International Record Store Day: What’s the First Record You Bought? The Last?

Empire RecordsThis Saturday – April 17 – is Record Store Day, an international celebration of the art of music. It’s the one day per year that independently-owned record stores across the globe partner with local artists to remind the community of the importance of record stores on the music landscape. It’s such a worthy occasion that at Autostraddle, we want to celebrate it too.

There’s no doubt that the digital age has done wonders for music – mp3 players & the internet have made music more affordable and accessible than ever before. But there are casualties and as music lovers, some experiences and traditions we should fight to hold on to. Your Mac might let you buy an album with a click of a button, but it won’t let you run your fingers over its lyrics and liner notes. Your iPod won’t let you lose yourself in the costumes of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, or play the White Album backwards to see if Paul really died.

So this Saturday, let’s switch off our iPods, close the lids on our laptops and go and support our local record stores, and the musicians and people who keep ’em running.

There’s no feeling quite holding an actual record or album in your hand. And similarly. there’s no feeling quite like walking into your local record store and thumbing through the racks, asking the often cool-as-f*ck girl or guy behind the counter who your next favourite band is going to be and appreciating that somehow they always know.

So this Saturday, let’s switch off our iPods, close the lids on our laptops and go and support our local record stores, and the musicians and people who keep ’em running.

Special releases & artist appearances

A number of exclusive Record Store Day vinyl and CD releases are available at select participating stores. Highlights include –

Ani DiFranco: Live @ Bull Moose, exclusive CD release
Bon Iver & Peter Gabriel: covering each other, two exclusive tracks on a 7″ vinyl
Hole: releasing two tracks from Skinny Little Bitch on 10″ white vinyl
La Roux: live version of “Bulletproof” and remix of “In For The Kill” on 7″ vinyl
Magnetic Fields: 69 Love Songs box set on 10″ vinyl
Passion Pit: “Little Secrets” on 7″ red vinyl
Phoenix: “Fences” on 12″ pink vinyl
Rolling Stones: Unreleased version of “Plundered My Soul” on 7″ vinyl
Tegan & Sara: AOL Sessions EP, CD release
The Doors: “People Are Strange” & “The Crystal Ship” on 7″vinyl
Yeah Yeah Yeahs: “Skeletons” on 7″ vinyl

Empire Records

These are just a few – be sure to check out the full list of RSD releases. What’s more, artists like Slash, Jonsi, Frank Black, Against Me!, Alice In Chains, Andrew WK and many more are appearing or performing at various stores. Not all stores are participating or have artists performing, so make sure you check out the schedule on the RSD website.

To celebrate this event, we thought we’d take a sentimental look back at the first vinyl records, cassettes or CDs that we purchased from our local record store, ’cause looking back is fun.

In the wise words of Rob from High Fidelity, “sentimental music has this great way of taking you back somewhere at the same time that it takes you forward, so you feel nostalgic and hopeful all at the same time.”

We’ve listed our first and most recent record store purchases below, and think you should too.


FIRST: The first time I ever walked into a record store, I bought two CDs – Green Day’s Dookie and Nirvana‘s MTV Unplugged from a HMV in Sydney. I was 13 years old and so proud of my purchase – Green Day in particular – that it was the only music I was interested in listening to for the next 3 years. And maybe also the next 13 years. During my teens that record was everything to me, it got me through a lot hard times.

LAST: I recently had this weird craving to listen to this awesome jazz fusion drummer, Dave Weckl, and so I trekked around Sydney until I found a fine music store that stocked his stuff. It took a whole day but it was totally worth it. I purchased two of his CDs – Transition and Live (& Very Plugged In).

Jess G.

FIRST: The first CDs I recall purchasing at a record store were Limp Bizkit’s Significant Other and Blink 182’s Enema Of The State. I was entirely under the influence of my older cousin, and bought them from a Tower Records at a mall. Though I was only 12 at the time, it’s amazing how those two albums influenced my taste in music for the next decade. I’m not ashamed to say that since that first purchase, I have seen Blink 182 in concert on 4 separate occasions. No, I’m no longer a Limp Bizkit fan, but I’ll listen “N 2 Gether Now” any day.

LAST: After seeing Baltimore two-piece Wye Oak play Tiny Desk Concert, I bee-lined to the record store after work and purchased The Knot from Melody Record Shop, my favorite DC music store. I couldn’t have been happier with my impulse buy. I’ve had The Knot on repeat for weeks and and was lucky to catch another amazing live show this past month.


FIRST: I was one of the last kids I know to switch from cassette to cd (I know right? I’m such an early adopter now!), so once I had finally secured a cd player I went to the record store and bought… The Presidents of the United States of America‘s self-titled first album. Yup. Explains a lot.

LAST: I really only download music anymore. As a DJ I’m constantly trying to stay on top of new songs and remixes, so most of what I’ve gotten lately has been that. I also get lots of cds free at work (the last one was Goldfrapp’s amazing new album). As for the last full album I actually purchased, that was probably Our Lady of Gaga’s Monster Ball on iTunes.

Jess R.

FIRST: Ah, the year was 1991 and all I wanted for my 9th birthday was the cassette tape of Michael Jackson’s Bad. Totally obsessed with “Dirty Diana.” The first cassette tape I purchased myself was Madonna’s Erotica, the following year. You can imagine how happy my mom was.

