Saturday Deluxe / 13 October 2018

National Album Day

It’s national album day today. I’m not sure who decided it was national album day, but chances are it was the same industry that has delivered Spotify and other streaming platforms that encourage people to listen to theme-based playlists and just sample ‘the best’ tracks from albums and quickly move on.

I’m not going to do anything gimmicky to ‘celebrate’ national album day, because I guess like many of you, EVERY DAY is an ‘album day’ for me. I love listening to music and love albums.

However, it did get me thinking as to what my ‘first’ album was. My dad had The Beatles‘ studio albums, which I was aware of in the 1970s but I’m not sure I had digested whole albums back then.

While I do remember taping things off of mates at school (Alf, No Parlez, etc.) I would make a case for Kate Bush‘s Hounds of Love as the first album that I went out (at the age of 15) and bought with my own pocket money. It took me two weeks to save the £5 or so it would have cost back then and so that tape became a treasured possession. How I loved that cassette. It was ‘XDR’, which stood for eXtended Dynamic Range and the presence of this ‘technology’ was signified by three ‘blips’ at the beginning before the music started. I have no idea whether it really ‘did’ anything, but it seemed cool at the time. Parlophone used it on virtually everything, including all the Pet Shop Boys albums and cassette singles.

The other thing I liked about the Hounds of Love tape was that some bright spark had worked out that if the whole tape case (the plastic container you put the cassette in) was transparent then you could have a bigger inlay that wrapped around the entire cassette, and not that thin ‘strip’ with a few titles squashed into them. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out the image below (pinched from discogs):

So as you can see, the track names were spread around and side two had this mysterious subtitle ‘The Ninth Wave’. As if it couldn’t be any more attractive, the brilliant 12-inch version of ‘Running Up That Hill’ was appended to side one (I would consider dumping  an extended version into the middle of an album sacrilege now) and the cassette tape itself was transparent which made it look a bit like a groovy reel-to-reel recorder that Harry Caul from The Conversation might pay close attention to.

All this would count for naught, of course, if Hounds of Love wasn’t such a brilliant album. I took this tape with me on a school trip to Russia and have vivid memories of listening to The Ninth Wave on my Walkman on an overnight sleeper train from Moscow to St Petersburg. The clickety-click of the wheels on the track, and the lilting rhythm of the train playing out against dreamy songs like ‘Watching You Without Me’ and ‘Hello Earth,’ lingers long in the memory. In fact, it’s stayed with me an entire lifetime. There is the power of an album for you.

If paying for it and taking the initiative for the acquisition, is a key factor then Hounds of Love it is for me, but the first album I remember ‘getting into’ from start to finish was ABBA‘s The Visitors. This was their last studio album and it was released in November 1981, when I was still 11 (about to turn 12). I knew all the ABBA hits of course, from Top of the Pops, but I don’t ever remember my Dad playing an actual ABBA studio album in the car until The Visitors came out.

Even at that young age I remember thinking there was something very different about the record. It starts with a load of pulsating synths, like some bastard child of Vangelis and Kraftwerk and the rather un-ABBA like opening lines are:

“I hear the door-bell ring and suddenly the panic takes me
The sound so ominously tearing through the silence…”

The Visitors is a phenomenal album and brilliant to play in the car. We’d be whizzing up the M6 at some godforsaken speed and whole family would ‘bounce’ together when the the chorus and drums burst in:

“Now I hear them moving
Muffled noises coming through the door I feel I’m
Cracking up”

The song ‘The Visitors’ definitely wasn’t a pop single, but it was the title track to the album and kicked everything off. Who were these ‘Visitors’? The end of side one had a similarly curious song, Soldiers. It was catchy, but lyrically strange. These were songs that were grabbing my attention not the more traditional ABBA fare like One Of Us (which was the biggest hit from the album).

The Visitors ends with two of the most affecting songs Benny and Bjorn ever wrote. The beautiful ‘Slipping Though My Fingers’ (about watching your children grown up) was rescued from obscurity by its inclusion in the musical Mamma Mia and Like Angel Passing Through My Room is utter perfection; a sorrowful hymn-like number of remembrance and regret (“And it all comes back to me tonight, in the gloom / Like an angel passing through my room”).

Of course I was far too young to understand what was going on in some of these songs, but mood, music, words can still combine to have an impact, even if you can’t put your finger on what is going on.

‘Hello Earth’ and ‘Like An Angel Passing Through My Room’ are two of the best songs from their respective albums, but neither were singles and so if my dad hadn’t bought The Visitors and I hadn’t bought Hounds of Love I’d never have heard either of them.

I was quick to learn that back in the day, however good they may be, ‘the hits’ are often a bit of a compromise and the really interesting stuff was hidden on the albums. Albums really can change your life, so gimmicky or not, I’ll wish you a happy national album day and would love to hear about your ‘first’ albums.

230 responses to Saturday Deluxe / 13 October 2018

  1. Corey Schmidt says:

    I’m not sure what my first album (real album – besides K-tel’s “Music Magic”) was, but my first single was Nowhere Man – thanks to watching Yellow Submarine on TV after school in grade 3 or 4… It’s still my favorite pop song of all time (the mono mix is best for that gorgeous solo). But I have to agree that The Visitors is my favorite Abba album as well. For the same reasons. Slipping, Angel, Visitors and Soldiers are some of their very best tracks (except I’ll throw Head Over Heels in there as well) So moody and beautiful sonic textures. A fantastic (unintended) swansong!

  2. graham hill says:

    the first album i bought was new boots and panties by ian dury and it’s still my favourite album of all time. still totally unique and that’s what started my journey into record collecting which is now 40 years and going strong!

  3. Peter says:

    My first album, brought with my own money, saved from my paper round was Blondie – Parallel Lines, so to see it again now pressed in a RED vinyl is a welcome addition to my collection. Prior to this my albums were bought by my parents in lieu of pocket money, such as Wings Venus & Mars, Bowie, T.Rex Slider, Roxy Music and Kraftwerk..
    Beatles, Elvis and Rod plus a wide range of Country, Jazz to Easy Listening were already a staple in my house. Always remembering waking up to the music being played by my parents every weekend.

  4. Branny says:

    Didn’t have time for an album day yesterday due to being a taxi for Wife and Daughter. Managed to get through some discs from Loving the alien (Let’s dance, Tonight, Dance and Recall 4 disc 1.)

    May stick a few of my earlier albums on. Not long since I upgraded my system and not had a chance to listen to all my albums. HOL and the Visitors are two in my collection that I’ve just never got around to listening to. Time to put that right.

  5. Branny says:

    When I was a kid the only source of music in the house was a radio. All that changed when I had just turned 10. I came downstairs and was greeted by my Mum in a bit of a state of shock. “Guess who’s died?” “Famous singer Elvis Presley” answering her own question.

    I knew my Dad liked Elvis, I just didn’t realise he loved Elvis. I would soon find out how much. Off to the local “AV” shop we went. He purchased a GEC music centre with record deck, cassette and radio. It came with a free compilation called the jubilee years of pop. While we were there he also bought Abba Arrival and a 5 disc Elvis golden records box set.

    Weekends from that point on were spent trawling record fayres and stores snapping up every piece of Elvis vinyl he could find and playing them relentlessly until the next trip and next purchase. It bordered on brainwashing and is one of the reasons I am not too keen on “the King” even now at 51.

    The jubilee years of pop had a lot of 60s stuff on and as I was trying to get away from that era due to Elvis, I decided it wasn’t for me so Arrival was the first album I listened to from start to finish and became a welcome respite so I truly do have a reason to thank Abba for the music.

    My first record player was given to me for my 12th birthday. The first album I received was Gary Numans The pleasure principle as a Christmas gift from my Dad and the first I bought was a K-Tel compilation called Hot tracks and cost me £1.99.

    Budget constraints meant that I mainly bought 7″and 12″ singles plus my attention span in those days struggled to get through a whole album. There were exceptions though. Dare, Rio and Parallel lines became favourites as did anything by Madness and from the late 80s i discovered Talking Heads.

    These days my buying is as frenetic as ever. I am still buying a lot of stuff from the 80s that I missed first time around. “Out this week” determines how much I’m going to spend in a particular week. Thanks Paul. I’m a big fan of the page. Can’t say the same for the Wife though.

  6. Mathew Lauren says:

    My parents bought me “Chicago” double lp (Chicago II for the uninitiated). I learned “Colour My World” vox and piano by the end of the week. Some of my first LP buys were and Yes “Roundabout” and most 70s ELO, but I remember “Discovery” was BIG here “in the states,” as well as the “red” and “blue” Beatles stereo Lps. I also bought Billy Joel’s “52nd Street” & “Glass Houses” and eventually “Nylon Curtain” (later on in the mid-80s) ‘cause it wasn’t available as a cd. Oh, yeah and most of The Talking Heads discography of course. These stand out in my mind in semi-chronological order.

    Because of familial-biz links to Led Zeppelin, my fondest memory, however, is receiving advanced copies of “In through the Outdoor.” I’ll explain: the postman bent the first copy to fit it into the postal box – no sh!t! What an idiot! But Zeppelin Mgt. sent another from (Manhattan) New York City. How cool of them. Wow! It was so different from early Zep, it’s still my favourite Zep album because of its diversity — all inside +/- 45 mins.

    Vinyl, hmm. I’d trade it all for Zep in ATMOS, Jimmy.

    …if you’re listening.

  7. Pascal says:

    The first album I bought was ABBA’s Arrival. I even know the exact date, it was on the 21st of July 1977. Back then I was just 7 years old and my parents gave me money so I could go over to the store and buy the album. The first album I bought from my own pocket money was Gate To Infinity by Dutch band Earth & Fire, I believe it was somewhere at the beginning of 1978. In the last days of 1977 I bought their single 78th Avenue which I liked a lot at that time. And so later the full album that was released in the same period. Not knowing that their albums were much more symphonic in contrast with their more commercial hit single stuff. Nevertheless, Earth & Fire became one of my most favourite bands later and still have all their albums.

  8. Bostonian says:

    I just read Auntie Sabrina’s post re: Boney M’s Nightflight To Venus and had to pause and post. One of my first cassettes and a fave! Parents had Shirley Bassey and Simon & Garfunkel. First tapes were Regatta De Blanc from The Police and Gary Numan’s Pleasure Principle.

  9. Daniel says:

    Hi Paul, I enjoyed your story about your first album purchase (Kate Bush’s The Hounds Of Love) on cassette format. I was delighted that you used the images from discogs as these were uploaded by me. I have exactly the same cassette that you so fondly described and the lovely test tones at the beginning and end of the tape. Cassettes by the mid 80s never sounded any better and especially the xdr were a few ways to enhance the sound. It was a nice addition that EMI added the extended version of Running Up The Hill.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Thanks Daniel… and thanks for making the effort to put those images on Discogs. I stupidly gave my HOL tape to charity with a whole load of other cassettes many years ago. Wished I’d held onto it for the sentimental value. Oh well…

  10. Foxee says:

    Really interesting that most 40-somethings had Abba albums amongst their first purchases or gifts.

    Perhaps it’s not so surprising then that the same generation kicked off the revival in ’92, when many of us were at university and liking Abba was completely cool and acceptable amongst your peers. Today we now have children or even grand children with whom we can proudly share the Abba phenomenon, and see just how much kids still instinctively love that music, regardless of its age. It’s the sheer joy and piercing sadness combined with those unbeatable vocals that somehow taps something inside everyone. Perhaps not so amazing that their music has stayed so popular for so long, and shows no sign at all of ever dating or fading away………

    The first lp bought for me was Abba the Album – and I was taken to see Abba The Movie. What a treat! I also recall Abba Greatest Hits Vol 2 being a hugely popular collection in 1979, probably because the two non-album singles were on it – Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! and Summer Night City.

    I happen to completely agree with the review of The Visitors posted by Paul. It is without doubt the first masterpiece of the 1980s, and for many the greatest. It’s Abba autumnal album and was a fitting coda to a musical trajectory that consistently got better and more poignant as they continued. Of course, the prospect of new music this year from them is almost unbearably wonderful, and we can only hope that whatever they produce/ release (another album would be the ultimate dream) that it is a fitting testament to their legacy.

  11. Taffy says:

    Pretty sure the first albums i bought when i got my first stereo (in December 1977) were Fleetwood Mac Rumors, Abba’s Greatest Hits (the one with them sitting on a park bench) and the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. Basically I loved Abba, and the other two were super huge at the time (in suburban New York) and I wanted to be current. Happily I loved them all.

  12. Auntie Sabrina says:

    Nightflight To Venus by Boney M. Great album, I don’t care if anyone says different…

  13. Richard says:

    The first album I have remember buying with my own dosh is let’s dance sometime in 1983. Paid for the princely sum of $6.96 from a record shop in the bottom of the Eaton centre in Toronto. Felt quite grown up having accomplished that transaction even though I would have been about to 11.

  14. David Carter says:

    Duran Durans debut was the first album I bought with my own money back in 1981 when i was Eleven years old

  15. Nigel Crickmore says:

    Whilst I was very into the Top 40 and listening to music up until 1971 I wasn’t able to buy LP’s as was only 10 and hadn’t grasped the concept until then really plus didn’t have the money. So the first album I actually bought was Electric Warrior by T.Rex which is still massive favourite and I play. I was and still am a massive Bolan fan and to me this was the perfect amalgamation of the whimsical lyrics and music.

  16. Tonk says:

    First ‘proper’ album (not hand-me-downs from siblings, and certainly not the Band Of The Royal Marines, Ace Of Clubs pressing . . . ) was All The Young Dudes – Mott The Hoople.
    A brilliant record that still gets played to this day . . admittedly it was the Blu-Spec CD version though, not the original LP, whch I still have . . . .

