The vinyl collection of reader Darren Jones features all manner of autographed rarities and collectables in unusual formats – plus the odd surprise in the post…

The Vinylist: Darren Jones

What was the first record you bought?
“I remember listening to records as a child while visiting my grandparents (John Lennon being a favourite, and Paul McCartney doing Mull Of Kintyre being on heavy rotation), then it was The Police on the neighbours’ record player – so buying records seemed like the natural progression.The first record I bought was Duran Duran’s The Reflex on 7″, and I still have it! The second 7″ was John Parr, St. Elmo’s Fire.”

What artists and genres are you most interested in?
“For years, I rarely strayed beyond hard rock and indie, but I’ve since widened the scope to include rap, classical, mainstream dance, soul and Motown. In fact, I recently said to my girlfriend I’ve caught myself listening to some records purely because of the quality of the pressing and not necessarily because I’m a fan of the artist. I subscribe to the Rough Trade Album Of The Month club, so each month, a random LP drops through the door.”

How many records do you have?
“I’ve not counted my records and don’t have a list (except for Mogwai, to save me from buying doubles), but I would estimate it to be in the region of 1,000-plus… which I do now keep alphabetically, so that I can find what I want, when I want.”

What’s the most valuable record in your collection?
“It’s always difficult putting a value on them, but I do have a factory sample of the first Iron Maiden LP, fully autographed by the original line-up – of which not all are still alive, sadly. I have many, many limited and autographed examples, sometimes buying the same LP more than once in order to have the clear/coloured/boxset releases. I also have records that produce holograms when played, picture discs, 5″ singles, debut 7″ releases and all manner of collectible features.”

What’s the Holy Grail record that you’d most like to own?
“Happily, I don’t have a ‘Holy Grail’ record, I’ve always managed to get the ones I’ve really wanted and never bought any because of potential future value. My local independent record shop is Chameleon in Aberdeen, and Michael does a great job of getting in the stuff I’m after.”

What’s your listening setup?
“A Michell GyroDec, with a Pro-Ject Evolution carbon-fibre tone arm carrying a Linn Asaka MC cart; a Leema Pulse II amp and a pair of Cambridge Audio Aero 6 floorstanding speakers.”

The Vinylist: Darren Jones

Read more: The Vinylist: Suzanne Verweij

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