LAST: Since 2001 I’ve had a rule to only physically purchase music by Madonna, Justin Timberlake or Eminem. However, I did break that rule this fall when I bought Lady Gaga’s The Fame Monster. Gaga has really been the only musician since the 3 listed above I consider a true artist, so I’m inspired to financially support that.


FIRST: When I was six years old, I bought Paula Abdul’s, Forever Your Girl, at a Tower Records. I listened to it and learned all the dance moves for the song, “Cold Hearted”. Subsequently I was kicked out of ballet because of those dance moves.

LAST: My ex is a huge fan of Lizz Wright. To try and win some points with her, I ventured to the Amoeba store in LA and bought her latest album, The Orchard. The album ended up being better than the ex.


FIRST: My first CD/album is embarrassing? Yeah… it was Savage Garden‘s self-titled album. I bought it from the music store in the mall when I was 11. I seriously must have listened to “I Want You” like 3,000 times in my life. I still love “To the Moon and Back” from that album cause it’s awesome and underrated and has certainly stood the test of time. Just saying. Also, off-topic: I remember that Darren Hayes‘ androgyny on the album cover confused but totally intrigued my 11-year-old self in a way I didn’t understand until 10+ years later.

LAST: It’s sad to say that I really can’t recall the last album I physically bought in a music store, but my guess would be No Doubt’s Rock Steady. It was released in 2001, and I was 16 so there’s a good chance I was hanging out at the mall again and bought it there. I was a huge No Doubt fan and the cover art for this one was awesome. Remember how with real CDs you bought in the store you’d get the cool lyric booklet with it? Those were the days!


FIRST: The first CD I ever bought myself was Ace of Base’s The Sign. Remember when Stephanie Tanner was in a talent show at the Smash Club and her band sang “The Sign”?!?

LAST: My most recent record purchase was Phoenix‘s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix and it’s already gotten plenty of air time.




FIRST: The first CD I ever bought myself was Michael Jackson’s HIStory: Past, Present and Future. It was actually two CDs so I thought I was getting extra value. I would listen to them over and over on my little boom box, while jumping on my bed to “Billie Jean”. I think I was 7.

LAST: Last year I bought The CliksDirty King. I bought it shortly before they played at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. Love Gun is my favorite song of the record and it sounds fantastic live.


FIRST: For starters I grew up listening to actual records, FYI. First self-purchase was a cassette tape motherfuckers. Maybe 1990? Madonna, Like a Virgin. I got it at Recordtown in the Briarwood Fucking Mall in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I’d first discovered Madonna on a flight from the U.S. to Australia on one of those 12-song-repeat ‘radio stations’ airplanes used to offer as your sole option for personalized entertainment. Then I heard “Material Girl” and had to have it — Like A Virgin seemed dangerous and necessary. First CD was Boyz II Men’s Cooleyhighharmony.

Once I got grown I clearly left the mall behind for local spots like Encore Records & now-defunct Schoolkids Records & Neptune (in nearby Royal Oak) and always went on serious record-shopping sprees when I’d visit or temporarily reside in New York City — Other Music, Kims, Sounds, Rebel Rebel. Ann Arbor’s Tower Records outpost (now out of business) also sold ‘zines.

LAST: This can’t possibly be true but yet I fear it is — March 2008. OMG I have become a digital-download person!!  Handel’s Messiah and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Virgin Records in Union Square NYC. I like to listen to opera or classical when i write and I was planning for a month away from home writing my novel (which turned out to be a hoax)


FIRST: I went to the mall when I was 13 and bought Liz Phair‘s Whip-Smart and NIN‘s The Downward Spiral. My entire music collection up to that point consisted of Top 40 CDs and tapes that had been given to me as gifts. Hearing Liz Phair sing “you fuck like a volcano” changed my life completely.

LAST: Just a few weeks ago I picked up a limited edition re-release of The Old Crow Medicine Show‘s Greetings From Wawa, and Joni Mitchell’s Blue and Carole King’s Tapestry, both previously-owned and on vinyl. There are only like, two things I’d rather do on a Saturday afternoon than hang out at the record store. (jump in a bounce house or eat sushi)


FIRST: In the spring of 1994 (I was 12) I bought myself a pile of cassette tapes and, luckily for me, I found most of them in a box in my parents basement a few months ago. These are real gems, people: the Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit soundtrack, Disney’s The Lion King, Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation, En Vogue’s Funky Divas, Snoop Doggy Dogg’s Doggystyle, Mariah Carey’s Music Box, Ini Kamoze’s Here Comes The Hotstepper (single), Cypress Hill’s Black Sunday, Tevin Campbell’s I’m Ready (it’s busted so I can no longer listen to “Hall’s Of Desire”!) and Color Me Badd’s Time And Chance. There were probably others, but these are the ones that survived.

LAST:The other day I bought Howie Day‘s Australia for 90 cents because I saw it and I remembered that I once owned a personally signed copy (that was lost in the Great Car-Content Thievery of 2004.) It’s rare that I buy physical music anymore, unless it’s an actual vinyl record. I made an exception for Sainthood in October though, because I will buy anything Tegan & Sara put out.


FIRST: I can’t remember which CD I bought myself first. People used to buy me CDs as gifts, like my aunt bought me The Spice Girls first record, Spice, and changed my life. It’s a toss up between a Britney Spears album, ‘N Sync’s No Strings Attached, Christina Aguilera’s album where she sang that Genie song, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. You didn’t know she had an album? Well, she did.