  17. Leo says:

    What a wonderful collection of memories..!
    My very first pop album was, at 12 (again!) in 1978, the”Grease” soundtrack on tape, immediately followed by the ONJ “Totally Hot” LP. Winter 78/79.
    In Italy Olivia Newton-John was virtually unknown before the Grease phenomenon, so even getting Totally Hot (which I still love and listen to when in the mood) was not easy, I had to order it and go to the record shop every other day pestering the ladies working there until one day, seeing the 12 years old me entering the store they shouted: Olivia’s here!! Those were the days.
    I was 12 and not very much into singles as they just offered a couple of songs! I guess my very first single was, a couple of years later and progressed to Beatles music, a reprint of the Beatles’ We Can Work It Out/Day Tripper single as the songs were not on any original album..

  18. Igor says:

    Howard Jones – Dream Into Action. It was my first LP I bought with my own money in the mid 80s. At the end of this year I will celebrate this moment with Super Deluxe Edition of this album! Can’t wait ;-)

    • David Barclay says:

      Hi love your choice, the first albu! I owned was Jefferson Airplane ‘s Surrealist is Pillow, still a favourite, but the first album I actually purchased was Jimi Hendrix Axis Bold As Love. Just recently bought a new vinyl version again & play it my Dansette 1964 record player, just like being 13 again

  19. Richard Farr says:

    National Album Day – under promoted & to the extent it was, rather mysteriously so. Who is behind it – one site I found suggested a single woman? Texts and emails all came through around the middle of the day rather than in the lead up to or even the night before. Didn’t feel like RSD or HMV Vinyl Week [& the albums HMV released ‘for NAD’ were pricier than for vinyl day in June although admittedly all were coloured this time]. Having said that I did join in with the ‘play a favourite album at 3.33pm’ & chose ‘Parallel Lines’. Obviously the spirit of the day had some impact on me as I did not take the easy route and reach for the [2001 reissue] CD on the shelf but ventured into the loft to retrieve my vinyl copy which sounded teriffic especially ‘I’m gonna love you too’. So thanks to NAD for encouraging a listening experience I may not have otherwise had….

    • RJS says:

      “National Album Day is being organised jointly by ERA (Entertainment Retailers Association),
      representing the nation’s music retailers and digital/streaming platforms, in partnership with
      record labels body, the BPI (British Phonographic Industry). It also has the backing and
      input of the wider music community, including AIM (Association of Independent Music),
      Classic Album Sundays, BBC Music, FAC (Featured Artist Coalition), MMF (Music Managers
      Forum), MPG (Music Producers Guild), Official Charts Company, PPL (Phonographic
      Performance Limited), United Talent Agency, and industry umbrella body UK Music.”


  20. Florentino Stabile says:

    Hi again Paul and everyone reading this wonderful blog that hid a chord for sure,

    Just wanted to share a fun moment in my record buying. In 1981-82 Asia released their incredible debut. I, being a fan of prog and classic rock… along with a friend… set out to a record store called A & A Records and Tapes that no longer exists. They were selling it for 4.99 Canadian. When my friend and I got the record and at that price…. it was like having our cake and eating it too. Sadly that vinyl I no longer own but have since got the CD. Another special record purchase from a retail store was Supertramp Paris. These artists and records still hold a special place.
    God bless music and the art of collecting

  21. Yeuan says:

    If memory serves me right, it was Frankie’s double vinyl Welcome to the Pleasuredome. I recall ordering via post as the lp was not readily available where I was then.
    On cd, it was likely Bee Gees’ ESP. My father had bought a cd player and asked me to pick a cd.. I probably chose that on the strength of the catchy You Win Again.
    On a slightly separate note I wonder how folks here listen to their albums.. Do they devote their full attention or (like myself) go abt their chores while listening?

  22. Jussi Pukkila says:

    My first one was an ABBA cassette, either Arrival or The Album, probably in the summer of 1978. I had already heard both albums, either at a cousin’s house or at the library, on vinyl.

    A local small department store in Finland only carried cassettes and I still remember it being a bit special, making the decision to purchase the Arrival tape on my own, using my own pocket money. We did have a vinyl player at my house but being able to play the tape in my own small mono player was probably the reason I got it on cassette. That and the fact that the girls I hung out with thought Boney M. was better, so buying ABBA was some kind of statement. Music was escapism for me which is probably why I didn’t get into local Finnish bands.

    The Album I bought in Alta, northern Norway. We were on a car trip to Lapland and took a daytrip to the Arctic ocean. The cassette was made in Norway, even my young (future collector) eyes spotted the difference! My dear mono tape player got nasty spots on its shiny cover when we had to kill the mosquitos in our cabin with bug spray!

    I got in the schedule with ABBA the next year and bought Voulez-Vous on vinyl, actually two days prior to the official release. My birthday was also on that weekend, so it was most likely a present someone funded for me. Some weeks before that my mom woke me up in the morning, telling me “they’re playing the new ABBA track on the radio” and later that day I asked friends if they had heard “vulee-boo” that morning as well.

    Next was Boney M.’s Oceans of Fantasy on vinyl. Although fantasically packaged, that album was a slight diasppointment after the wonderfully adventurous Nightflight to Venus. I didn’t care that much fr teh big hits (Rivers of Babylon & Rasputin), I remember being completely fascinated with the way Nightflight segued into Rasputin though. I probably personally wore out the copy of my local library! In the same genre and a similar experience was Amii Stewart’s Paradise Bird.

    I did branch out quite soon to other musical genres and became a major Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell fan, so it wasn’t just pop & disco for me!

  23. Dubsideofthemoon says:

    I’ll be short : First album bought if i recall was Rocks from Aerosmith back in 1976 being 13 years’s old. Thousands of metal teens all around the world started with this album !

  24. Atlantasteve says:

    When I became “woke” to album rock, my first album purchases were Rush “Permanent Waves”, ZZ Top “Deguello” and Pink Floyd “The Wall”. My tastes have continued to be varied over the next 40 years. God bless rock and roll!

  25. James Blair says:

    Fantastically, and coincidentally, you have picked two albums which were very early purchases and obsessions for me, too. And that remain as favourites for me to this day.
    “The Visitors” would be flawless if it wasn’t for “Two for the Price of One” which, for me, kills the flow of the album somewhat. Second UK single “Head Over Heels” is actually my second least fave track on the album, reinforcing what you say about album tracks vs chosen singles. I found the title track and KB’s “Hello Earth” really quite eerie back then, and I remember listening to them through headphones in the dark & loving how they unnerved me – perhaps, for the first time, realising the true power of music. However, I still chuckle at Frida’s twisted pronunciation of the word “humiliation” to this day.
    Another very early purchase (and to-this-day obsssion) was Propaganda’s “A Secret Wish”. I think all 3 albums remain in my all-time top ten to this day.
    Thanks for prompting the memories, Paul!

  26. Andy Hanson says:

    Roxy Music’s Stranded and Genesis’ Selling England by the Pound. What could be better? Although in truth it was Gary Glitter’s Touch Me. Seems I’ve answered by own question. Cheers.

  27. Roy Mussell says:

    Ignoring the tapes of Buddy, Cliff, Shaky & Showaddywaddy I bought/copied based on my Dad’s music, the first vinyl album I properly saved up and bought (from Woolworths) was Simple Minds – Real to Real Cacophony. At the time, I had no idea how cool it was, I was just obsessed with Simple Minds and the local record library didn’t have it! I still love it esp. Changeling.

  28. Tom McPhillips says:

    STML11121! When you can remember the catalogue number more than 40 years on you know that it was a memorable album. Motown Chartbusters Volume 3 – the one with the silvery shiny weird sort of cover! There wasn’t a single bad track on it. As always with the series there was a mix of huge hits, AirPlay successes which should have been mega and ones that were overlooked at the time but with the benefit of hindsight were magnificent. It isn’t really a cop out to name a compilation as your star moment – they weren’t everywhere the way they are now. There ended up being 12 in that particular collection and I now have every one on CD (I only had 8 on vinyl). I can still listen to the CD today and instantly be transported to my youth. Who needs the elixir of life when you have Motown Chartbusters!

  29. Guy says:

    The first LP I bought with my own money was Pin Ups by David Bowie – how cool was that for a 10yr old, even if I didn’t know it then?! IIRC it was because ‘Sorrow’ was on it, which I liked, and in the charts at the time. In fact it could have been a Slade or Sweet or T.Rex album but Pin Ups was the one in my hand when my Dad told me to hurry up and choose! I do recall it was the first time I had experienced sifting through the racks of a record shop, a pleasure I enjoy just as much today.

    I still have that LP, scuffed with well-worn grooves, in a battered, bent cover, my name scrawled on it to inform my younger brothers that it was my property and not theirs. I played it yesterday as a trip down memory lane.

    Whatever the ulterior intentions of promoting a National Album Day, at least it is a good way of educating the Spotify generation that the album is best savoured as a complete package and not a pick’n’mix.

  30. Antonio Cunha says:

    So nice to know ‘The Visitors’ was one of your favorite albums, Paul. I love its decadence, that shines in the darkest pitch. Simply marvelous to know your Kate tape’s ‘Hounds of Love’ story – it remains so vivid. :)
    My first LP was ‘Rio’, by Duran Duran, I was 9 yo, I guess. Still can’t forget the arty video (and song) for ‘The Chauffeur’ or the Sri Lanka video for ‘Save a Prayer’. How exotic a band could be, back then (sigh, …). So fresh, so new, …

  31. MMx says:

    AC/DC – Let There Be Rock. Bought it in 1982 – I was 13. Still my favourite album by them.

    Hounds Of Love though… my favourite album by anyone. You hear someone arguing that the 80s were duff then just direct them to Hounds Of Love. If that doesn’t soften their standpoint then nothing will.

  32. Jeffrey Vandersip says:

    What is it about age 12 and music? Puberty? The first stabs at independence? For me, up until age 12 my exposure to music had been through my parents, which meant Vicki Carr, Dionne Warwick, Englebert Humperdinck and the like. Then I got a radio and some allowance money…lethal combination that…and never looked back. First album was Chicago V…I loved Saturday in the Park, but what I remember so clearly was the time I spent absorbing the album itself, the lyrics, credits, all that faux wood. I never played that disc without also sitting with the jacket and sleeve. That album was a doorway to a different world, an escape from the family disintegration surrounding me. Saturday in the Park May have been the entre, but it was the other songs…A Hit for Varese, etc that started a lifelong passion for music. Interestingly, my next two album purchases…KTel 20 Greatest Hits (didn’t everyone have at least one KTel album?) and Yes’s Close to the Edge are a reflection of an eclecticism that remains today. Close to the Edge especially was the defining album of my youth, a musical journey filled with enough spaces that it became my own journey, unique to me even though millions of others were listening to the same notes.

  33. Florentino Stabile says:

    Hi Paul,
    I will add my two cents. My first record I bought was Queen’s The Game. Just in my mid teens then since buying this have embarked on my incredible journey of going to record shops and discovering that elusive album from my favorite artist. Unfortunately, I have since sold that childhood vinyl collection but have restarted to retool and without a turntable…. getting reacquainted to the wonderful vinyl community on Youtube. My love however remains with CD’s and the beautiful box sets where your favorite album gets reappraised, remixed and given all the outtakes your heart can desire. Case in point, the recent Lennon Imagine Ultimate Edition box set.
    God bless to all who love the physical media, those who produce them and those like yourself Paul present them to us.. with the frequent best price out there.

  34. Andrew says:

    Along with all the like minded people here, everyday is album day but just to acknowledge the album day, I decided to play Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures but then added playing all the non album singles, compilation and session tracks on vinyl. I do miss buying a single with exclusive B sides or the 12” remix versions etc.

  35. Tim says:

    My first album was Elton John’s ‘Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only The Piano Player’. I don’t currently have a copy, but can still hear all those songs in my head. :-)

  36. John says:

    I bought my first LP in Boots the chemists in Bath, England in 1977 (?!) when I was at a local school…and that was way before I even owned a turntable, though a few friends had them.

    I have always loved music, but in this case I didn’t know what this double album was. 90% of the reason for this impulse buy was because I just really, really liked the colorful cover…oh, and then there was the free “spaceship” in cardboard inside.

    Yes, if you have tried to guess what album it was…then you are correct if you guessed it was ELO’s magnum opus “Out of The Blue.” Fortunately, I still own it and play it on occasion, admittedly with a very slight merry tinge of nostalgia.

  37. POLYMER says:

    Lovely stuff thanks all. I’m going with Out of the Blue by ELO. Technically my dad’s but i played it to death. A real case of a true album where every aspect is fascinating. I thought they were from space! My own first album was Age of Plastic by The Buggles on casette. That started acompletist attitude to collecting which continues in part to today.

  38. Sean says:

    The first vinyl album I can recall was ‘the Belfast gigs’ by Horslips. For years , I thought “Trouble (with a capital t)” was an original of theirs ! My first bought album was a cassette copy of ‘Regatta De Blanc’. I loved The Police as my coming of (musical) age coincided with their chart dominance. As many others have alluded to, the way one listened to an album back then was so intense and complete. Sonically, the equipment was terrible but it didn’t seem to lessen the enjoyment !!

  39. Chris Lancaster says:

    The first album I bought was Welcome to the Pleasuredome. I was 13, and I had waited for the album to come out for ages; I rushed down to Woolworths after school on the day it came out, and have probably never been as excited about anything before or since — and that includes getting married, having children, etc.

    I’ve since got rid of much of my huge vinyl collection in order to save space, but I’ve never thrown out that copy of WTTPD. The vinyl is warped, the sleeve is grubby from excessive handling by my teenage hands, and there’s a bad scratch that means you can’t play Black Night White Light, but I only have to see the record to remember what it was like rushing home in the cold and the dark (the clocks had just gone back) to play the album on my parents’ massive wooden-boxed stereo. I’ve bought literally thousands of records and CDs since, but that memory has never faded.

  40. Noel Lackey says:

    My first single was Sunshine Superman – Donovan, I bought it when it came out even though we didn’t have a record player. A friends brother had one and the occasional evening he would let me call down and play it, many years later I purchased my first album, it was Slade Alive and I got it to celebrate the arrival of our first record player, it was a PYE and shaped like a suitcase.
    This was followed by the brilliant and my all time favourite Irish Tour 74 by Rory Gallagher. I still have it and although I have bought the re-issues and the cd of it. I still return to my crackly original vinyl.

