Tag Archives: yes

Week 10, 2014: Mats, Sweden

ImageWhat made you start buying records?
I was around thirteen. I really don’t know why. Perhaps as I have taped music earlier and the best show on Swedish Radio was put to an end. So I could not get any music from that direction anymore.

Do you remember your first purchase?
My first single was Sweet-Ballroom Blitz. The first LP was Les Humphries singers-Mexico. I don’t have any one of them left but perhaps I should try to get them in some form.

How long have you been collecting ?
Since 1973.

What sort of music do you mainly focus on?
Progressive rock and baroque music. I also like classical music, some hard rock, jazz rock (mostly seventies) and modern composers like Philip Glass, Arne Nordheim and Karl-Heinz Stockhausen.

As I get older I seem to be more generous about other music styles. I can listen to mostly everything but I don’t have to buy it.

ImageHow do you discover new music?
Internet, magazines, news from friends, spotify ….

Do you play any instruments yourself?
No, but I would like to.

Where do you prefer to buy your records?
In record stores. Since there are not many around any more I buy mostly on the internet. I use Ebay, Amazon, Discogs, Waysidemusic, Laser’s edge, Musea, Syn-phonic, BTF.it, CDjapan and several more. However, I still visit Record Heaven from time to time. It’s not long from Malmö, where I live.

ImageName three records that are special to you, and tell us the story of how you got hold of them.
Focus – Hamburger Concerto.
I heard the track Harem Scarem on radio and thought that it was amazing. Took a while before I understood the whole LP. But it is filled with great music.

Yes – Relayer. Heard bits of this one on radio, too. I thought it sounded strange. So it seemed like a good idea to buy it. Took some time to get into this one but I was only fourteen. Fantastic music. And only three long tracks. I believe it was music like this that got me into classical music 5-10 years later.

King Crimson – Lizard. Heard this one at a friend. Liked the guitar immediately. Bought it as fast as I could.
But there are so many more records that are special to me.

And finally: what do you see in the future of record collecting ?
For me, I continue to buy cd’s. I use spotify quite often. But the music I really like I want to have so I buy it.
It’s rare these days that I buy any vinyl. Happens sometimes. But it seems that this format is getting a small revival. Nice. I think streaming and other services will continue to grow but I hope and believe that there still will be record stores in the future.

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Week 4, 2014: Geert, Belgium

ImageWhat made you start collecting records?

When I was a child, my parents had a Blaupunkt record player and some records. Most of them were easy listening, but there were also a couple of classic jazz records and a single by Louis Prima (‘Buona Sera’) that was really rockin’! In 1965 when I was twelve I wanted my own records and my first one was a 7” EP by Belgian/Italian singer Adamo. He was my first idol. A boy in my neighborhood had an older brother and there I heard The Beatles (‘Can’t Buy Me Love’) and The Rolling Stones (‘Tell Me’). That sound got me and my first single was ‘Tell Me’ c/w ‘Route 66’. I knew people in the family that had a lot of records (mostly singles) and that fascinated me. I had another friend who had a much older brother with a big jazz collection. I remember seeing him sitting in his tiny room with a record player on his right side and there was always jazz … When The Beatles became more experimental with ‘Revolver’ and got a more arty image, I was allowed to buy my first LP, it was ‘Revolver’ … I didn’t look back since. I started collecting all the Beatles songs (unfortunately I sold some now valuable singles and EP’s, because I had the songs on LP). I became mainly a LP collector and singles were only interesting when the songs were not on a LP. My next discovery was The Cream with Clapton, Bruce and Baker. I had all their LP’s, which was rare in those days (in Belgium that was…). My next discovery was the very first Pink Floyd album ‘The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn’. After that came Colosseum, the first Black Sabbath, the first Yes etc … Later I became a big fan of progressive rock, krautrock, experimental rock, Kiss, Uriah Heep, Jimi Hendrix and Nazareth. In between I also bought jazz albums now and then. When the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal came along, that was my thing. I also got interested in US Metal and glam. I got the very first Mötley Crüe album on Leathür records when it was released from a contact in Oregon, USA. In 1983 I started doing a hardrock show on local radio and that’s when I got my first promo records. In 1986 I started writing for a metal magazine here in Belgium called Mindview. That were golden years for promo CD’s. When Mindview stopped, I started writing for Rock Tribune, a glossy magazine that is sold on the newsstands. But the well for promo CD’s is dry now, almost everything comes digitally these days. Today I have a 20.000 plus collection with 50% titles on vinyl and the other half on CD. I also have a lot of music video’s (VHS, DVD and Blu-ray).

