purchases for my first single and first album. The 7" was The Kinks - Supersonic Rocketship on orange RCA in May of 1972, which was only a minor hit in UK. Quite why I landed on that, I don't know. The second was Run Run Run by Jo Jo Gunne - Jay Ferguson's excellent outfit after he split from Spirit.
The first album I bought was Wings - Band on the Run, which is a brilliant record, which I still love today. That was bought with Christmas money in early January 1974. You play your first album over and over because, obviously, you don't have another one, so I still know every groove of that record. And now, over 40 years later, and with another 5,500+ albums on the shelves, it's still sitting there in the 'W' section. Think I'll play it one more time.