  41. Nick says:

    First album I bought, well first two Vinyl LPs were from the same Junk Shop – at the same time – Jefferson Airplane Crown Of Creation ( purely because I liked the cover at the time ) & Bob Dylan’s first LP in 1984 at the age of 11!

  42. Adam says:

    My first 7″ was ‘Do the Funky Chicken’ by Rufus Thomas, and my first LP was ‘Bolan Boogie’ by T. Rex, still have them both to this day.

  43. Quante says:

    Abba’s The Visitors is an excellent album. I’m amused at the comments about Two For The Price Of One, as currently on car journeys it is the first track that my 13 year old son selects to play, so he’s a fan. The heartbreak in One Of Us is dressed up with a classic Abba melody with typical brilliance.

    The Visitors has a beauty and similarity to Pink Floyd’s The Final Cut. Both were the ‘final’ albums – you know what I mean about Pink Floyd, as you could argue this was the first Roger Waters solo album, and albums were made later on as Pink Floyd. Both albums were low key and almost apologetic compared to their monstrously successful and fully realised predecessors, Super Trouper and The Wall. Both groups personnel were falling out with each other, with different dynamics with each bands rupturing relationships. Where were the anthems of the previous years? Yet, both albums are masterpieces that endure, despite the difficulty that both groups must have lived through during the process of making them.

    As often is the case, the being there at the time and devouring an album to death can make the difference to how people respond differently to music. Youth provided the time to listen intently to albums, and a lack of budget, meant I would play albums repeatedly for months and know every song inside out. Part of loving The Visitors and The Final Cut was due to such repeated listening.

    It’s hard to recall the first album I bought, but by that time I’d access to music for years through elder siblings, who surprisingly had good taste. However, it has to be said thank you to the cassette tape, which enabled me to record other peoples albums and have a load of albums that would otherwise have been out of my financial reach. Today’s youth have no idea how time consuming it was to tape from records, let alone find the right people with the albums to record.

    This weekends listening has been Primal Scream’s Memphis version of Give Out But Don’t Give Up. It is significantly better than the original, which I liked at the time. The Memphis Horns sound fantastic and it’s a really mellow record to listen to. It’ snow time to go to The Cluny 2 in Newcastle and see You Tell Me – a new off shoot band from Field Music (Open Here is this year’s best album).

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Very interesting observation and comparison re The Final Cut and The Visitors… you’re onto something :)

    • wellhamsrus says:

      “Youth provided the time to listen intently to albums, and a lack of budget, meant I would play albums repeatedly for months and know every song inside out.” (Quante)

      Sums up the argument about ‘there’s no good music anymore’ (shakes fist at clouds) excellently.

      My first album was ‘The Essential Beatles’, an idiosyncratic Australia/NZ only TV compilation.

  44. Ralph says:

    My first vinyl purchase was from The Record Rendevous in Bridge Street, Inverness. It was 1965 and I was 7. It was TV 21 Themes a 331/3 ,mini album on 7″ which I still have albeit well loved. After the usual Chartbuster type hit covers LPs of impoverished youth, I bought my first proper 12″ full price album in 1970 in Boots with a Christmas voucher from my Auntie Mimi. It was a toss up between The Who Live At Leeds and Anyway by Family. The Who won! I recently upgraded with the triple vinyl bargain spotted by SDE but still have all the trimmings from the original copy too.

  45. SIMON says:

    Pretty solid choices with Abba and Kate !!! Surprised (and pleased) too how many Abba fans there are here -gone are the days you had to keep it quiet (not that I did!).
    My first vinyl LP was the newly released Simon & Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits – not sure if I even knew them, or whether it was the cover that enticed me!!…proved to be a good choice though – still love it over 40 years later!.
    Difficult to choose a favourite album- like many I expect it changes all the time…yesterday it was Low, today Arrival – the half speed 45 rpm reissue is fantastic to listen to !!

  46. CAB says:

    First Lp – given as a present because we went to see the show – Joseph and TATD (original cast). I still know all the words. “Potiphar had very few cares……”
    Second Lp – Sandinista by the Clash. My cousin had made it clear to his mum that the Clash were no longer cool in 1980, so I got the hand-me-down with a changed out name tag under the tree. It made me very happy, and is my favourite Clash LP to this day – the ultimate LP – bizarre and brilliant.
    First self bought LP – a Vertigo compilation called New Wave from the states featuring the Dead Boys Sonic Reducer which was played on loud repeat for months much to the chagrin of my mother.
    First time I remember being confronted with the art of the LP – XTC, English Settlement.
    A brilliant album slowly leaks into you because you keep going back for the songs you love (Fly On The Wall in this case), and slowly the ink blot of familiarity and enjoyment spreads til the whole thing makes sense. That’s the art of the album.

  47. Spiral Scar says:

    I can’t resist. Here’s my first post.
    My mother already had some great LPs when I was born in ’66. Beatles, Kinks (“Face to Face”! Really, Mom?! ) Hollies, Dave Clark Five, Stone Poneys, Johnny Rivers -lots of those – Nilsson (eventually), Beach Boys… I quickly knew those albums well. I can remember holding “Pet Sounds” in my hands when I was still too young for school. The cover is quite appealing to a two year old. And the music! The intro to “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” sounds like a music box, the bicycle bells, the train and barking dogs, those harmonies… I wore it out on my child’s turntable. The kind that eats records. The album was so shot, it likely got tossed out. In ’88 I bought a new LP copy (green label 80’s reissue) and it all came flooding back. I hadn’t heard anything but the two big hits in close to 20 years, but remembered almost all of it. I got so hung up on it that I became a Beach Boys completist. (That gets expensive.) Back in ’88 when I re-lived that album experience, Pet Sounds wasn’t hailed as the masterpiece it is and I never expected its reputation to explode like it has. In the US, it was a modest success when released. I now have more LP and CD editions of this album than I dare mention. But that’s not the one…
    I grew up as a “pop kid.” Mom indulged my need for music, buying me singles and budget priced albums (cut-outs, as we called them) and the occasional new LP. The radio was always on in the car. She bought me a K-tel album called “Believe In Music” when I was six. 22 hits in one place! It was the songs I never heard before that got the most attention. Aside from blasting the Hollies and the Raspberries, it was Clapton (Let it Rain) and SLADE (Mama Weer All Crazee Now – how could a six year old not be curious with a title like that?) that got played to death. I devoured that LP beginning to end, no discrimination, because nobody tried to dictate my taste to me. Donny Osmond and Cher rated alongside Rod Stewart and the O’Jays. It’s a temperament I still have, more or less, though challenged incessantly in todays pop landscape. That said, some songs are stone classics, some are good memories.
    I spent all my allowance money on K-tel albums (and on singles) and I credit those albums for shaping my broad tastes in music. The albums were stylistically schizophrenic, usually, and I listened to them like they were “real” albums. How amazing it was to hear the unedited versions of these songs years down the line!
    By 1979, still at the age of twelve, things shifted. Many, many albums were bought as gifts for me over the years but the first “real album” I bought was an impulse buy (and that’s happened again a few thousand times since!) I had some money, enough for one LP, and rode my bike with a friend to a distant Woolworth’s. Yes, I took myself there, real autonomy now! I recall probably wanting to buy “Get The Knack” and had enough money, but another album jumped out at me that wasn’t on my mind at all. “Out Of The Blue” by ELO (appropriate title) was a cut-out (UA pressings deleted after CBS signed them, I figured) so it was only four bucks. I already wanted “Discovery” which was top ten at the time, but I could not pass this up. The Knack would have to wait (but not long.) I already knew the hits but “Jungle” was the deciding factor, as I had it as a B-side from their previous single. I thought, “Creative, weird, adventurous – I like this band more now.” The album did not disappoint. I had it memorized in less than a week. Within a couple of years, I had all of their albums. On each of them, I found that my favorite tracks were rarely the singles. ELO inspired me to dig below the surface and find the treasures that radio ignored (well, there’s not enough time to play everything, I suppose.) On “Out Of The Blue,” I’d gravitate towards “It’s Over” “Night in The City” “Starlight” “Jungle” the entirety of side 3 (I did NOT know “Mr. Blue Sky” somehow – only a minor hit here) “The Whale” and “Birmingham Blues” I loved the whole thing, really. I no longer have a favorite track as it keeps changing. There was a lot of variety on that album and a LOT of work went into it. I have an undying respect for Jeff Lynne as well as all the ELO bandmates. Sometimes his production style doesn’t fit the artist he’s working with, but he has a true, honest Rock and Roll Heart. That matters. That album still gets played (many copies now) and so do all the others. It was with this album, my choice bought with my money, that I developed respect for “albums” as an intended, cohesive body of work. Obviously not all albums are created equal and many aren’t even intended to be. But what had started for me, unwittingly, as a two year old was now a standard listening practice. My collection is a monster (albatross?) now, whether it’s LPs, CDs or 7″ and 12″ singles, but it was the exploring of the whole ALBUM and hearing the whole work that way, that became my passion. I couldn’t be comfortable with an iPod full of three-minute bites. I love having a full musical experience with my elaborate stereo system. Always will. And I hope the album never dies.

    • Klaus says:

      @Spiral Scar:

      Thanks for sharing. You should definitely comment more often here as reading your recollection of memories was a pleasure to me.

  48. Peter says:

    I started buying vinyl singles and later albums at the age of 11 in 1974. First album I got as a present from my grandparents was Elvis Presley – Elvis Forever (32 Hits and the Story of a King). Jailhouse Rock was a big hit in the Netherlands in ’74. First two albums I bought with my own money (I delivered newspapers) were Slade – In Flame (great album including Far Far Away and How Does It Feel; great movie too, I realized at a later age), and Sparks – Propaganda (wonderful album, Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth was my favourite song. And it’s amazing to see the Mael brothers still creating great music more than 40 years on).

  49. Brenez Alain says:

    First LP I received on my 12th birthday was ‘The Original Soundtrack’ by 10cc. A truly fantastic album, 1 side is a kind of concept on Paris written by Godley & Creme whilst the b-side was a Gouldman & Stewart side with of course their worldwide hit ‘I’m not in Love’. This album seems to be a bit forgotten these days but is a work of genius. I didn’t buy that many albums at the time as I had didn’t have the money. I was mainly saving money to buy 7inch singles. I ended up with about 2000 singles by 1985 which unfortunately I had to sell a few years ago.

  50. Colin says:

    My first album – at the height of prog rock – was Rick Wakeman’s Six Wives of Henry VIII. In the mid-80s that went, with all of my other vinyl, in the move to cds. Ironically, one of the first albums I bought, 2nd hand, when rediscovering the delights of vinyl 4-5 years ago was….. Rick Wakeman’s Six Wives of Henry VIII. Older but not wiser?

  51. Seikotsi says:

    My first albums (cassettes) –
    Adam and the ants – Prince Charming
    Queen – Hot Space (and I still think it’s the best queen album and realise I may be the only one)
    Complete Madness
    Clash – Combat Rock
    Depeche Mode – A broken frame (the only one in the list I still listen to regularly)

  52. Paul English says:

    My first album:

    On Friday 2 July 1982 the four of us piled into my Dad’s Fiat Mirafiori and drove 15 miles down the road to Waterford. Sinnott’s was the name of the record shop and I had ten minutes. At that point I wasn’t 100% sure of what LP I’d buy but ABC were in the running. The woman in the shop was playing “Poison Arrow” as I walked through the door. I didn’t bother looking at the racks; instead I walked up to the counter and said “May I have the ABC album please?” Ms Jack Black walked over to the turntable and unceremoniously yanked the needle off the spinning wax. “It’s the last one.” she growled by way of explanation.

  53. Jurg says:

    The first album I bought was “One-Trick Pony” by Paul Simon. It was late 1985 early 1986, a half year before “Graceland” came out. Back then in school you had the hard-rockers on one side and the new-wavers on the other one. So it wasn’t very cool to buy Paul Simon. The fact that the album was already 8 years old and not really hip didn’t help much either. But I liked it a lot, still do! “Graceland” changed of course everything! I think I bought some 30 vinyl albums before I switched to CD’s. To have money to buy CD’s I sold all my vinyl albums except Brian Wilson’s first solo album and “Pacific Ocean Blue” by Dennis Wilson. I couldn’t find them on CD. Now … I wish I still had my first vinyl albums … just for the memories.

    • Florentino Stabile says:

      Hi there Jurg,

      Love the fact that you too love Pacific Ocean Blue. Sorry you sold them but Pacific Ocean Blue has been reissued on CD. For me I discovered it about 5 years ago and has become a desert island disc. One of my all time favorites.

  54. Cosmo Castanza says:

    My first album as mentioned was A New World Record.

    However I was very fortunate that my uncle owned a night club in North Manchester.
    From the age of about 10 I had access (in day time of course) to the disco record decks and all the wonderful record collection.

    Songs In The Key Of Life was probably the first album I discovered there …….if I had a time machine I would revisit this time and place.

  55. MüllerMüller says:

    Music was my first love…..
    In 1976 i started with ABBA ´s „Arrivel“ – my first LP! The smell of a black vinyl >> hmmm
    First CD >> George Michael „Faith“ (together with a Phillips player)!
    Listening to the LTA Bowie Box and going to a Jack White concert – thats my sundy plan!

  56. Simon George says:

    Wow – this thread has had a lot of attention!!
    My first album was in fact a classical album – Pictures At An Exhibition (Ravel orchestration) which I am still in love with. I now have at least 3 separate LPs & CDs of that version plus original piano, organ, guitar and of course what then what drove a life long passion for progressive music – the ELP version. This then pushed me into King Crimson, The Nice, Atomic Rooster, etc and the bug had hit. My first non-prog album was Simon & Garfunkel (Sound of Silence).

    All of this was around the mid-70’s and I didn’t have a lot of money but albums were the thing rather than smoking or drinking (or girlfriends as they were costly it seemed).