Do you remember your first purchase?

As I told already, my first EP in 1965 was by Adamo, my first single by The Stones and my first LP was ‘Revolver’ by The Beatles in 1966. My first music video was by Nazareth (‘Live’) in 1982. My first CD was ‘Live At Winterland’ by Jimi Hendrix (1987).

I know you started early with your vinyl passion. How do you think the music progressed from the time you begun to discover music to today’s style ?

Well of course there’s a big evolution with a couple of important bench marks. In the fifties there was Elvis, In the sixties there were The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Kinks. From there came bluesrock, heavy rock, progressive rock, experimental rock, folk rock … Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Yes, Bob Dylan… Everything changed when punk and new wave came along at the end of the seventies. At the start of the eighties ‘classic rock’ fought back with the new sound of NWOBHM and at the other side of the Atlantic US Metal. Along came popmetal and glam … Again at the end of that decade we got grunge and alternative rock. The big names are still big names and metal has become a very dark and sometimes extreme place. To be honest, I am starting to lose my affinity with it and I go back to all the great music that was made in the last sixty years and listen more and more to jazz and fusion as well. The biggest evolution at the moment is in the way people consume music, with things like Youtube, MP3, downloads etc … All kinds of music is being made and there something for everyone. The history of the music is also not forgotten and that is a good thing. I see my daughter – with a love for dance music – going on Youtube researching the music of the fifties and sixties!

ImageWhat sort of music do you mainly focus on?

Today, it’s mostly classic rock, jazz, fusion and progressive/experimental rock. I love an earsplitting metal record now and then though! For the magazine I do a lot of female fronted metal band. Recently I interviewed Within Temptation and a very exciting Spanish band called Diabulus In Musica is on my list.

One of my favourite labels, Mausoleum Records, are hailing from Belgium. They got a undeserved bad reputation I think. What are your own experiences of them ?

Well, they managed to release a lot of albums during the rise of metal in the eighties and I think that their ambition was honest, but running a label is a very expensive thing and maybe, they could not meet all financial obligations, I don’t know. Today their catalogue is impressive and collectable. What I know, is that Doro is still very grateful that her band Warlock got it’s break through Mausoleum. Today they still release CD’s and the guy behind the label is still active in the music business.

How do you discover new music?

By reading magazines, by getting promo downloads. We even have a couple of record shops here with listening facilities. Today my priority is not so much in discovering new music, but in consolidating my collection and enjoying it. I am retired now and finally have the time to enjoy it!

ImagePlease let us know more about the Belgian situation. Many people who collect? Many record stores left?

Yes here are a lot of collector’s, but everybody does it quite isolated I think. I regret that there isn’t more contact between collectors. A blog like yours is a very good thing! Record fairs are attracting a lot of costumers and in the bigger cities like Antwerp, Ghent or Brussels, there are still a lot of stores. Also in Liège, Bruges, Kortrijk, Leuven and Mechelen, there are interesting collector’s stores. We even have some specialist metal stores. The big chains have all folded though. The only one lasting now is Media Markt. Their Belgian shops still have a lot on offer.

You are we well reputed reviewer on metal-nose.org, please let us know more about it!

Well, in the past I wrote all my reviews for Mindview and now for Rock Tribune. The Metal-nose site gets the things that are not used by Rock Tribune. These days I do five or six reviews and a couple of interviews per month. In the days of Mindview, I sometimes did more than 20 reviews in one month!. These days I get some melodic rock acts for interviews and like I told already some female fronted bands.

Acid, Ostrogoth, Warhead, Crossfire – the 80’s were great ! How about these days ??

Don’t forget Killer who are the godfathers of Belgian metal! Today there are a lot of metal bands around. The best known are Channel Zero and Iron Mask. They are very professional, but there are a lot of other bands in different metal styles. I just did an interview with Valkyre, a female fronted band that released a very good album. The Belgian music scene is more developed in other styles. Bands like Deus or Hooverphonic for example have international success but have a different audience. Also the dance scene is very developed here. One band that really makes it internationally is Triggerfinger with a crossover between classic rock and alternative rock.

ImageOver the years, I think I reviewed around 5000 records, and I have no ideas left, how about yourself?