LAST: Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago on vinyl because I thought it would make me cool even though I already have the CD. If we’re talking real CDs though, it was An Horse’s Rearrange Beds. Both were money well spent, and I even got Kate and Damon’s autograph. I also like to think that makes me cool.


FIRST: My first record store visit was when I was around 7 or 8. I remember having earned my own money somehow and we went to a local record store with the intentions of me buying my first CD. It was Billy Joel’s River of Dreams. I only listened to the title track on that album.

LAST: Prior to two weeks ago I had not been to a record store in a very long time. However, while on vacation in L.A my friend made us go to Amoeba Music, which apparently is a music lovers mecca. I love it there, but only walked away with one album, Michael Jackson’s Dangerous. We ended up there again before the trip was over, but lack of money kept me from purchasing anything else.


FIRST: My grandma has this awesome, really old record player. I was fascinated by this machine when I was little. I think I was 11 or 12 years old when I bought the record Abbey Road by The Beatles. Initially it was a birthday present for my grandma, but she let me keep it and play it on her cool record player.

LAST: There was a record store closing, so a couple of weeks ago I decided to go and have a look at the remaining CDs and LPs. I found the opera Euridice by Jacopo Peri on vinyl for a couple of Euros. I love classical music.

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Crystal has written 320 articles for us.


  1. My first record would be Closer with Joy Division on cd.
    It is just the shit.

    Last time i bought three vinyl records. Thriller with Michael Jackson(damn that album is good). Lovesexy with prince(dont judge me.) And finally Leonard Cohen, Songs of Leonard Cohen(Coffee and cigarette music.)

  2. The first: Nirvana – MTV Unplugged in New York (Hi, Crystal!)
    The last: Buckethead – Electric Tears (which I actually already had on my computer)and Jimi Hendrix Experience – Axis: Bold As Love

    • MTV Unplugged was a great first album, huh. I used to listen to ‘The Man Who Sold The World” on repeat, I spent an embarrassing number of years thinking that Nirvana wrote it.

      • The best. I was 11, making it 2003 and me a bit late to the party, but fortunately, Nirvana is never out of fashion for people in their early teens…
        (Re:’The Man Who Sold The World’ I remember being given that piece of trivia by my supercool older boyfriend who gave me mix-tapes with grunge and punk rock. I was 12. He was 13, wearing flannel and reading superhero cartoons. I’m only human.)

      • SAVAGE GARDEN <3!! DARREN HAYES <3 <3!!! Theirs was the second album I ever bought and I played out the tapes like crazy. Same thing with Affirmation. Spin I got early thanks to a great friend with connections – it was fun but definitely not his best work! Tension and The Spark is my favourite, haunting gold, and This Delicate Thing We Made didn't quite make sense at first and then I saw the stage show and was all WHOA THIS IS AWESOME. And I collect all the B-Sides.

        I have been a fan since 1998 (tho I think I heard TTM&B a year earlier?). Darren Hayes is my biggest inspiration. Have you checked out his solo stuff? He's gone more electronic-pop, and he's very vocal about gay rights now, and is made of awesome.

        (first record? Aqua. Still love them because they are happy silly crazy. Last one? erm, haven't been to a record store in yonks, though I did buy some dark cabaret music off CDBaby and can't seem to find them! I tend to buy them at gigs or events now, or get given them.)

  3. First record: Led Zeppelin – The Early Years… Because of the song whole lotta love it was the theme song to Top Of The Pops… It was in 1989 and I was 4…

    Latest record: Meat Loaf – Hang Cool Teddy Bear

    I just want to say as I still work in a record store my love for the old media might be a bit biassed

  4. Wow, this is dredging up some memories, great Audiostraddle topic…again.

    First: 1994, aged 12, a cassette single of Trouble by Shampoo, bought for 50p in the short-lived Sam Goody’s in Stockport, which they’d made into the most amazing space for browsing all sorts of incredible music and shit, in completely the wrong town.

    I got it because my sister despised the song and I wanted to annoy her, but within a couple of years, she reversed her opinion on the band and stole the tape from me. To this day, I try not to be bitter about this.

    Last: having converted to downloads in an attempt to declutter my life, physical purchases are rare these days. The last was a CD of French four-hand piano music, but that was off ebay, so does that not count?

    The last time I went into a record store was probably Southampton HMV in Christmas 2008, when I bought someone a compilation of vintage sex songs for a secret santa gift!

    • Uh oh, we’re in trouble, gotta get home quick march on the double! I have that song… It’s on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers soundtrack (don’t judge, the songs are good!)

  5. The first tape I ever bought with my own money/allowance was Green Day Dookie. I was 8 and my parents were like, “I don’t know, Heather.” But I was like, “Dude, you said I could pick.”
    I’m sure they loved it when I would take my little tape player out on the deck and blast songs about masturbation and shit while I was playing in the back yard.

    Sadly, I do not know what the last album I bought was, and even more sadly, the only fucking record store in this town closed a couple of months ago, so if I want a physical album anytime soon, I’ll have to go to WalMart(hell no) or drive 30 miles. Now that I’ve thought about that, I might want to die.

    • Oh yeah, the second tape I ever bought was none other than “Whoop There It Is” the single. memories.

    • Dookie was the first tape I ever bought as well. We’re all in the badass club.
      Most recent purchase was Joanna Newsom “Have one on me” as an actual record. Well…. more like 6 actual records.

      • I think Dookie was the first record album poster I ever bought. Or Abbey Road. NM.