  57. Dan says:

    The first album I got which impacted me significantly, and I could play start to finish and love each track and know every detail in each song was Placebo – Black Market Music back in 2001.
    It’s not very often an album has such a strong impact on me.

  58. Freek Claassen says:

    My first received lp was because I got my swimming diploma, a Dutch girl group called Dolly Dots and the lp is called Display. It has their best songs on it (Love me just a little bit more and She’s a liar). Never released on cd. I hated swimming lessons and I remember Love Is A Battlefield being in the top 40. To this day I get the smell of chlorine in my nose when I hear the song :)

    My 2nd lp was Arena by Duran Duran, got that from Sinterklaas I guess in 1984.

    The first lp I bought I think is a 2lp of Elvis country songs from a 1987 series of 2lp’s called “The definitive … album” I had saved up long for that one, but when I was in the shop it turned out I didn’t have enough money. Oh the shame. that moment my face must have been as red as my hair. The kind lady let me buy it anyway saying “wie geeft wat ie heeft is waard dat ie leeft” (a Dutch saying roughly translated When you give what you have you’re worth living)

  59. Catweazle says:

    ‘The Slider’ by T.Rex was my very first LP. I was twelve and had to save six months’ pocket money to be able to get a copy! Needless to say I listened to it countless times – happy days indeed! (It is still one of my favourite albums though my musical tastes have changed considerably.)
    Today I have enough spare money to buy mostly every record I want but haven’t got enough time. Bought the Lennon six disc deluxe on Tuesday but haven’t yet found the time to listen – shame!

  60. Daniel ( from Berlin ) says:

    hello paul and all other ABBA fans here and everywhere.
    i can remember first listen to the “visitors” album and i was so disappointed.
    i thought something is wrong with the sound. i was so confused about the selected vocals.
    today i can’t hear the differences between the “visitors” songs and earlier works anymore but as a child this was a shock for me. today i think with songs like “i let the music speak” and “like an angel…” ABBA went to a new mature direction and it is sad that they split in 1982. i’m very curious about the 2 new songs and i hope they have recorded more songs this summer secretly… and it will be a full album in 2019.
    even now i read that they used for the 2012 “deluxe edition” of “the visitors”
    an alternate mix of “head over heels”.
    can anybody write what are the differences in vocal and instrumentation ?
    also i read that the “ABBA engineers thought it would be a great idea to remaster “every good man” from original tapes and it turned out to be a 3:45 long song”. “every good man” was sung in demo form ( frof “chess” ) by agnetha in 1983. have anyone more information about a possibly remaster of “every good man” ?

  61. Oskar says:

    While reminiscing about first albums you might want to pop down to HMV if you are in the UK as they have had shedloads of limited, coloured vinyl albums in – U2, Elvis, Blondie, Rainbow, The Killers and more.

    • Adam says:

      They (HMV) have found some copies of the latest Suede album on blue vinyl too, and it’s available online! Glad I didn’t pay over the odds now!

  62. Lee says:

    What a fantastic story Paul !!!!!
    Thanks !!!!

  63. Jane Donoghue says:

    ABBA..superb choice. (As a hardcore Abba-fan, I couldn’t agree more) And Hounds of Love. The genius of Kate Bush. You have impeccable taste!

  64. Frederique Flintstonia says:

    First record I fell in love with was Stevie Wonder’s 1974 album “Fulfillingness’ First Finale” which my old man picked up in 1978/79 as a bargain-bin cassette. Played it virtually every night of summer 1980 on my old mono Toshiba cassette recorder with my ear glued to the speaker. Hot, humid nights in Sydney’s West, lying on top of the bed sheets & floating off into space with Stevie.

    First record I bought with my own dosh was Johnny Warman’s 1981 album “Walking Into Mirrors” on cassette, again from a bargain-bin. Wore that out too, but not before giving me nuclear nightmares – then went out & bought it again on LP to re-live the joy!

    Next purchase was an el-cheapo compilation of early Bob Marley & the Wailers, released to cash-in on his untimely death. This little gem (again a bargain-bin cassette) kicked-off a life-long obsession with ’70’s reggae & (for what it’s worth) probably saved my life.

  65. Steve says:

    I took over my local community café yesterday afternoon with a flight case of vinyl albums and a hi-fi system borrowed from my local dealer (they know me well) . It was the busiest Saturday the café has ever had. Plenty of “I have loads of vinyl in the loft but I listen on Spotify nowadays” and a handful of “this sounds great, where can I buy one?”. We had so much fun, we’re going to do it every month from now on.

    P.S. The Human League’s ‘Dare’, by the way. I’m the same age as Paul.

  66. Tony Sandell says:

    I love this site.
    Apart from the information that Paul provides it is fascinating to read everybody’s opinions and memories.
    To follow up on this thread Paul, what about a top 10 albums, top 10 album sleeves.

  67. Andre Denis says:

    The first item I bought myself with my own pocket money was:

    I can Hear music by the Beach Boys.

    It was a 7” single, after that the rest is history ………….

  68. Michael says:

    Presence by LZ, after Physical Graffiti was released in 1975, it was super-hyped.
    Left school early, listened to it for days, wore it out pretty quickly…

  69. Mister Stick says:

    Wow, what a list of comments, and some of the recollections are really, really wild. The Barron Knights? Uncle Meat? Holy smokes, what a kick-off. Others I suspect of selectivizing their memory banks. Hunky Dory? Sheer Heart Attack? C’mon now. Are you sure you’re not morphing Cliff Richard and Neil Diamond in place of Bowie and Freddie? I gave this topic a think and I’m not sure I can go cool or quaint. I remember conning my old man into buying some records that did not please him (AT ALL). But acquired with my own newspaper money? Can’t say. Maybe it was an Ohio Players album with a cover that I would have had to sneak in to the house through the garage.

    But I sure do know the first album I was given: More Of The Monkees. One of the two where the Pre-Fabs are definitely not driving the bus, but who cares? Garage rock masterpieces like “She” and “Stepping Stone”, the pre-funk of “Mary Mary”, sunny Lovin’ Spoonful jacks like “Laugh”, and novelty hiccups (Auntie Grizelda”). There was a ha-yoooge hit (“I’m A Believer”) and the best song under two minutes this side of The Ramones: Nesmith’s percussion divebomber “The Kind of Girl I Could Love”. And the Davy Jones schmoetry just comes across as a kind of interval, I guess. Really, I can’t think of a moment on that record that doesn’t earn at least a little smile, and, if you think about it, they all came with music videos.

    For me, it helped set a lifelong standard of not giving a damn how the sausage is made. If something can burn a 40-minute-long groove into your ROM, then do yourself a solid: Do not question what the muse has dropped on your doorstep. Don’t obsess on who played the tamourine, or whether the guitar player wrote the whole song or just swiped the opening line from a bathroom wall. The horse’s teeth are fine just as they are. Just be glad you got the full-length music gene in your DNA.

    Someday, people will look back at this time as the Era of Attention Deficit. Maybe, though, our descendants will be able to hold up our albums and prove us as the exceptions.

  70. Robert says:

    I got my first albums during the Beatles renaissance of the mid 70’s when ‘Got to get you into my life’ became a top ten hit in America. All my early albums were by Beatles. Oddly, when I started to branch out it surprised me at first when I listened to a non-Beatles and was disappointed that some of the songs were mediocre. The Beatles had me spoiled.

  71. Michael says:

    My first album was the Conan the Barbarian Soundtrack in 1982 – I was 11 at that time. I bought Kate Bush The Hounds of Love about the time when it came out and even though I loved all the singles, which are on the first side of the album – the real beauty lies in the The Ninth Wave. It is hauntingly beautiful and something that I will never get tired of listing too no matter how often I take it out. After all those years still an album I listen on a regular basis and I never grow tired of it.

  72. AModSquad says:

    I’ll never forget my first album bought when I was 9. Dad took me to the Wiz in nyc and the guy behind the counter showed me the vinyl and the tape – I picked the vinyl.

    I sat in the backseat of my dads car and started ripping the shrink wrap off and the entire car got hit with this strong smell. I thought to myself “vinyl smell” is strong and intoxicating. I learned later it wasn’t vinyl smell – it was patchouli!

    Madonna had the Like A Prayer album scented with patchouli and to this day when I smell patchouli, I get transported back to the very day I got my first album.

  73. Rickjapan says:

    For my age, I should have been into music of the seventies, but a rabidly classical music oriented parental background delayed me to the eighties.
    My first album was Upstairs At Eric’s by Yazoo (favourite album track Midnight, really showed off Alison Moyet’s pipes).
    Followed by Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics (favourite album track The Walk (yes, I know it was a single, but it sold almost nothing so is on par with being an album track, and it really wowed teenage me with its teenage bedsitter vibe, wondering what ‘the real thing’ was that Annie wanted, and that cool and groovy muted trumpet solo towards the end).

  74. Scott Meze says:

    “London Town.” When my parents bought me my first mono flat-style cassette player for Xmas, my mother asked Woolworths to bundle in a cassette by Showaddywaddy. (Who knows why.) Woolworths screwed up and included a cassette by Manhattan Transfer instead. So we trekked off to the shop to change it and I insisted on “London Town,” having loved the title track on Top Of The Pops (with that silly video). I played that cassette incessantly and “Morse Moose” turned me into a prog rock fan. I owe it all to Paul.

  75. Tony West says:

    My first albums were “Bella Donna” by Stevie Nicks and “Quiet Lies” by Juice Newton. Both were on cassette and I wore them out! I have bought them over and over through the years in so many different formats and still love them just as much to this day!

  76. Glenn says:

    After buying some 7″ singles the first albums I bought on vinyl were Van Halen’s 1984 and Men at Work’s Business as Usual. First cassette was Men Without Hat’s Rhythm of Youth followed by ABC’s How To Be A Zillionaire, Talking Heads’ Little Creatures and Simple Minds’ Once Upon A Time. Have then bought all of these on CD as often as they are remastered/released/boxed etc.

  77. Michael says:

    In terms of thinking about what my first album I bought or chose for myself would be, I cannot be sure. But I am confident that Tears for Fears “Songs from the Big Chair” was the first I chose that my parents were not already into themselves in some fashion. I would have been 6 then.

  78. Michael says:

    A day that is not an album day for me would be a day that felt incomplete.

    But I’ve been reappreciating 80s Bowie albums this weekend, for obvious reasons.

  79. David Rubin says:

    The first LP I ever got was from a store called Alexanders in Paramus NJ. I saw the most beautiful dark haired angel. On the shelf was the LP “Live at Maggie’s Birthday Party” by Melanie. I still cherrish that lp.
    The first lp I ever bought with my own money was Wings “Red Rose Speedway”. I loved that it opened up an had pages inside. And on the back was a secret message in braille. I used to know what that said. I remember bothering my sister by playing over and over “Lupe – First Indian on the Moon”.

  80. Marc says:

    The first lp I bought, and a little later also my first cd, was ‘Revenge’ by Eurythmics.
    The years after that I bought all the other Eurythmics albums, but ‘Revenge’ has always been my favourite. Their album ‘Savage’ was the first album I bought on the day it was released.

  81. gisabun says:

    Seems there is a “National ____ Day” every day for everything. I’m sure there is a Natural Cockroach Day by now.
    I think Paul needs to find an unused “day” and reserve it for National Super Deluxe Edition Day.

  82. HD Noiser says:

    My first LP was A Collection Of Beatles Oldies from east-german Amiga label, my first CD however was a 2fer of Klaatu / Hope by Klaatu. No more vinyl after that.

  83. Brian Scott says:

    My first LP bought with my own money was Electric Warrior and I remember the day like it was yesterday. What today’s Spotify generation can’t appreciate is the adventure that began with saving up the pocket money, the journey to town on the bus, picking the album from the shelves and then the anticipation of the journey home to be followed by that hour of sheer indulgence as you listened intently, on your own, usually with headphones on to stop complains from parents, constantly flipping the cover, reading the lyrics and sleeve notes over and over. Sheer bliss.

    I also remember the first album I heard on a ‘proper’ hi-fi system, which was Abbey Road, and my first CD, which was Brothers in Arms. All 3 albums remain in my all time top 10.

    Long live long players :)

  84. I’m with you on The Visitors, Paul – I only got it when the deluxe edition came out a couple of years ago, despite being an ABBA fan for years. Ken Bruce played Soldiers on Radio Two just before it came out; first time I’d heard it and thought it was brilliant. Went out and got the album on the strength of that, and it’s an awesome piece of work. Probably my favourite of theirs – real pity they didn’t continue on in that vein for at least a few more years.

    My own first album was Storm Front by Billy Joel – bought with birthday money when it came out in 1989. Bought at WH Smiths in Nuneaton. Those were the days!

  85. Mark says:

    First 3 albums were bought for my birthday in 85: No Jacket Required, Born In The USA and Brothers in Arms – none more 80’s!
    First I bought myself was Fine Young Cannibals – The Raw and The Cooked. They all still get played and still give pleasure.
    Nice article Paul. Happy memories.

  86. Bob D says:

    My first , aside from kids records , was Meet The Beatles in 1964 . I dont remember how I got it , but I traded it to my brother for a 45 . I dont remember what 45 . Odd thing is , he already had a copy of Meet as well . The first album I really remember buying after that was The Mothers Of Invention Uncle Meat the day it came out . I still have it . I have a feeling there was something in between . Possibly The Monkees Pisces etc .

  87. Aubrey says:

    Lovely article Paul.
    Like most people, my ‘first’ album lies somewhere in a fog of childhood memories and parental purchases… Elvis, Dean Martin, lots of Reader’s Digest compilations (“Country Greats!’), followed by tapes from school friends (Alf, All Night Long, No Parlez, and also, weirdly, soundtracks to films like Footloose and Beverly Hills Cop).
    When I eventually had my own funds I *think* Duran Duran (maybe Seven and the Ragged Tiger, or Arena?) were the beneficiaries. Although the first album I remember loving is So Red the Rose by Arcadia.
    Also, you mentioned tape sacrilege… I’m pretty sure one of my very early purchases – Greetings From Asbury Park on cassette (because it was in a bargain bin) – tried to keep both sides equivalent lengths by actually fading out in the middle of the last song on Side 1 (Lost in the Flood), and then faded it back in at the start of Side 2! Which in hindsight seems insane…

  88. Kulturtrager says:

    Albums have dominated my life since I was a child in the 1970’s.

