The Man With 40,000 Records (Or So)

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The Man With 40,000 Records (Or So)

Words by Mr Tom M Ford

16 April 2016

BBC Radio 6 Music DJ Mr Gilles Peterson talks about his vinyl collection of rare recordings and sleeve art.

Record Store Day. The official day for celebrating independent record shops, musicians and vinyl. A day for buying lots of new records… and never actually playing them. According to a new ICM poll, around half of people who bought vinyl in the past month haven’t actually listened to it. Seven per cent of those don’t even own a turntable. But hey, that’s not the point, right? Vinyl sales haven’t been this good in two decades (which is unquestionably a Good Thing), and as long as your Boards Of Canada reissue looks good on Instagram, it’s been a worthwhile purchase. Even if it did cost more than your monthly subscription to the infinite musical well that is Spotify. But you can’t wax lyrical (sorry) about the superior sound quality on a streaming service, can you?

An enthusiastic proponent of the importance of vinyl is Mr Gilles Peterson. The BBC Radio 6 Music DJ and producer is one of the world’s most famous record collectors. His hobby has seen him amass around 40,000 records (he’s lost count, obviously.) He’s the kind of guy that describes Sun Ra records like this: “If you’re looking at anything to collect. Something that’s close to owning a Matisse. The future Russian oligarchs [will] be buying all these up.” How do we know? We made a video with him about his passion. Check it out below.