        I HAD SO MANY FUCKING CASSETTE SINGLES! ’cause they were cheap! Then I’d just record them all onto a mix tape. First single I bought was Together Forever by Rick Astley obvi.

    • I would love to own Dookie on cassette tape, I never thought to track such a thing down. I’m going to hit up eBay right now.

      You’re all rad.

  6. First was Kylie Minogue – Fever.
    Last was Shania Twains’ Greatest Hits.

    Clearly my musical taste has evolved immensely over time.

  7. First: The Cranberries “To the Faithful Departed”
    Last: Rachael Cantu “Far and Wide”
    and Phoenix “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix”

  8. first “Back to Front” by Lionel Richie (it was a present from my grandma!)
    last “Give up the Ghost” by Brandi Carlile <3

  9. ALEX. if i’d known you were a Savage Garden fan, i would’ve asked you to sing “To the Moon and Back” instead of “Irreplaceable”!! sigh. NEXT TIME, VEGA.

    I AM SO EXCITED FOR BON IVER / PETER GABRIEL AND T+S. there’s also a 12″ compilation w/ Blonde Redhead and Tune-Yards that i MUST OWN.

    [i believe this comment accurately showcases my all-capsing talents. it’s going on my resumé.]

    • LET’S TALK ABOUT CHICACHERRYCOLA. Omg, To The Moon and Back was Ridiculous. That album was so ridiculous.

    • Let’s. My 11-year-old self learned all the damn words to that song obviously.

      It’s okay Laneia, next time. Cause there will be a next time.

      I also remember liking track #4 from the Savage Garden album but I don’t remember what it was because on CD players you could only see the number. Sigh. What a ridiculous album indeed.

      • I totally adore the fact that SG was your first album. My first job in music was working for Savage Garden and so this band is super close to my heart.

        I think the fourth track might’ve been ‘Break Me, Shake Me’

          • At least it was on the Australian release, the international version might’ve been different.

        • Crystal you’re right! TSwizzle, “I Want You” for me was track #2, so I know it wasn’t that for sure :) (I didn’t have the Australian release)

          Also, Crystal I will be asking you about this job you had with Savage Garden. I HAD NO IDEA.

          • Christ, why did I even bother to question the knowledge of someone who actually worked for Savage Garden? (I’m gonna need that story also :P )

          • Unfortunately there’s not much to tell, it was just a brief part-time job doing grunt work. I was still in high school, I guess it was like a (barely) paid internship.

            TSwizzle – you’re probs correct about the track listing being different, my copy of the record is likely an o/seas or promo version.

      • no i didn’t [MEGA SAD FACE]. i went to two different stores, half an hour after they’d opened, and neither had it. but i got the 4AD sampler and it did not disappoint.

        also! as part of the loot bag @ store #2, i got the Light In The Attic Records sampler and it is PERFECT. usually the free cds they give away on RSD are balls, but this one is my new favorite.

        shoot me an email if you find bon iver mp3?? i’ll do the same.

        • Yes, sadly no free samples this year at my record store. We’ve had a few stores come and go over the years, so I’m just glad we have one, even if it’s really small.

          I know what you mean about the samples being a compilation suck fest, so thanks for the Light In The Attic link!

          I’ll definitely send an email if I see the Bon Iver out there. I’m sure I will!

  10. First: Space Jam Soundtrack
    Last: Fuck I don’t even remember the last CD I bought in a record store… I usually just buy my stuff online/download it. And I know it doesn’t count but the last album I bought was Chris Pureka’s “How I Learned to See in the Dark”

    Clearly I have an eclectic taste in music.

  11. first cassette – Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged in New York
    first CD – Alanis Morissette’s Jagged little pill

    i listened to them both so much that even now, almost 15 years later, i have no need to listen to either…

    the last record i bought is The Bambi Molesters – As the dark wave swells. they’re a Croatian surf rock band, and i bought it for a Belgian friend who’s a fan. i don’t really buy CDs any more, coz i just rip them onto my HDD and then they collect dust in my room, so it’s kinda pointless. downloads FTW.

  12. All the talk of these first records make me want to go through all my old CDs and listen to nothing but 90s music for a week.

  13. the first cassette i bought was definitely some dead or alive tape at my cool older cousin’s yard sale… but cds? first was tlc’s ‘crazysexycool,’ and i stand by that. i still listen to it often, and i still bust out left eye’s rap from ‘waterfalls’ at parties. i seen a rainbow yesterday but too many storms have come and gone leavin’ a trace of not one god-given ray, is it because my life is ten shades of grey?

    now that there are no more record chains in new york and you have to go to best buy or some shit to buy an album, i only buy cds at concerts. last night i bought the new kaki king record! buy cds from concerts! it makes the bands happy and they make money and it’s nice!

      • what a shame, you shoot and aim for someone else’s brain.
        you claim the insane and name this day in time for fallin prey to crime! i say the system got you victim to your own mind.


    • Stef thank you for quoting from Waterfalls, I also love you.

      Crazysexycool was the second album ever gifted to me. The first gifted was kd lang’s ‘All You Can Eat’, I got it for Christmas when I was a kid.
      My family probably have buyer’s remorse.

  14. First: it was 1998 and I was ten. The first cd I bought myself was Kid Rock’s Devil Without a Cause from On Cue. I thought I was the coolest kid ever ’cause my dad let me buy it even though it had a parental advisory sticker. I spent the next few years trying to hide the huge middle finger on the disc from my mom.