    Entire universes of emotion and philosophy, transcendent musical passages that resonate for decades; a glorious record of genius and graft that could be held in one hand; my thousands upon thousands of long playing recordings sit in my home as testament to one of the great art forms of all time.

    Growing up in a small, remote town in the wilds of Australia meant that I was unlikely to come across too much variety and my purchases reflected that. But I had taste and I bought wisely.
    ABBA’s Arrival, I believe, was my first proper album, as in an album by a band that I specifically asked for. I had been getting K-Tel compilations from about the age of 8 for birthdays and Christmas, but Arrival seems to stand out as the major upheaval in my life at that time.

    The act of buying records became, and remains, an intensely focused act.

    Being terrified at 3am on Xmas day as my copy of War of the Worlds spun in my cassette player; getting that copy of The Blurred Crusade in a weird underground mall in 1982; buying the single of ‘The Number of the Beast’ with my friend Tony, (in a cramped little Chandlers store that seemed as a temple to me), who was still trying to figure out what I saw in ‘Purple Rainbow’ and all that nonsense.

    My first ever CD, being Darkness on the Edge of Town, and having bought in the store near uni, racing into the library to hear it hoping it would somehow reveal new secrets in a new format. My memories and rich and full for the art of the album. Long may it reign.

  89. Mad Earwig says:

    Black Sabbath ‘Sabotage’ saved up for and bus taken to town to get it aged 14.

    The amazing riffs, the drumming, Ozzy’s vocals, the anger, the power and unusual cover all amazing to me.

    40 years later, still my favourite Sabbath album, bought on vinyl, again on Japanese vinyl, then CD, again on remastered CD then finally in a CD box set. If it comes out again as a deluxe edition, I will still buy it again!

    Now with a massive collection, I find the beauty, majestic life shaping joy of music is still there.

  90. Ian says:

    My first album – ABBA Arrival, I was 11 when I saved up & bought it. Definitely not a cool album to own at the time lol.

  91. Steve Benson says:

    It would have been The Shadows first LP, and strangely this year I found an absolutely pristine 1961 mono copy in my local second hand store for £5. I can’t believe it had ever been played it was so mint. I still enjoy it (though I’ll confess to lifting the needle for the vocal tracks).

  92. Chris Squires says:

    Whilst most people here seem to have got some musical credibility together by the time they were 11 – 13 with lots of great albums. It’s interesting to see that the first vinyl bought, if it was a 7″ single was not so cool.

    My first ever musical purchase was a single called Convoy G.B. by Laurie Lingo and the Dipsticks. It was one of those Woolworths things where you could buy three 7″ singles for whatever it was…. 99p or something. My sister bought Bernie Flint and Our Kid and I was given the honour of choosing a single and it was a comedy one.

    Mainly because there was a lot more comedy in the charts back in the mid 70s and it was the kind of music that was played a lot on the Saturday morning Ed Stewart / Tony Blackburn request shows. (Hello Muddah Hello Faddah, Three Little Fishes, The Streak, Goodies, Barron Knights etc). Big difference from 8 years old to 11 or 12.

    So first album – credible….first single not so much……

  93. Balhamboy says:

    I was a bit of a late developer buying music myself. The first albums I remember my parents buying me were the soundtracks to the Jungle Book, Oliver and the Sound of Music (and they wondered why I grew up gay! )

    The first two albums I ever bought with my own money were ABBA’s then latest album Arrival and Greatest Hits. After that I was hooked and bought their whole back catalogue and everything else they released on the day it came out. Not long afterwards I bought Out Of The Blue and Donna Summer’s ‘I Remember Yesterday’ and very quickly filled in their back catalogues too.

    Agree completely about the Visitors (apart, as others have mentioned, from the execrable Two For The Price Of One). It was one of the first five CDs I ever bought when I got my first player in 1983, even though I already had it on vinyl. Love Kate’s Hounds of Love too – though by the time that came out I’d already more or less stopped buying vinyl, having progressed to CD. There were no bonus 12″ versions on the CD, sadly – although I’d already bought the 12″ of Running Up That Hill before HOL came out!

  94. Wilfred says:

    wombling songs was the first album i received as a gift (stone cold classic), first single i bought was Madness cardiac arrest, i even tried to fill in the crossword cover, 1st album was either Kings of the wild frontier by Adam and the ants or U2 Boy

  95. Scott says:

    Love the post Paul. You and I are of a similar age and both these albums remind me of some great times too. Our family journeys were accompanied by Super Trouper on high rotation (the alternative was Roger Whittaker?) . I know every nook and cranny of that release and still have a fondness for it today

    On this day Sade Diamond Life is the one I am putting forward. Like yourself saved the 12.99 it cost to purchase the album on cassette and travelled with it everywhere. I recall a bus trip overnight to our capital city Adelaide and this album being a companion on a sleepless journey. The contrast of 80s soho jazz as the soundtrack to a trip through rural South Australia in the wee small hours is quite surreal but has never left me. Power of music indeed

  96. Paul Taylor says:

    My first album – Kimono My House by Sparks.
    I got it at Xmas 1974 aged 11, and it started my love affair with the band. They were the first band I saw live at the Edinburgh Odeon in October 1975, by which point I also had Propaganda and Indiscreet. As a prepubescent pre-teen I was slightly aghast at the subtle and not-so-subtle sexual innuendo and references within some of the songs. To this day I never tire of listening to those three albums, not just for the music but for the same reasons you have mentioned Paul, that you said; they take you back to fondly remembered times
    As a footnote, I had to chastise myself that the next time I made the effort to see them live was in May this year at the O2 Academy in Glasgow on the Hippopotamus tour . That said, that album saw a return to the form of the ‘old’ days so maybe it wasn’t that bad that I saw them after such a big gap. They were awesome

  97. Wax Monster X says:

    First album bought with my own money:
    Beatles – Let It Be
    Second album:
    Shango – Shango

    First CD Echo – Ocean Rain

    Album Shmalbum. Today in America it’s cassette day! Next up wax cylinder day, reel to reel day, sheet music day and homemade 8 track day (the clunks between sections are priceless).

  98. tom says:

    The first proper LP that I got into rather than singles was DARE by The Human League. Still one of the best LPs ever in my view.

  99. Pablo says:

    Hi, those comments have made for a nice reading… In my case the first recollection of spending money in music is buying a Depeche Mode – 101 cassette in a Southampton HMV where I was staying for a month to lear English (I’m Spanish). Coincidentally a friend during that summer also lent me his tapes of REM – Document and The Cure – Head On the Door. I remember listening to them at night in my pristine new walkman in the house of the English family I was staying with while the street lamp was keeping me awake (we were used to blinds in Spain…) This started the passion for me and it has never stopped since.

  100. paolo says:

    I think I had a couple of tapes at a younger age, but I consider my very first album The Prodigy’s ‘The Fat of the Land’, bought for Christmas ’97 when I was 14. That CD really started my interest in music and my collection, and of course it was the very first time I was listening to an album, every time start to end, rather than just songs from the radio or from my older sister’s mixtapes.

  101. Paul Wren says:

    Ten Years After “A Space In Time” and Humble Pie “Performance – Rockin’ The Fillmore”, both 1970. I guess I’m older than most contributors here!

    • Uncle Meat says:

      Those albums were released in 1971, sorry. An especially good year in rock music. Those were the days…

  102. Larry Davis says:

    As a kid, I used to get albums as gifts…so the first ones I had received were titles like the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack on 8 track, the Grease soundtrack on 8 track, Andy Gibb’s Shadow Dancing, a really cool rock/punk/new wave comp by K-Tel called Rock 80, REO Speedwagon’s Hi-Infidelity, Rick Springfield’s Working Class Dog, Hall & Oates’ Private Eyes, the Xanadu sondtrack, and in 1983/1984, my parents bought my brother Paul and myself the 1st 2 Madonna records and we would each choose one…i got Like A Virgin…as a surprise, we received Bruce’s boxset ‘Live 75-85’…I think the first coupla albums I bought with my own money, though, were Prince’s “1999” (on cassette and being it was a double album on 1 tape, the ribbon was really thin and kept getting caught in my boombox…remember those days?? Yikes), Def Leppard’s “Pyromania” and Journey’s “Frontiers”… I do admit in 1982/1983, my taste was a bit lame and I hadn’t been exposed to cooler music, but that Prince album is a stone cold classic…

  103. colinthebruce says:

    The Visitors and Hounds of Love probably my top two albums as well…but were they my first ever- not by a long shot. Am ashamed to say the first one I actually I bought with my own pocket money was…The Goodies! Think it was eponymous but tracks included “Cricklewood” “Wild thing” (yes that one!) and others I can’t recall. Happily it was a temporary blip and got back on track in those years with Arrival, some Top of the Pops albums and the odd K-tel compilation (box set please lol). Today on the other hand been listening to my new Dubstar (I know!) red vinyl album One. Its no “Disgraceful” but am warming to it.

  104. SimonP says:

    All this talk of cassettes and no one has mentioned that it’s also Cassette Store Day today. Not surprised that it passed everyone by, though!

  105. Fiore says:

    Hi I fell in love with WH first, but at the time I didn’t have the money so i had a lots of tapes from friends. Until Hounds of Love. I can’t tell you how many times I listened to it… thousands. And that’s when I started my Kate collection. Now i have hundreds of beauties, and in a few weeks finally, and I really mean finally the remastered boxes. Gold all of them… Can you imagine The Dreaming remastered, by Kate herself none the less!
    Oh yes, wave after wave of beauties

  106. Texquad says:

    I got my first album on Christmas Day 1963 The Beach Boys Surfer Girl. I’m old!

  107. Christophe says:

    … Oh and I forgot, living a boy’s adventure tale, from a-ha’s Hunting high and low… Epic.

  108. Christophe says:

    Nice reading Paul and totally agree with you about hidden gems from albums you wouldn’t know about if sticking only to the hit singles. Scoundrel days track from A-ha same named album, October symphony from Pet shop boys’s Behaviour, Til death do us part from Madonna ‘s Like a prayer or Cowboys and Angels from George Michael’ s Listen without a prejudice (OK that latter one was a single but kept very low key at the time)…. And I agree 100% with you for Hello Earth… Masterpiece.

    • SimonP says:

      I love it when a non-single is your favourite track on an album. A few of mine are Shakin’ by Dandy Warhols, Soma by Smashing Pumpkins and I’m So Stupid by Madonna.

    • Mick Lynch says:

      great stuff christopher. scoundrel days I had on cassette and the title track and straight into The Swing of things are sublime, and fully agree with Til Death Do Us part

  109. Jcpp says:

    First album enjoyed from beginning to end, INXS Kick, a cassette bought somewhere in Italy during an end of high school trip. Not sure I wanted to spend the last few lire in my pocket but never regretted it. Music and memories became one from that moment on!

  110. Gary Matfin says:

    My first album I bought was The Incredible Shrinking Dickies by The Dickies in blue vinyl after saving up my dinner money (Mother found out when school told her). The album that was an influence on me was Sweet Fanny Adams by The Sweet which was played to death by my sister at the time in 1974 when I was just discovering my own taste in music (so we are talking 73-74 glam rock years). I still love Sweet Fanny Adams and is a constantly played album! I think the only good thing about National Album Day is that it has got everyone talking about albums, which is a good thing!

  111. Tony Sandell says:

    Andy Williams “Can’t help falling in love “ was the first LP I purchased
    Plain simple green cover containing an LP that still contains one of my favourite songs of all time.
    Strange how you forget so many things over the years but things like that stay with you forever.
    Freda Paynes “Band of gold “ was the first single just for good measure!

  112. Jon says:

    The first albums I can remember my mom buying for me was the Pointer Sisters “Break Out” (a week before Thanksgiving 1983) and Tina Turner’s “Private Dancer” in 1984. I must have played them both thousands of times. I knew every single lyric. Before then my mom only bought me 7″ singles because they were cheaper.

  113. Hans Hamers says:

    my first albums: ABC -lexicon, Echo – Porcupine and Comsat Angels – Fiction. I will always be playing these albums and own them in various formats.
    Only two months later it went on with Gene Loves Jezebel – Promise, Chameleons – script and Siouxsie – JuJu. all due to the radioshow from John Peel which was broadcasted in Netherlands for a few years. I recorded everything (that was good) on tape and later hoped to find these things on Vinyl.
    That how you end up with a collection of various bands and good music.

    I really have a problem nowadays to discover new music because all the radio stations play the same music.

    Now I read this and think maybe I should listen to ABBA. Did I missed that? And a few weeks ago I read about the Beatles – White album, maybe I’m gonna listen to that too.

    THX Paul.

  114. Cosmo Castanza says:

    As for National Album Day , as ludicrous as when we were told by the media that vinyl was back ……….I wasn’t aware it had gone.

  115. Cosmo Castanza says:

    A New World Record was my first album , and what a belter to start with .

  116. Wes Headley says:

    Beautifully said Paul. I think you really touched on the essence of the power of an album, when, even as a kid, you might not have understood all of the lyrics, but the combination of all of it creates deep impressions that form memories that can last a lifetime. I remember a long train ride from Germany to a far corner of Denmark, listening to the Style Council’s ‘Our Favorite Shops ‘ as the countryside flew by and everything just connected for me– the place, the time, the music– it was a perfect moment– and I can still remember that feeling whenever I think of it– to this very day. Your writing just keeps getting better and better.

