Mark Gilbert ATN – The Pleasure of Digging Through Records

I started collecting records about a year before they really became popular again, slightly unlucky given the hike in prices which occurred shortly afterwards. It was actually my boss at the Automotive Training Network, Mark Gilbert ATN founder, who suggested that I get into record buying, as we used to chat about music all of the time, and he could clearly see that I was a bit of a geek. Of all aspects of record collecting that I enjoy, I would have to say that the favorite part for me, beyond actually listening to the albums, is digging through crates of vinyls in the record store.

Many out there collect vinyl and they buy online at places like Discogs, whilst there is nothing wrong with this at all, it is vital that if you do collect records, that you learn to love the pleasure and pain of crate digging, and here is why I love to do it.


It isn’t until you start digging through crates of old records that you realize just how little you actually know about music. As you can imagine there have been hundreds of thousands of artists and bands who have released music in the last 70 years, and all of those vinyls are still in existence. Now, much of the music may be trash but there is nothing wrong with picking up a surprise album one day, and learning about a new band or artist.

Surprising Finds

Something which I am always surprised by is the high quality of the discs which you find when you are digging through the crates. Last month I found an original 1967 copy of Disraeli Gears by Cream, and the disc was absolutely impeccable. Don’t assume that if you go digging through these records that everything will be poor quality and that you are going to get ripped sleeves and scratched discs, that can happen of course, but in the main you will find some great quality stuff.


There is always treasure to be found and that is the joy of flipping through discs like this. I is always best to go in with an open mind of course, don’t expect to find a first edition White Album or something like that, you have to start this expecting the unexpected. What happens is that you flip and flip and flip through all of these discs, and then bang, an album which you’ve always wanted pops up, grab it before someone else takes it and head right over to the counter. There is always the chance that you may find some hidden treasure, and that is the thrill right there.

It probably is cheaper to buy most albums online, in fact you may even be able to find better quality, but there is nothing that beats getting into the record shop, digging through those crates, and finding a little nugget of vinyl gold, go give it a try.