    Latest: Holly Miranda’s The Magician’s Private Library from iTunes ’cause she knocked my socks off opening for Tegan and Sara in Chicago and Lil Wayne feat. Eminem’s Drop the World.

  15. Oh my goodness “River of Dreams” by Billy Joel! was definitely an album I owned as a child on cassette. It got much, much more play from me — I have a distinct memory of listening to it on my Walkman on the school bus and pausing it to quote some Really Profound Lyrics to my long-suffering best friend.

    This was also around the time I was pretty into Weird Al and making up little parody songs of my own. So the album also makes me think of a little ditty that began:

    In the middle of the Nile
    There was a baby crocodile . . .

    (I think the first CD I bought was Eve 6. Not a very auspicious start to my career of music-nerdiness.)

    • hahah that is awesome!! i think it was a couple yrs later my friends and i went through a weird al phase ironically… i just have a very vivid memory of being at my friends house trying to make up ridic songs

  16. Aaah, nostalgie. I just went trough my old cd’s and casettes. A lot of Metallica and Nirvana casettes. But I can’t find my casette player. Not today, not on Rex Manning day!!

    • For xmas two years ago I got a sweet record player that also plays cds, cassettes and the radio. I didn’t care about the cassette part until I happened across all my old cassettes last summer. I listened to all my high school mixes and had a lot of #feelings after that.

      • Seriously. There are so many times when I wish my car had a cassette player. The classic times that could be had!

        My stereo system has the record player, cassette, and 3-CD changer. Yup-yup! I said 3-CD changer! lol.

    • Anyone who makes a Rex Manning joke is a friend of mine. (Yeah, no seriously, I was planning on making that reference on my facebook tomorrow).

  17. So I’m talking only vinyl here. First was The Flaming Lips, At War with the Mystics, and the last record I bought was the new Amanda Palmer creation with Jason Webley, Evelyn Evelyn, Double 10″ LP.

  18. I can’t really remember what my first CD was but my fist cassette was the Traveling Wilburys vol 1 when I was 5 (I know weird taste for a 5 year old). Its been awhile since I last physically bought a record but I think it would have to be We Are The Same by the Tragically Hip (probably only fellow Canadians will know who this is)

    • Ah, the hip. I think “road apples” was my first hip exposure via my brother. I think they remain one of the big Canadian bands that stayed “famous” only within our borders. And I love your 5-yr-old self for loving the travelling wilburys.

        • Look at that an American who knows who the Hip are are you from a border state by chance? “Scared” is one of there best songs and most underrated one as well glad to see someone else loves it too

  19. First cd… Spice Girls. And I bought it at the Wall Mart in Square One in Mississauga. I cant believe I remember that, it was like 14 years ago.

  20. My first CD was ALSO dookie at age 13, followed shortly by jagged little pill and TLC’s crazysexycool. I also wore out my ase of base tape. And did you guys ever tape things off the radio? Those were the days. That’s how I got “waterfalls.” my last CD purchased in real life was tune-yards’ “bird brains,” bought at the show along with a rad tshirt. I agree with Stef about buying at shows – the money goes straight to the artist and with smaller artists can really make the difference in off-setting the cost of touring. Great post idea! I need to re-watch empire records now.

    • I spent a long time perfecting the art of the pause/record button to capture just the songs and not the dj’s yapping on my mixtapes.

    • i taped so much shit off the radio. the problem was yeah, the “and that was [whatever] from kiss 105!”

      the worst was when you knew it was your song and you got to the tape recorder just one second to late.

      god we really had to work for our music back then.

      although actually my policy then is the same as it is now:

      artist i really like – buy the album
      artist who doesn’t need my fucking money/respect – limewire (now) tape off the radio (then)

      • You should try FrostWire. I think it’s a better Gnutella client that also works on Macs. I prefer searching for/downloading file host (think Rapidshare, MegaUpload, Hotfile, etc.) links and torrents myself though.

        First CD: Aaliyah – One in a Million (even though I had more than enough music to listen to between my radio recordings and my dad’s cassette tapes/records)
        Last CD: Tegan and Sara – Sainthood

        • ugh limewire. DO NOT LIKE. For Macs transmission is the best and utorrent for pc. My friend is part of he gets me things I cannot find on my own.

        • I use Frostwire too. It works good for me!

          And also, Foist, I am very impressed with your first CD.

      • I dunno, I feel like after a having spent ten years wading through the dodgier end of the download mire, I’ve kind of got past it now. Spotify is so brokenly good it feels like it should be illegal, and I much prefer streaming because you end up with less shite cluttering your hard drive, and it’s a lot safer.

        Taping things off radio rocked, and mixtaping in general. I have still never resolved the dilemma of what to do when the first side of tape runs out half way through a song.

    • I used to tape songs off “Ugly Phil’s Top 40” radio show every sunday night, it was a ritual my 13 year old self took super seriously. I remember there being a lot of Massive Attack and Marcy Playground.

    • I used to tape off of the radio and pretend I was the DJ introducing the next songs. Sometimes, during the summer when stations would just let the airwaves fly and give a big eff-you to the FCC, great rock/indie stations would reach my house and I would pop in a tape before school, hit record, and listen to it on the car ride the next day. Same with bedtime; turn the volume down, pop in a tape, hit record, and listen to it the next day.

      Now it’s like my Back To The Future dream come true (besides the Cubs winning the World Series)…internet radio! God bless KEXP out of Seattle. Keeps the work day sane.