  117. Thomas says:

    My first album i buy myself was a double album Out of the Blue by Electric Light Orchestra

  118. Normand says:

    I was 10 years old in 1965 and, as I am from Quebec, Canada, the first LP that I bought was from a French singer, Tony Roman. But when I bought my first English LP, Revolver, in September 1966, I knew then that I was going to buy more and more vinyl from English artists, above all from UK bands: Stones, Procol Harum, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, Uriah Heep, and so on in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and 2000 (Yes, 10cc, XTC, Depeche Mode, Talk Talk, Oasis, Travis, Coldplay, Muse, Big Big Train,…) This is the music I love!

  119. Alan says:

    I had that Hounds of Love cassette as well! It was the first one I had with the “backing card” as I called it, and lyrics included. I loved that the entire thing was clear, no black or white plastic anywhere. And yes, those XDR bleeps. Listening to the album later (on CD), I missed those bleeps, and the 12” of RUTH tagged onto Side 1. Cassettes were a big deal and no longer the poor relation of the vinyl album or LP as they were then.

    I heard Kate Bush albums in an odd order – Lionheart first, in Sept 85 (as it was the cheapest due to it being a Fame reissue), then Never For Ever, then Hounds, The Dreaming and finally The Kick Inside. The Dreaming cassette did at least have the lyrics but Hounds and that backing card and all-clear plastic was just beautiful.

    The Visitors I remember most for not being able to get a copy that didn’t jump. We still had a 1960s box record player then. We changed the needle, took the record back several times and tried the 2p on the stylus trick, but couldn’t stop it jumping. In the end my brother gave up and swapped it for a cassette version (then still a very poor relation of the LP).

    I think my first album was The Muppet Show in 1977. A Christmas present and I loved it (I still have the actual record if not its cover).

    • Klaus says:


      I bought “The Visitors” as a Christmas gift for my sister who back then was the ABBA-geek in the family and I remember having the exact same problem with that which you had. I had to bring the stupid thing back four times to the record store before i finally got a plain copy. If my memory serves me right the faulty copies were all made somewhere in Southern Europe, i’m not quite sure if it was Italy or Greece, but the fifth copy was pressed in Germany. So much for prejudice…

  120. TMT says:

    I hate to say it but I just do not know. First, was it an LP, a cassette or an 8-track? CDs were not around yet, but once they did I admit that there were times in the 80’s where I had three different formats of an album. I recall hating those 8-tracks that could not fit all of a song on the track so it faded out and back in after the switch, but that it what we had in the car so that format won sometimes. I adopted cassettes because the Walkman let me listen out of the house or car and headphones let you explore the soundscapes so much better. My parents bought those Columbia House record club editions and I relied on the library to feed my music appetite so that makes it difficult to say what was actually bought by me.

    I sadly purged my collection when I started moving around so I have nothing from ‘before CD’. After settling down, I have since replaced things over the years as I found I was missing the songs on albums that never made it to artist collection editions as well as remembering the flow of an album and needing to ‘properly’ hear it again to take me back to that time. Thanks Paul for reminding us about things we should revisit.

    My best guess is something from 1978 when we got first albums from bands like The Police, The B-52’s and The Cars. It was something different for me. It was start of the New Wave/Synthpop sound that pushed me deep into exploring music beyond what the radio had to offer. It was when the options to hear new music either required a friend with a love of music or visiting a shop and gambling on a recommendation hoping it was not ‘frisbee material’.

    For today, I’ll choose Simple Minds’s album ‘Sons and Fascination’ both as preparation for their upcoming show in Vancouver and because it was a cassette that I wore out.

  121. Tom Heusinger says:

    Supertramp Paris and Destroyer by Kiss where my first two records which I bought from pocket money.
    Ransacking my parent”s Abba vinyl already at that time. They probably still woder where they went…

  122. Murray says:

    Xmas ‘79 was a veritable feast as I received Regatta De Blanc by the Police and Parallel Lines by Blondie as presents and then proceeded to buy my first ever album, One Step Beyond by Madness, with my Xmas money. Still have and love all three.

  123. Ryan Cheyne says:

    I remember both of those albums so vividly and they would be on my list too – probably because I was listening to them with you lol. Great review. I have both those albums on vinyl now which is slightly odd as at the time as you say it was cassettes

  124. Iain says:

    My first tape purchase saw me spend what seemed like a day deciding between ‘Born in the USA’ and ‘Purple Rain’. I remember being totally focussed on those two treasures, holding them both in my hands as I debated the merits of each. The Boss looked cool in his videos, got the girl in ‘ Dancing in the Dark’ etc. Prince was more exotic and mysterious. Decisions decisions …! I went for BITU, and loved it. I know every word, beat of it and played it to death. I did get Purple Rain only years later and while I thought it was ok, it had nothing on what was my first choice. I was only about 10 at the time but my love for albums continues to this day at 44. And funnily enough, Born in the USA is probably my least favourite Boss album now!

  125. WILLIAM ENGLAND says:

    The first lp I bought was Red Rose Speedway. I had been at a friends house (they had a colour tv so was there more often than not) and totally by accident caught the James Paul McCartney special – (not the most earth-shattering tv moments in my life, but that’s another music-related story) and the music was amazing, so the next time I was taken to Boots record department, I saw the album with the great image of the motorbike and Paul with a rose in his mouth and just had to have it. £2.15 later and wrapped in the pink and white striped paper bag, it was mine. Getting it home and pouring over the gatefold cover with the big booklet and the braille on the back together with an address for the Wings Fun Club i’ve never looked back. Although having Loup as my favourite track on the album was a definite pointer to my music predilections to come.

  126. Ryk says:

    ELO’s “Out of the Blue” when I was 14 years old. I followed it up with “A New World Record” 2 months after that. (Like some others, I just double-checked my purchase database to determine that).

    Have always been a fan of the “album.” I don’t really enjoy (and don’t really understand the popularity of) the playlist. I’ve never been a fan of radio, and found much of my new music through music magazines and the old T.V. music video programs, these days using the internet to source what little new stuff I consider for collection purposes.

  127. Kevin Galliford says:

    One of the first albums I ever paid for was “Avalon” by Roxy Music, primarily because I’d spent that summer saving up for the Arcadia album & I remember getting so pissed off waiting for that to come out I blew my pocket money on the Roxy album, which I still think is brilliant & actually played from beginning to end this morning, One of my top 10 albums ever!, I think I actually bought it from a Boots. Who can remember them selling music?

  128. fan says:

    My mom bought Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged because she wanted me to discover something else than Genesis (I probably listened to Invisible Touch / Live / We Can’t Dance albums whenever I could,so she needed a break :-D ) that’s the earliest occurence I can remember, I was 7

  129. Dan says:

    My first album ever was Deep Purple in Rock which came out in 1970, but I didn’t buy until the following year. It truly made me scream with delight. Until then I had been under the complete and utter influence of classical music through my father’s passion for it. Well fair dues. On entering a record store in Cardiff, he asked me what record I wanted (thinking that I might say some symphony by Mozart or Beethoven concerto), but I asked for Deep Purple in Rock. He didn’t bat an eyelid, but said in a distinct voice “Modern rubbish!” merely confirmed to him, when I actually played him the opening track. But it gives me goosebumps even now when I think of the Track 1 “Speed King”. Wow! What a way to announce your arrival. In my opinion it hasn’t even dated too badly!

  130. andrew R says:

    Aladdin Sane the day it came out, transfixed then ,
    transfixed now .Everything changed for me with that lp
    more important to me than Ziggy .I suspect that all the people who claim to have bought Ziggy as soon as it came out were probably a little late to the party like me!

    • Robert Laversuch says:

      Sacred trilogy Hunky Dory Ziggy Aladdin – perfect! Got Aladdin for my cousin who had owned a lot of Bowie in 70s but only had Hunky Dory left. Thought that was sublime. He told me to check out Ziggy and Aladdin Sane. When he came to play Aladdin I howled at the opening lines of Time, of course, and by the time we got to Lady Grinning Soul I was in tears! Out of this world!

  131. Robert Laversuch says:

    My first album was Deep Purple – Made in Japan before that I only had a few Ktel comp albums. This would have been 77 I guess. Bought it secondhand off of a neighbour for 12 Marks. Then I got Queen Jazz and Manfred Mann’s Earthband Solar Fire plus in out Summer Trips to GB Blondie Parallel Lines all in 78. my earliest musical memories would be The Beatles Help which I must have watched in the early 70s and later nicked my dad’s copy of the album and Greatest. Also a Lonnie Donegan album. I got the Kate Bush Hounds Album on tape as well when it came out. Bought thousands of vinyl tape and CD albums since and been obsessed with loads of bands like Iron Maiden The Jam XTC Big Country Simple Minds Marillion Genesis etc. since and for me there is nothing better than music. Love this site and all them suggestions ideas etc. One last thing there is a lot to be said for singles as well as so many bands released non album singles especially in the Punk New wave days and also the B-side/s The Jam XTC Siouxsie Big Country The Stranglers The Cure etc. So much to discover. True, if you only go for the hits you miss out on so much. So stay true to the cause and keep buying albums where you get to hear Mother Stands For Comfort , for example. While all the singles off HOL are sublime that track blew my mind. God bless Kate Bush and God bless music in general whatever it is.

  132. tom forrester says:

    Before my teen years I was buying 45’s but I do remember my first album purchase. The year was 1968,I was thirteen, and the album was ‘Revolver’. If memory serves it had a list price of $4.98 and was on sale for $3.98. Of course the album had been released a couple of years prior but a kid has to start collecting somewhere and that wasn’t a bad beginning….

  133. John says:

    The first music I remember “owning” was a cassette copy of ABBA’s Voulez-Vous album. I loved it aged 7 and still love it to this day. I remember playing it over and over again with my Grandparents. Until the day my brother put cellotape over the holes and taped over it with some (god awful) punk at the time. :) My Grandma’s Lena Martell tape met the same sorry fate as well. My first vinyl was Super Trouper, which I got for Christmas 1980. The one with “win a Saab” on the front cover. That survived my brother and I’ve still got it today…. clicks, jumps and all. Happy times.

  134. daveid76 says:

    My Dad got me Doctor Who – The Music by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in 1983 (I was 6 or 7) ;) Gave me nightmares for years.

    Around 1987 he bought me several Beatles albums on vinyl including Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Rd which I listened to endlessly. He introduced me to ABBA around this time too.

    First album I bought independently was Genesis’ We Can’t Dance on cassette in about October 1992. Played it as much as anyone would if it was their only tape.

    1994: First 3 CDs purchased were Simply Red – A New Flame, Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet, Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon. At least one of them was cool…

  135. Ern says:

    Hi Paul, My first album was The Visitors, it was a Christmas present when it first came out. I had liked and heard Abbas singles on TV and radio up to that point, so receiving a whole album worth of new tunes was something special. The moment I heard the title track, I loved it and it is still one of my all time favourite tunes. Like yourself, I had no idea what the song was about. so I would come up with different ideas as to what the subject matter was. I only recently found out that it was about the mistreatment of political dissidents in the USSR. I don’t think an 11 year old me would have sussed out that one. Again, there were gems on the album which you mentioned and I was delighted to see those tracks appear in the Mamma Mia movie. Of course the album does not stop with the music but also with the lyric sheet, production notes and album cover. Who was to know that the beautifully shot album cover reflected what was happening with the group. All previous album covers had them standing beside each other whereby on The Visitors album cover, they are each standing or sitting away from each other.
    First album bought: David Bowie – Let’s Dance. Played that album to death.
    Album choice of the day: David Bowie’s Never Let Me Down 2018.

  136. Per Z says:

    The first internationelly released album that I went to the record shop to buy with my saved money was Like A Virgin with Madonna. (after watching an edited version of The Virgin Tour in Swedish Television with the songs from her first album cut out)
    I played it every day for months, and couldn’t get enough of it.
    That was more than 30 years ago, and I’m still a mega fan! :)

  137. Christophe says:

    Bed and breakfast man on the one step beyond album : not a hit but my favourite song …or a soap box opéra on Crisis what crisis from Supertramp…two albums i was listening to when i as 15

  138. Johan says:

    If I remember it well, one of my my first albums was Some Girls by The Rolling Stones in 1978. I was 11 at the time.

  139. Derek Parkinson says:

    Think it might have been Abba The Album for me. Agree about The Visitors, minus the cringey Two for the price of one it’s 40 odd minutes of pretty bleak genius

  140. johnny says:

    My first album was Regatta de Blanc….£2.99 from Littlewoods.

    By the way, I had Hounds of Love on cassette, and my cheapo no-name ‘walkman’ damaged the tape, causing one-second dropouts, maybe a dozen of them…About one every song…No question of replacing the tape, back in those poor schooldays, so I just had to put up with it..

    To this day,when I hear the album, I’m waiting for the drop outs : (

  141. jonathan stevens says:

    God bless our Latin teacher at the Grammar school, who showed us photos of Toga parties he went to at uni, and discussed Live & Dangerous – Thin Lizzy.
    I went to the library and got it out on cassette. I loved the word-play, and some of the songs seemed heavy, as well as Still in Love With You that could could move a heart of stone.
    Nice one Latin teacher – I got into Yes, Led Zep. and the love still overflows.

  142. Uncle Meat says:

    Led Zeppelin II in July 1970. A pivotal moment in my life.

  143. Steven Roberts says:

    The first albums I received (as Christmas presents – 1981) were Queen – Greatest Hits and Genesis – Foxtrot.

    The first album I recall buying (on cassette) was Phil Collins – Face Value.

    All classics :)

  144. DaveM says:

    The first proper album I bought was Elton John’s Blue Moves on cassette in ’77 at age 12, paid for weekly (15p I believe) from my mother’s Gratton’s catalogue. The reason was that my Dad had bought me a reel to reel tape recorder from a mate at work and Elton John’s Greatest Hits was on a tape with it. I instantly loved it and so bought his latest album. On first play, the album seemed weird and too eclectic, but I stuck with it, leading to a forty plus year obsession with EJ’s music.
    Good to see Wings over America mentioned on here. That introduced me to a whole new world and a Macca / Beatles obsession via a mate bringing it round during the same time. Also Moonflower getting a mention, discovered that a few years later and funnily enough played it last night.

