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    Regardless of the advent of digital downloading, the popularity of streaming and the ability to take your music wherever you go, the romance of vinyl is still enduring across the world. Countless record fairs take place every month, not least in Liverpool’s very own Bluecoat Arts Centre, for music lovers young and old to collect those rare pieces or add to their already growing collections. Have you ever collected more than a 1,000 copies of the same album though?

     

    One man has – Rutherford Chang.

     

    Rutherford  bought his second copy of The Beatles infamous ‘White Album’ over eight years ago and has been collecting only first pressings of the record ever since. In conjunction with FACT and the Liverpool International Music Festival, his vast collection is now on display in the holding bay of FACT on Wood Street.

     

     

    The albums are set out strikingly in the format of a record store – however they are not for sale. This is a record store where first edition White albums are bought not sold but you can still take a trip through time as you browse the collection.

    What could be so interesting about browsing through over 1,000 copies of the same album you ask? Surely it would be the same white background over and over again? Certainly not – the collection is immensely fascinating, providing an insight into the way fans have treated their records and their love for the fab four. I could have spent hours scanning through each album cover to cover, admiring the beautiful doodles and sketches. The repetition of the word ‘love’ and the endless flower drawings that adorn the albums reflect an era of peace protests and psychedelic music, whilst the worn edges of the sleeves show the countless times these albums must have been played since 1968.

     

    Other fans however have been inventive with the way they have decorated their album covers – take for instance one fan who has plastered novelty stickers of toothpaste and other food items on the front, highlighting quirkiness and humour. My personal favourite however is the White album with doodles of the fab four on the front, complete with the words “I love Paul” next to the images. Possibly it was an avid McCartney fan who owned this particular copy, but that is the beauty of the exhibit – it is up to you to find the White album you love and to interpret it for yourself.  If you find an album you like, there’s even a record player where you can air your favourite tracks. Just place the needle on the groove and let the album take you back in time.

     

     

    ‘We buy White albums’ is an endlessly fascinating exhibition for both Beatle fans and vinyl collectors alike. Just take a trip to FACT and see what you could uncover…

     

    ‘We buy White albums’ is at FACT on Wood Street until 15th September 2014.

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      Sarah's posts By Sarah O' Hara
      @TheLowdownMag


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