  21. First cassettes (purchased at the same time when I was about 6 or 7): Guns-N-Roses – Welcome To The Jungle and Metallica – The Black Album

    First CDs: Same as above because I’m weird and sentimental like that.

    Last album: Lady Gaga – The Fame Monster

  22. 1ST – Ace Of Base – The Sign (which I still listen to occasionally) ps. Jen: yes, I do remember Stephanie’s band performing The Sign at The Smashbox (if only they;d rehearsed more!) but what I remember more is myself performing it at a 5th grade talent show. Embarrassing.

    LAST – Evelyn, Evelyn

    • I preordered the Evelyn Evelyn cd/vinyl combo but it hasn’t shown up yet. The tracking info now says ‘backordered’ :/

      • I received my vinyl/cd combo (I live in Toronto) and it was a very happy day. The binyl is great, quite smaller than typical vinyls. Not as small as the 7 inchers but still quite tiny in comparison to standard vinyl. I
        m in love with the album, especially the tracks that sort of tell the story of Evelyn, Evelyn. Quite creepy. Also got a ticket to see them live, which I’m hoping is just spectacular and nuts.

        So many people seem to have a problem with this project. They claim that it’s offensive to people with disabilities? That Palmer/Webley are being exploitative? Maybe I’m being insensitive, but I think that’s just the craziest thing ever.

  23. First: Miles Davis, Birth of the Cool when I was eight.
    Most recent: A new copy of Woods by Sleater-Kinney because my roommate busted my old one.
    Actual vinyl, though? I buy it used as often as possible, and I think my most recent purchase was an old box set of Chopin’s nocturnes, etudes, and fantasies.

    P.S. Love to Riese and Daphne for the classical music. You made this queer little opera singer very happy!

    • Oh, dang! I also bought Holly Miranda’s new album when she opened for Tegan and Sara in Nashville. It’s pretty wicked good.

    • Whoa, you’re an opera singer? So cool!
      Which is your fav opera? Btw: I totally love Chopins nocturne op. 15 and his fantasy (I think it’s) op. 49. Hope they are on that box set you bought.

  24. I LOVE this, I’m totally old school and have thus resisted (so far)the temptation to download a single tune, mind you once I’ve actually worked out how to do that, what with my slow internet, that will change as you guys always mention such cool music and I can’t find hardly a dickie-bird of it in any of the remaining record stores.
    First -7″vinyl single -AMAZULU – To Good to be Forgotten
    Vinyl Album was MADONNA’s – True Blue
    Last one was TEGAN & SARA – The Con, which I purchased only 2wks ago.

    Savage Garden!!
    Hey, do any of you remember Let Loose? They were very much like Savage Garden, or am I embarrasingly on my own on that one?

    • Let Loose! Didn’t they only have one song, Seventeen, which they just seemed to re-release every couple of years?

      • Um, well, basically, yes! I remember Crazy for You and Best in Me too, but thats pretty much it! Savage Garden were wayyy better though, been playin their Best of CD today, they need to do a comeback tour!

        • They’re not getting back together at least for the forseeable future, but Darren Hayes has plenty of solo work now that you should check out :)

  25. First: I saved up allowance money to buy En Vogue’s Funky Divas when I was in 4th grade, at Record Rendezvous, the local record store in town. It shared a thin-walled building with a pizza place, so music shopping made me want to eat greasy food for a while there. The purchase led to a lot of group lip synch performances of Free Your Mind in my bedroom.

    Last: Broadcast’s Pendulum from the used rack at Other Music in NY. I love that store, but I feel like their staff skews overwhelmingly towards dudes.

  26. I can’t remember my first since at 21 years of age I am ancient, but I’d put good money on it being “The Writing’s on the Wall.” 10 year old me was waaaay into Destiny’s Child.

    My most recent album purchase was Chris Pureka’s “How I Learned To See in the Dark,” which I got at her (amaaaazing) gig at Johnny Brenda’s in Philly. In terms of last actual in-store vinyl purchase, hmm. I picked up k.d. lang and the reclines’ “Absolute Torch and Twang” and Led Zeppelin II a couple of weeks ago.

  27. First album purchased was most definitely The Parent Trap Soundtrack at age 10.
    The insert unfolded into a poster of two Lindsay Lohans.

  28. Hiya kids!
    first album: The Princess Bride soundtrack purchased around 1992-ish.
    last album that I actually walked into a store to buy: Screaming for My Supper, Beth Hart when I discovered her around 2005. Lots of tunes in-between and since. Good times.

  29. First album I can remember was Backstreet Boys debut album.
    Last album was Holly Miranda’s “The Magician’s Private Library” <3

  30. Every time I hear “The Sign” I think of Stephanie Tanner. Oh, how I love that show.

    The first cassette I remember buying myself (but with my mom’s money) is Spice. I would listen to it ALL THE TIME on the swings in 1st grade. Good times.
    The last physical CD I bought was Semi Precious Weapons “We Love You.”

  31. First: Either The Lion King Soundtrack or Shakira’s Pies Descalzos (back when she was the latin american version of a more conservative/tamer Alanis or something, instead of… I don’t even know what she’s going for now)

    Last: ZZK Sound Vol.2, a compilation by ZZK Records.

