My First Vinyl Record: ‘Abbey Road’

In honor of Record Store Day, a few of our writers have shared the story of their first vinyl record.

The first vinyl record I ever bought was ‘Abbey Road’ by The Beatles. I was (and still am) a huge Beatles fan, and I’d just discovered the wonders of the local record shop. I’d only ever seen the cover in pictures or in CD form, so to see it in full-size LP made it extra special. The iconic photograph of four of the greatest musicians of all time, in the format it was intended, I had to have it.⠀

It cost $30. A whole week of my student budget. At this stage the only record player we had was this dust-covered turntable that had been long ago forgotten about atop our stereo system. I had to stand on a chair to lift the plastic lid, put the black vinyl on the platter, and hear the static sound through the speakers. But it was miraculous. ⠀

My key memory of the first play-through was the eight-song medley that takes up almost the entirety of Side Two. Having only ever heard the CD version, I was used to a jarring 3 second gap between each track. Hearing the songs play out in full – from “You Never Give Me Your Money” all the way to “The End” – made me realize how incredible that section of the album is. ⠀

I still play my first copy of ‘Abbey Road’ from time to time, still marveling at the medley on Side Two. Even though I’ve purchased remastered copies as well, I always play this one.

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