Last week, I started something I probably should have started many years ago—properly cataloging my record collection. I tried doing this years ago with a messy spreadsheet, but didn’t have the patience to get very far.
Fortunately, Discogs has a fairly new smartphone app that makes the entire process as painless as humanly possible, and it means I’ll be able to reference my entire collection while I’m out digging. I’m even making a ton of progress! In the last week or so, I’ve added 973 records to my online profile, and I think I’m about two-thirds the way done.
One weird result of doing all of this his that I’ve learned a few things about my own collection. For example …
- I have some great albums I haven’t even listened to yet
As a rule, I try not to file records until I’ve actually listened to them. What I buy goes in a stack, and then I work my way through that stack one at a time. The system clearly doesn’t work, though, because I’ve found several albums I forgot I ever bought. Did you know I owned CCR’s Pendulum? Because I sure didn’t. A 12” single of Kanye’s “All Falls Down”? Where did that come from? I need to listen to these miracle records over the next few days and officially welcome them to the collection.
- Those missing records weren’t missing
Over the last few years, I’ve had two records go missing from my collection. In both cases, I went through my entire collection in search of the fugitive, but it never appeared. The Band’s The Band and the Pixies’ Surfer Rosa were lost, and I would eventually have to admit defeat and buy them again. But no more! I found both albums during my ongoing Discogs adventure, and I was able to reunite them with the rest of my Band and Pixies collections.
- I have a few legitimately rare records
One of the most useful things about using Discogs is that you can research specific pressings of records that you own. And it even has that whole Wikipedia thing going, where if you have a pressing that isn’t listed anywhere on the site, you get to add the information yourself. For instance, I have two amazing rock/funk/pop albums that I absolutely love—I picked them up in the “international” section at a Half Price Books in Texas several years back—and I can’t find any information on them. I did find the record labels on Discogs, which told me one is from Taiwan and the other is from China, but there was not a single word about those specific albums. So that means I can add them … except the only English anywhere is the label name. But I’ll still work to figure out how to add them; it will serve as my contribution to the site, and that’s good enough for me.
Also, it turns out some records I inherited from my great-great uncle a few years ago are fairly rare. One of them, an old compilation featuring Richard Berry’s “Louie Louie,” looks like it could be worth $200 or more (not that I plan on selling it!). If not for seeing info on the album when I looked it up with Discogs, I’d have no idea.
- I have 9 Reba McEntire albums.
How? Why? I do love some Reba, but nine? This seems excessive, especially considering none of them feature her cover of “Fancy.” I blame all my years of digging in Texas, where massive country collections seem to pour in stores on a daily basis.