    ZZK and friends make highly enjoyable music. It’s cumbia meets electronic music, meets Hip Hop, meets clips of people chanting or teaching you english, meets sound bites of your homophobic aunt. (I know! That’s what I’ve/you’ve been waiting for all my/your life! Here, they even have free Mixtapes! [Recommended first listen: King Coya’s])

  32. First tape: Tonight, Tonight-NKOTB (is that what that album was called?)
    First CDs for b-day: Nirvana Unplugged and Live-Throwing Copper
    LAst CD hard copy, in hand, not on itunes: JUSTIN FUCKING BIEBER FOR MY GF! Not kidding.

    • NKOTB was the first cassette I ever owned too. It was a gift though, I didn’t buy it. I don’t remember the name, just that it had a song called “Step By Step” on it.

  33. 1st: Backstreet Boys self-titled album
    last: Gossip’s Music for Men

    i still like the boybands of the good ol’ days but my taste has definitely expanded :)

  34. The first cd that I actually remember purchasing with my own money was Dummy by Portishead. I bought it at The Wall in a mall in New York and didn’t know anything AT ALL about who Portishead was or what they sounded like. All I knew was that Natalie Portman, my one true love that summer 11 years ago, said in a Star Wars magazine that Dummy was her favourite album she couldn’t live without. I still love Natalie Portman… and Portishead was the best thing she ever gave me.

    I believe the last record I bought was either You Are Here by thenewno2 or Let It Roll by George Harrison. thenewno2 is amazing, partially because of how much Dhani Harrison sounds like his dad. He’s got that sweet voice that just sounds like honey. It’s perfect.

    • He’s also the spittin’ image of his dad…scary, like a clone. I crushed heavily on GH as a youngster in the 60s. Started a lifelong love of Indian music…but I digress

      • He is! It’s amazing. There’s one picture of George with shorter hair and a ‘stache and he’s photographing himself and it’s just… Whoa. I think it’s Dhani every time I see it. So beautiful.

  35. I don’t know how I got grandma to walk hand in hand to the mall record shop and purchase (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, but maybe it was b/c I was 9 and she thought it was about flowers.

    The Starfucker EP, Jupiter, was the last physical disk I picked up.

  36. My 1st 45 in 1959 was “Do a Dear” from The Sound of Music. The last LP I bought was “Blue Rider” Cris Williamson. 1989.

    Wow. That hurt my brain. Last CD was Sufi songs in Delhi, India. In Feb ’10

  37. This is embarrasing. The first CD I ever bought was when I was 8, and it was Hillary Duff. … I KNOW IT’S TERRIBLE!

    Now I don’t BUY my music (pshh who does that?) … :P

    • the first cd i bought for my little sister was Hillary Duff and if you think it’s embarrassing that you owned it at 8 yrs old, how about the fact that i made a copy of it, for myself, before i gave it to her?

      i was 22.

      • I’m 26 and still enjoy many items produced by Hilary Duff, including tshirts, a sweat band and even the ridic ‘Greatest Hits’ cd she released at the wise old age of 20. Let’s not be embarrassed, let’s own our love of the Duff.

  38. Also: I played the shit out of the Tarzan movie soundtrack when it first came out. I had it on cassette. That was when I fell in love with Phil Collins. :)

  39. There is nothing embarrassing about Savage Garden!! Incidentally, Savage Garden was the first live show I ever went to. The only people in that stadium more into it than my 12 year old self were the Japanese business men in front of me.

    My first album purchase was S.C.I.E.N.C.E. by Incubus, which I have no strong feelings about. I think I bought it to look cool. The second was And Out Come the Wolves by Rancid though, which definitely changed my life for the better.

    Most recent- Airmail by Epicure b/c that’s the last time I wanted something too obscure to get on iTunes.

    • Nice selections! I love And Out Come The Wolves, it was one of my most influential early records too.

      I bought S.C.I.E.N.C.E to impress a girl. She played “A Certain Shade Of Green” for me on her guitar and I pretended like it was my favourite song, but in reality had never heard it before and needed to study up.

  40. Ok, now mind you I was born in ’87! That being said, the first “tape” I bought with my own money was KrisKross’ debut album. Ugh, loved. Moms’ hated my backwards swag and I loved that she hated it. The last (actual) record that I bought was… um, I think it was Erykah Badu – Baduizm Live. EPIC!!!

  41. First I ever had: Born in the USA, Bruce Springsteen

    First I ever bought: Gangsta’s Paradise, Coolio

    Most Recent: Alligator Remix LP, Tegan and Sara

    • oh i get it now.

      most recent i bought in hard copy (obviously the first two were in hard copy b/c i was a young child and that was all we had aside from the aforementioned taping of the radio trick), was Janis Joplin’s Greatest Hits. She’s really great, that Janis Jopin.

  42. Phew, mine are not so embarrassing.
    First album (cassette of course) was The B-52s Cosmic Thing in 1989. I fell in love with Love Shack because we learned a dance routine to it in my jazz dance class in fourth grade.
    Most recent album I got was last month, the Broken Bells self-titled (CD). It’s really good ya’ll.

  43. First Cd I bought with my own pocket money – No Doubt ‘Tragic Kingdom’. Mum had bought if for me too for Christmas, so she made me return it and I was so pissed at her until Christmas Day :)

    Most recently, I bought Gregory Alan Isakov’s ‘This Empty Northern Hemisphere’ which is such a beautiful album. Some of it was recorded in his car, some in a studio. Brandi Carlile does backing vox on some tracks so it’s really lush sounding.