  145. RAY says:

    The first Album i bought with my own money was T Rex’s Electric Warrior, back in September 71. I think it cost somewhere around the £2 mark ? still have it.

  146. SUPERHOOP says:

    My first album?
    Gilbert O’Sullivan “Himself” from Memorydiscs in Hounslow,Feb 1972 at the tender age of 12.
    I just loved the cover-the turn of the 2oth century artwork and the layout of the gate fold sleeve.
    £2.45 well spent even though I didn’t understand why the recent top 5 single No Matter How I Try was not included.
    Now nearing 60 and buying music ever since 1972 nothing has given me more pleasure than walking out of Memorydiscs with that album wrapped in paper bag under my arm.

    • George glazener says:

      LOL, I will also admit that my first ever purchase was Gilbert O’Sullivan “Alone again naturally” single in 1972 at age 12. Right after that was my first LP, Beatles VI. I can remember sooner that going to my local Woolworths and getting four more US Capitol Beatles LPs, and getting change from a twenty dollar bill. Amazing. In 1973, Emerson lake and Palmer turned my head squarely in a prog direction. I bought the triple live album in 74 and wore it out, listening to it with headphones while going to sleep. What a way to absorb the intricacies of an album. Then in 1977, another quantum leap forward with Genesis’ Seconds out. Firth of fifth and cinema show were just incredible epics of musicianship and creativity. Happily, I still have them all, and some in cd form too, but there’s nothing like the old vinyl experience. Great to read everyone’s stories…

  147. MattNYC says:

    The very first album I really got into from start to finish was also my very first CD – Depeche Mode’s Violator. Maybe because it totally blew my teenage mind that it remains to this day my favorite album from them. It’s also in my top 10 albums of all time.

  148. Burkhard says:

    In 1972 I got into music with Slade. ‘Tak’ me bak ‘ome’ was the first single I bought, and it took more than a year and many other singles before I bought my first album. Again it was Slade, ‘Old, new borrowed and blue’, on cassette. Slade has remained one of my all-time favourite groups although my musical taste has expanded since then from everything between Abba and ZZ Top. Great memories!

  149. BritinDetroit says:

    The Faces – Nods as good as a wink. Bought it second hand at the bus stop in Dorking for a quid. 17th October 1972. I am one of those morons that records album date amount and purchase source.
    I had seen Rod at the Oval which left me completely smitten and I followed The Faces from the Wembley Pool to the Granada Sutton. I was out to work in September 1973 as a clerk at the Bank of England and every new pence I had was destined for beer, football and music, albums and shows..oh, and my 1961 Triumph Herald
    The John Lennon Imagine Ultimate edition arrived yesterday.

  150. Graeme Hatton says:

    I’d been bought a few albums a couple of years before for my birthday (Replicas, Pleasure Principle and Pretenders 1st) but the first album I bought for my self was Tears For Fears The Hurting. Like so many others this kickstarted a serious habit which continues to this day.
    I love listening to albums from my youth, how you know just where each song is going to go next and even how you can make the leap from one track to the other and know which key it’s going to be in. Gives a warm fuzzy feeling like nothing else.

  151. AndrewA says:

    First album I bought was Madness “Absolutely”…which I bought as part of my buy everything that Madness released after starting with One Step Beyond…I have no idea why I was so focused on one band but I remember nagging my father until he went into the shop to buy their records. To put it into context I was nine when Absolutely came out. I don’t remember buying anything but Madness records until “Driving in My Car” and I stopped and didn’t buy another single by them (I did get “Keep Moving” but didn’t really play it)…things then stuttered for me musically until FGTH…

  152. Tracey Spivey says:

    The first album I purchased with my own funds was Men at Work’s “Business as Usual.” The first purchase I made with my very first paycheck as a 15 year old (approx 4 years later) was the cassettes of The Police’s “Outlandos D’Amour” and ” Regatta De Blanc.” Have made “a few” more purchases since then…

  153. Francois says:

    George Michael’s FAITH is the one for me. I bought it on tape (2 times because I used the first copy to death (literally)) and could sing all the tracks with the exact timing. I remember my friends looking at me in awe (or thinking I was crazy, I have not figured that out yet) when I could start the a cappela “won’t you give me a break” of the very beginning of the remix of hard day at the exact split second it started in the cassette.
    Still love every single song of this album, 30 years after its release, I still come back to it.

  154. Steve Rhodes says:

    Hi from reading all the comments it is clear that the album is s much loved art form .

    From my own recollections I had ABBA the album loved it , but what I loved most about it was the sleeve what a wonderful design. But the first serious albums which I was able to play from beginning to the end . The Wall, Queen Live Killers PIL Metal Box. All bought with my YTS allowance. After music became everything to me . Reprofuction, Travelogue ,Organisation followed still play all my albums . Time does dictate that I only play snippets but when I can indulge I have a album day .

  155. Steve Dinsdale says:

    Queen’s `Sheer Heart Attack’ was my first at age 11, with Xmas money late 1974. I felt very pleased having made the great leap from singles to albums. This was closely followed by the next on my list Sparks `Propaganda’ bought in January 1975. I love them both to this day…my copy of `Propaganda’ is now signed by Ron and Russell.

  156. bob says:

    I remember in 1979/80 some cassettes sold in Woolworths had larger packaging, like a smaller dvd package if I remember correctly. Toyah definitely had an album release this way and so did Blondie. There was a card inside explains the new packaging and inviting you to submit feedback.
    A while later I seem to remember some cassettes had the whole album one one side of the tape, the other side was empty for you to record what you wanted, like a kind of gift.
    I loved cassettes much more than vinyl…

    • Trash says:

      Yep those were called 1+1 and I *think* they were only released by Island records. Not sure how many of them got released but I had releases by U2 (possibly Boy or October). Robert Palmer (Clues) and Ultravox (Systems of Romance).

      Very odd at the time since it was during the whole “Home taping is killing music” campaign).

      Great times…

  157. unique says:

    a tape copy of kings of the wild frontier is the first album i remember having as my own. prince charming was probably the first i bought, and on tape. i also remember buying the first NOW compilation and raiders of the pop charts and there was a NOW competitor. i later bought on cd copies of the early albums obtained via playground taping trades, then rebought half of them 3 times over as they got reissued etc. i still listen to kings of the wild frontier and prince charming often. kings of the wild frontier was a great album. prince charming is a bit dated and i prefer the non singles tracks more these days.

    first vinyl album must be something like this is big audio dynamite or infected by the the, and i’ve still got the original copies in looked after and playable condition. until i got a half decent turntable i used to buy tapes instead

    one of the first “proper” albums i used to listen to before that was rubber soul, and i still have my parents well worn LP that was scratched to hell on the dansette we had. still have a stack of knackered 7″ singles from the dansette. you could stack a bunch of records on top of each other and they would slide down and play after the last one ended. of course no one though people would still want to hear them 50 years later

  158. Fady says:

    Great discussion Paul and I completely agree with you about the value of the album. It also appears that you are my vintage – 50 this year if I’m not mistaken ;-).

    Human’s Lib by Howard Jones was the first vinyl album I purchased with my own hard-earned. Unfortunately, I couldn’t afford a new copy so had to make do with a second hand version. What Is Love is what got me interested, but fortunately the album was a solid listen from start to end.

    The first cassette I purchased was Into The Gap by the Thompson Twins. The big attraction here was the additional side of remixed and instrumental versions that I saw as value for money. I thought it was a superb album on its initial release and still think it holds its own today. The bonus mixes with instrumentals such as Still Water and the extended version of Hold Me Now made a very good album even better.

    • Paul says:

      Hi Fady! Absolutely identical to you! A teenager in 84 and Humans Lib was my first album after loving What is Love? and New Song. Played to death that album and still have that original vinyl to this day. Thompson Twins cassette version of Into The Gap was my 2nd album – purely bought on cassette for the extended mixes. A brilliant album and for me sums up that brilliant pop year along with Humans Lib. Perfect teenage memories.

      • Eric says:

        And I’m another with an identical story…..Into The Gap on cassette followed by Human’s Lib on vinyl about 2 weeks later (both on the week of release, amazingly, given that I’d shown next to no interest in albums or the album charts before then).

        I think it was the way both Our Price and WH Smiths put full-page ads in the pop magazines in early 1984 which caught my attention. They’d have made-up charts and logos for the LP and Tape, and the prices. It all looked very exciting!


  159. Andy Haines says:

    My first proper album was The Wall, bought by my mum and sister for my thirteenth birthday when it came out in 1979. Blew me away. I still have that copy & will never part with it however battered it may get as my sister passed away a few years ago.
    Hounds of Love also has memories of taking the National Express from Bradford to home during my college years. Sitting on the coach, Walkman on watching the world go about it’s business on dark cold autumn & winter nights. ( A journey that takes an hour & half in a car took 3 hours plus on a coach!) I had Hawkwinds Chronicle of the Black Sword on the other side of the cassette. Music triggers so many memories. Sad that a lot of people today just dip into stuff rather than let themselves be immersed in it!

  160. Bart says:

    My first album was u2 Achtung baby on cassette which i got in 1995. To this day its my i think number 1.

  161. Jarmo Keranen says:

    My first album was The Rolling Stones compilation Gimme Shelter. I bought it in early 1972. I was 12 years old. Side one has tracks Jumping Jack Flash, Love In Vain, Honky Tonk Women, Street Fighting Man, Sympathy For The Devil and Gimme Shelter. Classic after classic. Side two isn’t so great. It has 6 live tracks from 1966. The Stones have still special place in my heart. Especially years 1963-78. My taste have widened through the years and today i can listen almost everything from Abba to Zappa. Now i own almost 3500 cd’s and 500 albums!

    • Rich G says:

      Yes Jarmo, side 2 is about half of the USA Got Live If you want it album and not well recorded, so must have been a surprise. The Gimme Shelter LP was a pretty cynical cash grab from a company who had already put out numerous almost random compilations. Presume it was to dupe people into thinking it was the film soundtrack.

  162. Rich G says:

    I think my first actual album was the Beatles 1967-70 Blue album, so as Alan Partridge would say “The Best Of The Beatles”. All downhill from there huh? ;-)

  163. Simon says:

    The first album I bought was Rio in may 1982 I was 13,but the first album that really got me was New Gold Dream a few months later, that blew my mind 100%.

  164. Karl Probst says:

    Wonderful story Paul. I came home from working abroad for a few days and came home to my copy of John Lennon Imagine super deluxe ediition. I listened to the bluray quad mix and wow what an amazing album. So good.
    My first album was Styx The Grand Illusion and Asia self titled. I became a drummer because of those records and got to travel and meet some interesting artist and fans alike. I never got to see Asia live but John Wetton is one of my favourite artists.
    Still I pour myself a dram of Glen and listen to an album in the dark and just bath in the music.
    Thank you for this amazing site.

    • George glazener says:

      @Karl, good selections mate. I too am a drummer, but not professionally. I played a great deal during college in 1980-82, and I had the good fortune of seeing Asia’s first ever concert in Potsdam, N.Y. U.S. at one point in the show, the power went out and I recall Carl Palmer blew up and left the stage to cool off. Steve Howe stepped up and played some acoustic songs which the audience could hear ok. I had seen ELP a few times in the late 70’s, and it was great to see Carl Palmer again.

  165. Klaus says:

    My first buy with my own pocket money was “Wings Over America” on February 23rd, 1977.
    I was twelve. As it cost about 27 Deutschmarks back then i had to save for about six weeks until i finally could afford it. I saw it standing in the shop after christmas 1976 during the school holidays and it somehow got my attention so much that i was sure that must be the first album i would buy myself. I was musically socialized with a mixed bag of German Schlager (for those not common with German music: Imagine Engelbert, but worse), music from the radio (Sweet, Slade, Mud, Suzi Quatro, David Cassidy, The Partridge Family asoasf)
    and so it was a relevation when i discovered the Red and Blue double albums by The Beatles in the small record collection of a cousin about ten years older than me who had left home for university but had not taken his records with him. My aunt allowed my sister and me to listen to them after i showed her that i handled the records and the turntable carefully. Of course i liked the Red album more than the Blue one (which stayed that way for at least the following ten years) and after i first listened to “Venus And Mars/Rockshow” on the German radio charts (of which it dropped very fast of course) i guess combined with the Beatles-stuff i fell for the idea that “Wings Over America” couldn’t be any less than perfect.
    After i finally made the purchase i took the album to our living room, unwrapped it and first noted with excitement that there even was a poster included. My excitement even grew when i came to know that each of the albums sides had it’s own varying label sticker on it. Then i finally listened to all six sides in one session and was happy that i hadn’t thrown my pocket money away. I guess it was exactly the right mixture of songs i knew beforehand (Beatles stuff, V&M/R, Silly Love Songs, Let ‘Em In) and those i came across for the first time listening to the record (My Love, Spirits Of Ancient Egypt, Richard Cory, Magneto And Titanium Man).

    It is not my all-time favourite album but i re-bought it about three times on cd so far (last late last year when i finally discovered the SDE for just a slight bit more than the EUR 100 that are usually the most i’m willing to pay for an SDE).

    My following purchases were “A Day At The Races”, “A New World Record” and “Hotel California”. Not the worst way to start a record collection, huh?

  166. Alan Jones says:

    Simple Minds, New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84), released 13 September 1982 is my favourite.
    Hey Paul I suppose you would love Hounds of Love on purple vinyl and The Vistors on yellow as part of HMVs special releases for National Album Day? Unfortunately Carlsberg weren’t involved but I just found out they have quite a few desirables including Blondie, U2, INXS, Verve, Killers, Tubular Bells, Winehouse, Def Leppard, T-Rex and more in colour vinyl in stores today. Get ‘em now while they’re not on eBay at stupid prices.

  167. AdamW says:

    Agreed that every day is Album Day in the AdamW household. My parents listened to lots of Elton John, “Madman Across The Water” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” being two that were constantly on the turntable. Later on they got into Dire Straits self-titled album and Taking Heads’ “Fear Of Music,” which definitely shaped my tastes going forward.

