Review: Vinyl Freak by John Corbett

Title: Vinyl Freak – Love Letters to a Dying Medium

Author: John Corbett

Pages: 264 Pages

Publisher: Duke University Press

The Blurb

From scouring flea markets and eBay to maxing-out their credit cards, record collectors will do just about anything to score a long-sought-after album. In Vinyl Freak, music writer, curator, and collector John Corbett burrows deep inside the record fiend’s mind, documenting and reflecting on his decades-long love affair with vinyl. Discussing more than 200 rare and out-of-print LPs, Vinyl Freak is comprised in part of Corbett’s long-running Downbeat magazine column of the same name, which was devoted to records that had not appeared on CD. In other essays where he combines memoir and criticism, Corbett considers the current vinyl boom, explains why vinyl is his preferred medium, profiles collector subcultures, and recounts his adventures assembling the Alton Abraham Sun Ra Archive, an event so all-consuming that he claims it cured his record-collecting addiction. Perfect for vinyl newbies and veteran crate diggers alike, Vinyl Freak plumbs the motivations that drive Corbett and collectors everywhere.

The Review

I love my vinyl collection. Admittedly, not as much as John Corbett but it is something that I treasure and the moment anyone tries to convince me to put it in storage or – God forbid – sell it I become really defensive and protective. I totally understand John Corbett’s love for his music collection.

Vinyl Freak is – as the full title suggests – a love letter to Corbett’s record collection. I love the passion and the knowledge that oozes off each and every page in this book. I think for me, personally, as someone who isn’t very knowledgeable on Jazz music, I can see how this book could become quite slow and tedious but that is not due in any way, shape or form to do with John Corbett’s writing. It is because of my own ignorance of the genre. Those, like me, would find the book a difficult read. However, if you are a jazz enthusiast then I can quite imagine this book becoming some form of Holy Scripture.

Thoroughly researched and clear passion, Vinyl Freak is a must for the jazz lover in your life.

Vinyl Freak – Love Letters to a Dying Medium by John Corbett is available now.

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