    • Ok so actually the last album I actually bought for reals (because I bought Gregory’s one as a download) was Brandi Carlile’s ‘Give Up The Ghost’ which is fricking awesome.

  44. The first album I can remember buying was The Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness’.
    The last album I bought was Evangelista’s ‘Prince of Truth’.

    But I seem to recall owning Boys 2 Men on cassette before having cds. I think my mom bought it for me! (not to say that I didn’t love it, coz I did!)

  45. i’m pretty sure my first was dreamstreet’s self-titled [and i think only] album when i was 12 and by most recent was justin bieber. clearly my taste in music has changed a lot in nine years.

  46. hi Jess R.,

    As a queer feminist who listens to a lot of hiphop, I have a complicated relationship with a music culture that promotes materialism, glorifies gun violence, and often relegates women to the scantily-clad margins. I have a lot of issues with the mainstream face of hip hop (there are of course a TON of socially conscious rappers out there), but I recognize that if I wrote off any artist who didn’t conform to my moral standards, I’d never be able to listen to another Jay-Z song again, and that’d be a real shame.

    That said, not to drink the haterade or anything, but why make Eminem one of the four artists since 2001 who get your financial support? He’s someone who has promoted a misogynistic, homophobic, and violent ethos since day one. I’m not saying you shouldn’t listen to his work, and there’s no disputing his talent, but every record he sells is a vote of confidence and approval of his persona. There are a ton of true artists out there who manage to make great music–like Madonna and Lady Gaga–and don’t do it at the expense of queers and women.

    Not to say my music taste has always been so spectacular…. I’m pretty sure my first CD purchase was the first Spice Girls album! I was also obsessed with Spiceworld: the Movie. and maybe secretly still am. Meatloaf is in it! My most recent album purchase was more respectable though: ShapeShifters by Invincible, who is a really phenomenal gay lady rapper from Detroit!

    peace and records,

  47. I’d like to say my first music purchase was Violent Femmes but it was Weird Al Yankovic in 3-D on cassette. I Lost on Jeopardy baby….OOOoooOOOooo. Oh and the latest was Kaki King via download.

    Things sure have changed and I miss the record stores that used to be around the corner.

    • Oh my goodness, I totally forgot about I Lost On Jeopardy! Totally stuck in my head now, lol.

  48. First cassettes: Mariah Carey- Daydream & Dance Mix 95
    First CDs: Jewel-Pieces of You & Savage Garden
    We don’t have any local record stores anymore (unless you count Walmart, which I don’t) so I mostly use iTunes (I always pay for music!) and I try to buy music/merch whenever I go to a live show.
    Last iTunes purchases: Glee- The Music vol 1&2
    Last physical purchase: Tegan & Sara- Sainthood

  49. My first vinyl: I was eight and it was Whitney Houston’s second album “Whitney”. Still have it!

    I can’t remember my first tape (probably a “Wee Sing and Play” deal or a Care Bears jam), but my first CD, which was a long time coming since it took us forever to get a CD player in the house, was R.E.M.’s “Out of Time”.

    My last vinyl: Picked up a few treats at Record Store Day, even though they weren’t any of the exclusive releases. I had to leave with something I wanted!

    The Ruby Suns “Fight Softly” on 12″
    Frightened Rabbit 7″ A side: Swim Until You Can’t See Land, B side: Fun Stuff

    I was so excited yesterday! Record Store Day is one of my favs. Unfortunately I didn’t get my hands on the exclusive Beach House vinyl with the extra tracks :( I had a long list of “if I don’t get this, then I’ll grab this…” and most of them weren’t sent to the store. I saw one person grab the R.E.M. blue vinyl and then I saw the Beach House get snatched up. Sad pirate sigh *arrrrgh*.

  50. Hah, I’m late, but I believe that my first CD buy was Smash Hits: Let’s Party back in 2002 or something. (I was young at the time.)
    My last order was about 10 minutes ago on Amazon with Breaking Benjamin’s “Phobia”, Nice Nice’s “Extra Wow”, and The Chemical Brothers’ “Brotherhood”. But the most recent ones that I actually bought and now have were Dream Theater’s “Metropolis Part 2: Scenes from a Memory”, Nine Inch Nail’s “Ghosts I-IV” and Kosheen’s “Resist”.
    I can’t stop buying CDs at the moment. I feel like I’m the only one keeping the business afloat or something. I’m too young for vinyls, heh.

  51. My first cassette was Hootie & The Blowfish – Cracked Rear View and I still love and listen to them.

    I was 11yrs old when I bought my first cd and it was HANSON – middle of nowhere (1997) enough said.

    p.s. I met Hanson in person the following year and still to this day have an autographed FRAMED poster of them.

  52. You people are all so cool. My first record (ON AN ACTUAL RECORD) was No More Games by New Kids On The Block.

    I was jealous of their leather jackets on the front. I’m so going to find that record and display it on my wall in an ironic hipster fashion.

    Last actual physical purchase was Martha Wainwright’s first album and it pleased me greatly.

  53. Ugh, too bad I’m like half a year late on reading this because I love it! Whatev, I’ll still reply.

    First cassettes purchased together: Joan Osborne’s Relish and (this is embarrassing because I’m soooo not religious anymore) Jars of Clay’s Jars of Clay. I think my last cassette was either a Third Eye Blind single or Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill.

    My first CD was Sublime’s Sublime. I belive Dookie was my second.

    My last CD was Okkervil River’s Don’t Fall in Love With Everyone You See.

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