Fabien, record collector from Fontainebleau – France

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In our quest to interview the record collectors from all around the world, we made a stop in France to meet Fabien, collector since 2005. Today, he has more than 800 records. Based Fontainebleau, he tells us about his love story with the support!

Can you tell us a few words about yourself?

My name is Fabien, I am from the Fontainebleau area and I am a logistics manager for a sports equipment manufacturer. I am married and I live in a house with not a lot of neighbours around; perfect to be able to listen to all the music I want without disturbing anyone.

When did you start collecting records? How many do you have today?

I started my collection by collecting my father’s records, just after seeing a movie where the records were important to the main character. It was in 2005 I think, so 13 years ago. Today, I have about 800 records.

sigur ros album

How your interest in music was born?

I always listened to music and then at the end of my teenage years, I started to get really interested in it and it became a devouring passion. I wanted to know everything and listen to everything.

Do you remember the first record you bought?

Besides my father’s records, I bought my first record online; it was Hunky Dory by David Bowie. Back in the day, the record was in a very bad shape when I received it so I stopped buying online and started to go to flea markets.

album Hunky Dory, David Bowie

What are your 1st musical influences?

I listen to about everything, but started with classic Rock.

What kind of music you parents listened to at home when you were a kid?

Mostly pop music, Michael Jackson, Prince, Céline Dion, Eros Ramazzotti, that kind of stuff.

Do you collect a particular genre of music?

No, I listen to everything I can love. I must have at least one record in each genre.

fabien's record collection

The sound of the vinyl is not perfect and never will be; that’s why I think it’s even cooler

What is your best find ever?

History of Michael Jackson, an original edition. I listened to it on CD with my parents, today it’s on vinyl and it’s the same pleasure if not better.

Any regrets about a record you left at a record shop?

There are lots of them that I left at the bottom of a crate and that have increased in value to the point where they can no longer be found at a decent price today. If I had to name one, it would be: Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood At Madison Square Garden; a not that old record, but already impossible to find.

Can you tell us an interesting or funny anecdote about your record collection?

There is this limited edition record from Third Man Records, which I received twice, I sold one, so the other one didn’t cost me anything. It was a White Stripes live show in Japan, a box set with goodies.

What’s your last purchase?

Nas and Damian Marley – Distant Relatives

album nas & Damian Marley, Distant Relatives

Is there an artist in particular that you are trying to get the full discography?

There are several for which it’s already done (Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin), otherwise there is Ben Harper and Eric Clapton for which it is not done yet.

It’s the end of the world, you can only pick 5 records from your collection to take them with you! Which ones and why?

  • Led Zeppelin II, because it’s them and all the songs are perfect
  • David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, the best album from Bowie according to me, nothing to throw away from that concept album
  • Michael Jackson – History, for the nostalgia and for the advantage of being half a best of, half an original album
  • Ibrahim Maalouf – Illusions, the album that made me want to discover jazz. I thanked him in person for that
  • Pink Floyd – Dark Side Of The Moon, not very original, but it’s always the same pleasure as the first time every time you listen to it

album Ibrahim Maalouf, illusions

Original pressings or re-issues? Why?

I don’t care at all, as long as the quality is there. Some re-issues are not worth it, it’s true, but for some records that can’t be found it’s quite practical. The first editions have above all the charm of being a collectible item.

What kind of digger are you?

I went to a lot of flea markets when I starting my collection. I’m not going there anymore, especially since I’ve been mostly buying brand new records lately. I reconciled myself with online shopping. And there are not a lot record shops around to be able to go there that often.

When people come to my house, there is always a record spinning; it’s my way of welcoming them

Do you think that collecting records helps to preserve our musical and cultural legacy?

I don’t think so, there’s everything you might want to know or listen to on the Internet. Collecting records is a pleasure and that’s the only purpose in my opinion.

tattoo of a vinyl record

What attracts you in a record?

Until two or three years ago, I would have said the sound, but that’s an elitist and false reason. The sound of the vinyl is not perfect and never will be; that’s why I think it’s even cooler. What I like is the contact with the object, looking at the details of a cover and the ritual to listen to the record, having to turn it over, earning the right to listen to it.

A tip to organize your collection?

I have separated the OSTs, the singles, the Jazz and Classical Music, they have their own space. Otherwise, it’s in alphabetical order by artist or band name.

fabien's record collection

If your collection could talk, what could she say about you?

That I have no preconceived ideas, that everything that is good deserves to be listened to and that music does good to you no matter what happens. When people come to my house, there is always a record spinning; it’s my way of welcoming them.

What’s your actual setup at home?

Yamaha AX-592 amp, Dynavox TPR-3 preamp tubes, a Thorens TD 170 turntable with an Ortofon OM 10.

turntable set up

Want to add something about yourself?

I’d like to talk about Holy Grail! I’ve been looking for forever, at a decent price, Supernatural by Santana. The next year it’s its 20th anniversary, a re-issue will probably on the way, after all, it’s his best-selling album. I believe in it.

You can follow Fabien and his record collection on Instagram: @fab_vinyl_white

slipmat daft punk

Photos credit: Courtesy of @fab_vinyl_white

Thank you Fabien for taking the time to do this and for willing to share your story with us!

Translated from the original interview of Fabien in French