Yes, I understand. I’m glad I write less reviews these days, and when I have to review, I want to listen properly to the record. Once I start writing, it goes quiet easy, although not every time. But there’s so much music coming out, in spite of the fact that everybody is complaining in the music business.

Where do you prefer to buy your records?

These days I buy most of them online (Discogs), but also at fairs and second hand shops mostly in Ghent, Antwerp or Brussels.

How were your feelings when Plastic Bertrand ‘s (scam) project switched from a punk rocker to disco freak ?? “Ca plane pour moi” still stands as a classic…

Yes, well today we all know that he didn’t even sing on that single. He was just used as a face to sell the record. So maybe he wasn’t a punk rocker by heart or he was guided by record companies towards a more commercial sound. He could sing though! He even sang in the Eurovision Song Contest for Luxemburg!

ImageName three records that are special to you, and tell us the story of how you got hold of them.

Just three ??? Well, the records that really defined my musical evolution were Revolver’ by the Beatles, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn’ by Pink Floyd and ‘The Valentine Suite’ by Colosseum. I bought all three at a local shop in my hometown. The shop has long gone (today there no record shops anymore in my hometown). In those days you could really spend time in a record shop and listen to different records before you bought anything. We also had a weekly here called Humo and they had a section on rock music (they still do) and that was very educating (in the sixties and early seventies)! Two other records that defined my musical education were ‘Disraeli Gears’ by The Cream and ‘Days Of Future Past’ by The Moody Blues (which I bought in a shop in Luzern, Switzerland, while on holiday with my parents). A fifth one was ‘Firefly’ by Uriah Heep which I bought in a fantastic shop called ‘Brabo’ in Antwerp (now also gone).  The very first shop that sold rock only was in Bruges and was called Bilbo. There I discovered ‘Acquiring The Taste’ by Gentle Giant, another album that was crucial for my musical development. In the jazz and fusion section, Colosseum’s ‘Valentyne Suite’ and John Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme’ were important triggers. Of course there are other albums, but these were really important.

And finally: what do you see in the future of record collecting?

One thing that goes through my head is what will happen to all these big collections that were build by the people of my generation? I hope to find an answer for my collection. My children or grandchildren could keep it, but if they don’t, they should know how to handle this. I think there will always be collectors around and the collections of today should be passed on one way or another to the next generations. I think that records and more specific vinyl is considered as a cultural heritage now and people should take care of it. At fairs I see a lot of younger people and also more girls and women. We should find a way to interest younger people for carriers of modern culture, be it records, films or books … I hope we do!  It’s nice to see the renewed interest for vinyl, but I think CD’s will also come back some day as collectible objects. The constant flow of ‘limited editions’ is something that will have to prove it’s collecting relevance in the future. I remember seeing original spiral Vertigo albums in the early seventies sell in the bargain bins for less than 5 euro’s! Now they are very valuable collector’s items. Same goes for the very collectable Neon label! So who knows what will happen with today’s releases. Then there’s always the fundamental economic rule: supply and demand! But in the end, it’s the music that counts. Lots of fantastic records from the past still sell for very few euro’s because they are so many around, but the music stands! Collecting is always finding the balance between the music and the rarity. The music should come first …

Week 3, 2014: Åke, Sweden

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What made you start collecting records? And do you remember your first purchase ?

I’ve always been a music freak. When i was a kid i started drumming on chairs with my home made drumsticks. And i can’t say why, no one else in my family was, or is, into music like i am.
My first albums was “The Spotnicks in Stockholm” and “Cliff” the first album from Mr. Richard. “Surfin’ USA” was the first single.
So that’s my roots.

In the late 70’s when i toured a lot in Denmark, me and singer Roger Holegård of Wasa Express discovered that Denmark was a record collectors heaven. They were a couple of years behind Sweden considering rarities and such. And did we grab the chance to hoard ?! Oh yes, In every little town the first question was “Is there anyone selling Second hand records in this town ?” And there usually was. In Copenhagen we even made one shop open up just for us on a Sunday. We must have bought hundreds of records in that shop. Stuff like the uncensored “Kick out the jams” by MC 5.

One day Roger had to go to the local hospital in Copenhagen and I didn’t tag along. When he came back, of course he had passed a second hand store, and pulled out his treasures, “Pretty Things”, “Downliners Sect” and so on. I was a bit miffed at that one..