    I remember the first vinyl LP I bought with my own money (Styx’s “Kilroy Was Here”) as well as the first cassettes (Duran Duran’s “Rio” and Thomas Dolby’s “Blinded By Science” mini-album, both of which were on Capitol and thus had those same XDR bleeps), and eventually my first CD (This Is Big Audio Dynamite), and I can still sing all of the albums mentioned here front to back from memory. (I always tell my kids, “I may forget your names when I get old, but I will know the lyrics to ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’ until my dying breath.”)

    The best part was finding the hidden gems that weren’t hits (“Cold War,” “Hold Back The Rain,” “Flying North,” “Sudden Impact”) but were just as good, if not better, than the songs on the radio. The digging is the best part most times.

    All hail the album.

  168. Carl says:

    Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl was the first I bought
    Then the red and blue albums
    My dad gave me his Please Please Me (Y&B) mono
    which still looks brand new and Lennon’s Rock and Roll … still a favourite
    Now have a slightly larger collection … vinyl and CD and BluRay

  169. Alan Costa says:

    First album I remember buying and then playing through loving every track was Moonflower from Santana. Never been a fan of them before this but the whole album just flowed perfectly with its mix of live and studio tracks. I had been buying Bowie albums but I don’t remember at the time just sitting listening to them the same way I did with Moonflower.

  170. John 79 says:

    My first album was Tubeway Armys Replicas,in 79 what an album ,I’ve collected & followed Gary Numan ever since,my favourite album of all time is Gary Numans 1980s release Telekon,you can hear something different with every listen,synth rock rules.

  171. Jeff D says:

    The first one I ever bought was Paul McCartney and Wings Band on the Run followed closely by Queen Sheer Heart Attack a few weeks later…still have them both in my collection!!!

  172. Michael says:

    Paul, really enjoyed your warm recollections about your first album listening experiences. It does demonstrate how music can become embedded in our personal history, and listening to one song can carry us back to a special moment in time.

    Well, it appears I’m a bit older than you :-( so my first album memory goes back earlier to Christmas in 1965 when my mom and dad got me The Dave Clark Five album, “Having a Wild Weekend.” I was 8 years old then, and at that time I thought the Dave Clark Five were even cooler than the Beatles. I still have that original album to this day, and aside from a few scratches, it’s still playable. But instead of the hits like “Catch Us If You Can” and “Having a Wild Weekend,” feeling nostalgic, it’s the interlude movie soundtrack parts of the album that feel significant, and immediately trigger my memories of that one Christmas night, and the only time ever my late mother danced with me.

  173. Peter Muscutt says:

    Slightly less cool, my first album was Ace of Base’s ‘Happy Nation’, which I bought with my pocket money from the Woolworths in Exeter. For me, it still has some great pop songs on it (Happy Nation, The Sign, Young and Proud…) and it regularly soundtracked my playing of the game Sensible Soccer on the Commodore Amiga! I still have the tape in my possession, although nothing to play it on lol. Lots of fond memories of that album!

  174. David says:

    The first album that meant everything to me was Dare – Human league.I was 9,bought it from Woolworths the week it came out.It fascinated me from the artwork to the content.I had heard the singles ,Open your heart being the first one I purchased with my own money,my mum had bought Love Action.So many memories associated with that album happy and sad.It properly started my love affair with the Band and pop music.A very special album.

  175. Julian Hancock says:

    One might argue that the album was undermined by the CD, or rather the freedom to double the running time which turned out to be something of a mixed blessing.

    • Caroline says:

      Absolutely agree. Pop artists, in particular, became very guilty of padding and releasing CDs with 4 or 5 singles and 12-15 tracks of bubble and fluff. Which, of course, came back to bite the industry when technology developed to the point where people could just have the tracks they wanted…their bad faith reaped its just reward.

  176. Caroline says:

    I had a cassette machine rather than a turntable as a young ‘un so, actually, albums came first for me. The first album I remember really taking me aback was “Madness Presents The Rise And Fall” from 1982. It had so much happening in it – every song seemed to be different from all the others and yet, you could have been listening to no-one else throughout. The brass and string arrangements were pretty wild and the lyrics had so many angles and subjects’ they could be utterly maudlin in one song and celebratory in the next. I was fascinated; it seemed they could do…well, anything!
    Today, the album still sounds superb – yes, a couple of…erm..”elements” have dated badly and there’s actually a slight dip on side 2 but it endures and keeps you on your toes right to the last song.

  177. Martin Breedyk says:

    Zenyatta Mondatta by The Police my first album. Love some of the non singles like When The World Is Running Down, Driven To Tears and Man In A Suitcase. I have bought 1000s of albums since then but never one with a more pretentious title!!

  178. Gary Hunter says:

    Today to mark Album day I have been playing the first album I ever bought, “Replicas” by Tubeway Army, a record that changed my life forever.

  179. Tim-Meh says:

    I got into my mum’s Beatles records as a kid. She wasn’t so bothered with them when they went ‘weird’ so the first album I bought was Sgt Pepper’s. Then followed by Adam & The Ants KOTWF and the XTC’s Black Sea. I’ve been an addict ever since.

  180. AlanB says:

    The first album I had was one of those 20 Fantastic Hits compilations bought as an Xmas present 1972. As well as the usual hits it had a song called “Layla” by Derek and the Dominoes only the shorter version but I thought wow this good. 46 years later I have most of the versions of the Derek and the Dominoes album which remains an all time favourite the Hendrix song “Little Wing” is amazing as is the guitar work of Clapton and Allman.

  181. Ben Williams says:

    I agree – for SDE readers, everyday is National Album Day!

    Dug out some classic Queen albums; both to ‘celebrate’ National Album day and to get into Queen-mode for the upcoming bio-pic.

  182. Michael says:

    Hey Paul! Greetings from Hamburg! Great words and thanks for sharing some soothing memories with us. First albums I can wrap my head around are some KISS albums like Love Gun, Unmasked and The Solos. PF’s The Wall and The Who’s The Kids Are Alright Soundtrack. Cheers and have a relaxing weekend.

  183. Shaun says:

    The first LP that I bought was “Slayed” followed swiftly by “Slade Alive”. This would have been December 1972/early 1973. As a teenager in the early, mid-seventies I could only usually afford singles but other early LP’s that I still listen to today were Roxy Music’s “For Your Pleasure”, “Sladest”, Alice Cooper’s “Welcome to my “Nightmare”, Roxy Music’s (again) “Siren”, “Sensational Alex Harvey Band Live” and the compilation album that has led to over forty years spent buying Hawkwind and Motorhead albums – “Roadhawks” – sadly never released in CD. All classic albums in their own genres. But “Slayed” is the one that has a special place in my heart – not just because it was my first LP but because it captured the greatness of the glam era Slade.

  184. Chris Squires says:

    My first album, was bought for me. Out of the Blue by Elo. My elder sister dragged me into Birmingham on the bus at the age of 11 and I was made to sit by this tall clock whilst she went into Cyclops records. As birthday presents go it formed the rest of my life. The deputy headmaster had played “Jungle” in assembly the week before and I couldn’t stop going on about it. Irritating younger brothers eh? It was that silly throwaway album track that sealed my fate.

    The first one I bought myself was either The Pleasure Principle or Lionheart. I have a horrible feeling it was Gary Numan beating Lionheart by a week or so. The story teller in me would much prefer it to be Kate but I don’t think it was. Birthday money from that point on went on little else….just like today really.

    • Derek Langsford says:

      Always read and appreciate your contributions to SDE.

      Those are three albums I loved as a teen growing up poor in rural SE Cornwall though, as an unsophisticated 13 year old with a small source of income a year earlier, my first LP was ABBA’s Greatest Hits then Arrival is quick succession in late 1976.

      I think that A New World Record was my first cassette in early ’77 and Out of the Blue was a huge album later that year that I also got on cassette (then again on LP , 2CD, single CD, CD remaster, and CD remaster with the spaceship model included). Those were heady days when favourite artists released albums every year or two.

      Both Kate in 1978 and Numan in 1979 were huge influences on me (communicated with EMI about the TWW Box and ran an early Numan Usenet mailing list). Still avidly collect them both (the KB remasters and the Numan Savage Live set plus The Fallen EP are all preordered to ship to California).

      I think my first CD was The Dream Academy in 1986. Have not purchased an LP, except as part of a Deluxe set where I wanted the 5.1 or hi-res digital disc, since. It’s been a great ride so far.

  185. Wayne Olsen says:

    Lovely retrospective. By the time I was 11 I had all the Beatles, monkeee, raiders and stones albums for Christmas, birthdays, etc. The first album I bought with my own money was the white album. I got $10 for my birthday and the album came out three days later.
    50 years on, I’m still buying the white album.

  186. Aaron says:

    First albums I bought was McCartney II, tug of war, George Harrison & 33&. 1/3 all bought on cassette with a record token I won at a school disco!!! 4 great solo Beatles albums at once!!

  187. Paul Fraser says:

    My first album isn’t as cool as Hounds of Love or The Visitors. It was ‘Jesta Giggle’ by The Barron Knights. Aged 9, I went to the record shop with my own money and asked for a record by the Barron Knights and was confounded by the question, “Which one?” I had no idea bands had more than one album.

    The album I have been listening to today is the 2018 version of Never Let Me Down. I remember buying the original on the day it came out, and studying the cover image, with its circus stylings and following the lyrics on the inner sleeve as I listened to the music. That fascinated 16 year old gets to live again as I enjoy the songs washed clean of their 80s over-production and polished with care by McNulty. What an excellent job. Bowie would be proud. If you’ve not heard it yet, seek it out.

  188. Nigel D Day says:

    My first “proper albums” were Sparks Kimono My House which I got for my birthday in 1974 and Queens Queen II which I got the year later. Two totally crazy albums that blew my 11 year old mind and introduced me to a whole new world. I’m convinced those records cemented my love of the album as a cohesive piece of music that one listened to from start to end.

    Then punk came along with its plethora of amazing 7” singles and wonderful, subversive artwork which shifted things for me again.

    The two sides of this probably came together with all the post punk albums like Metal Box, the Wire albums, Magazine, Gang Of Four before I ended up in a world of Kate Bush, Gabriel, Talk Talk And Miles Davis.

    As a footnote, through all of this strode the figure of one great man. David Bowie. With his singles and albums it was as though he was the aural glue that held the rest together and I still miss him to this day.

  189. Paul Fitzgerald says:

    I remember bunking off school in Liverpool one rainy, grey day in 1980, catching the bus into town and visiting Woolworths to pick up my first album…. Bowie’s “Scary Monsters, Super Creeps”.
    Wrapped up in a plastic bag I packed it into my adidas bag to protect it from the rain and somehow returned to school for the afternoon without anyone noticing.
    That album has been all over the world with me, through good and bad times I’m looking at the cover now playing this masterpiece as I look out across the Pacific Ocean from where I work and live now in Panama City, Panama.
    Nearly forty years later I still love this album and would never let it go…

  190. Rich G says:

    Hi Paul. What you say is very true. Often the album tracks are closest to the “high art” made with less compromise than hits. Maybe 60’s albums with no singles were the ultimate example of this. The sad thing for some listeners today is that in flick culture, if something doesn’t grab attention in 30 secs, it is “boring” and missed, next please… This is possibly why many modern “singles” use the same chords throughout a song, one long continuous, though repetitive hook, so you can sample any 30 secs and get the same idea. Can you imagine trying to play someone 30 secs of Station To Station track to “explain” what it was about. Everyday should be album day indeed!

  191. Mike the Fish says:

    I remember a teacher playing Slipping Through My Fingers at school assembly once (I believe his name was Mr Flowers). The Visitors was not the first, but an early album that I bought and for some reason I had to order it despite it being their current album. Soldiers stood out from the first play. I’m not keen on I Let the Music Speak, though. ABBA were moving into an interesting direction, and it’s a shame it was out of trend at the time as looking back I think some of their later material is very strong and less plinky plonky.

  192. Jason says:

    Ironically the first album I remember buying with my own money was The Visitors. And there you have it.

  193. Rusty McShackleford says:

    First album, Adam and the Ants – “Kings Of The Wild Frontier”…

    • stu says:

      Yup, same here. Still one of my most played albums to this day

    • Barnaby Dickenson says:

      Same for me. Got some cash for my 10th birthday and that was the first LP I bought with my own money. Mine came with a limited edition 12 page booklet that I used to pore over. What a pop star Adam Ant was for a kid at that time. The whole Burundi drums thing (with two drummers!), the look, the videos… Fab stuff.

      • Trash says:

        Wasn’t my first album but I have to agree – he really was the whole pop star package. Totally enjoyable superstar pop!

    • Kevin Galliford says:

      Rusty, Brilliant, still sounds fresh today & you can’t say that about many albums!

    • Seikotsi says:

      I thought of that one but Prince Charming was just out and got that one instead. Weird I still remember this decision process.

    • Richard Hare says:

      Same here – £3.50 from Debenhams in the summer of 1981… just listened to it last week for the first time in years and was amazed at how much I’d forgotten.

  194. Trash says:

    The first album I had bought for me was Kimono My House by Sparks. I loved the ‘This Town…” single and I must have asked my parents for it. My father was into music (Beatles and Jim Reeves seemed to have been on rotation in our house) and he must have liked the single too or he would never have agreed to buying it for me. I was only 10 at the time.

    The first album I bought was actually a shared purchase with my best friend at the time. He had the Cool for Cats album by Squeeze, which I loved and used to listen to with him. When their next album came out (Argy Bargy) neither of us had enough money to buy it outright so we decided to share the purchase. He got to keep the vinyl and I made a tape of it (I was never good at negotiations).

    Both of these are still albums I love to this day…

  195. poptones says:

    The 1st album I bought : Architecture & Morality by OMD in 1982. I was 12. I still love that album. I started listening to music with all the New Wave, New Romantic, Cold Wave, Gothic bands in the early 80s : OMD, Soft Cell, Duran Duran, Ultravox, Gary Numan, Bauhaus, Killing Joke, Simple Minds, Comsat Angels, etc. My teen years.

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