When I was growing up in the 80s, I didn’t own many 45s. I was all about the album, even if I only knew that one hit from it when I bought it. I wanted that experience of listening to an album start to finish.
When I started collecting records as an adult, I again stuck to albums, until a seller I frequently bought from started throwing in 45s as freebie “thank yous.” I fell in love with the picture sleeves and the idea of owning these songs that now meant so much to me. At a local antique store, I picked up an old 45 case filled with records and then started looking for lots of them to purchase online. I was usually looking for 45s from the 80s, which are generally inexpensive, so it was easy to start building up a collection.
As I started cataloguing my 45s on Discogs (something I’ve since grown lazy about), I began to discover all the variations that existed of a single release – alternate picture sleeves, picture discs, test and promo copies. The collector in me kicked in, and it wasn’t just about getting ONE version of a song, it was about getting every version or the rarest version or the picture sleeve that was only released in Norway.
Since I have gotten lazy about cataloguing my records, I’m not sure how many 45s I own at this point, but it’s a large and ever-growing collection. I’m hoping to share pieces from my collection in this space.
Here’s one of my favorites – a limited edition release of Def Leppard’s Photograph, with Bringin’ on the Heartbreak as the B side. It was released in the United Kingdom in 1984. I love the packaging on this one, made to look like a man’s leather wallet, with photos of the band and Marilyn Monroe inside. Five hundred of these were released, and they usually sell for about $20.