What sort of music do you mainly focus on?
60’s Garage, pop and psychedelia will always come first. The Seeds, The Electric Prunes, The Trashmen, The Rivieras, Dave Clark Five, i like that stuff ! But a Blue Note or CTI album are also nice. And when that first ELP album came it was a revelation. And “Fragile” by Yes. Very nice.

How do you discover new music?
I read lots of music papers, Mojo, Uncut, Record Collector, Shindig, Classic Rock. And sometimes you hear something like you’ve never heard before. It’s not often these days but i’d say Behemoth has a style of it’s own. I’m also a big fan of Infernos drumming.
Discoveries in the past when you got that YES that’s something new i’ve never heard before would be : Ramones, Pantera, Mahavishnu Orchestra,Beatles, Grandmaster Flash, Black Sabbath,

You’re also a highly acclaimed drummer in Sweden, member of fusion combo WASA EXPRESS. Please tell us the story !
Yeah, drumming my life away ! that’s me. I’m very lucky to be able not only to survive for 40 years as a musician, but also to be able to play what i like to play. A big advantage there is that i like MUSIC, And if it’s Pop, Rockabilly, Fusion, Jazz, rock, prog or whatever.
Doesn’t matter as long as it’s well done. And you can also see that in my record collection that has everything from schlager to freeform jazz in it.

To some, Eddie Meduza to Bernt Rosengren might seem like a big step, I know. And I’ve played with both and enjoyed it.

You also performed with a wide range of other Swedish musicians during the years. How do you think the scene have changed from the 70’s to today ?
There was a LOT more opportunities to play during the 70’s. There was “Musikforum”, Clubs, Folkets Park and a band like Wasa Express could actually tour for weeks , gigging every day. Or is that just a wishful memory ? Sitting on a pink cloud. I don’t know for sure. When I think back there wasn’t that many places to play in Stockholm even then.
Being a musician is always a struggle and it has more to do if you’re lucky at the moment being on a successful tour or in a band that’s hot at the moment.

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Any special crazy memories from the performance days ?
Well, playing in a band with Eddie Meduza or Thorsten Flinck will always give stories. Some not fit to print, but on the clean side: Playing Roskilde Festival, Sweden Rock Festival, gigging in Beijing, visiting Electric Ladyland studios , All the tours we did in Denmark and Germany with Wasa Express, Being number one in the charts with “Ooa Hela Natten”, Doing a drumsolo at Ullevi in front of 30.000 people.

Those are nice memories, but not that crazy. I’ve never been into crazy stuff. For me it’s the music that matters. I don’t even drink alcohol. never done drugs and stick to one woman at a time. Sorry.

How is the market for records in Stockholm  these days ? Many record stores left ?
I guess you know the answer to that one. So we’d better support “Pet Sounds” “Runtrunt” and the rest that’s left. There’s quite a few second hand stores though. Some almost as old as the street they’re at. Let’s hope they survive even longer.

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Where do you prefer to buy your records?
Since I have ALMOST all the records I need. And more. (would be nice with that Rivieras album “Campus Party” or an original “The Deep” though..) Alright, I confess ! I can’t stop , even though i always say ” Oh , i was a fanatical record collector once, but I’m not THAT fanatical anymore” . The bug just won’t go away 🙂

Sometimes i roam the streets of Stockholm on my way to “Skivbörsen” , but you can’t find those elusive rarities in a shop anymore.
It has to be Ebay (my last purchase there was an Antoine album I’d been looking for a long time)

Name three records that are special to you, and tell us the story of how you got hold of them.
That would be albums from the 60’s ,that also means i bought them when they were released.
“Pet Sounds” is the greatest pop album that has ever been recorded. Bought it on vacation with my grandma in Gotland in 1966.Now it’s been said, let’s argue !
I also have a soft spot for “Spirit of 67” from Paul Revere & The Raiders and “Psychedelic Psoul” from The Freak Scene.

As a kid i was living way out in the sticks and my records came by post from “Svenska Skivklubben” When i got a note that they had arrived at the post office it was grab my bike and off i’d go to pick ’em up. I guess it took me about an hour of bicycling to get there and back every time. But to unpack that package was bliss ! See, i had the collector bug already.

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And finally: What do you see in the future of record collecting?
It will probably be as it’s always been. The records nobody wants today is the collectors gold tomorrow.