An original Record Collector magazine dated January 1996.
The early years
The first standalone issue of Record Collector was published in March 1980, though its history stretches back further. In 1963, publisher Sean O’Mahony (alias Johnny Dean) had launched an official Beatles magazine, The Beatles Book. Although it shut down in 1969, The Beatles Book reappeared in 1976 due to popular demand.
Through the late-1970s, the small ads section of The Beatles Book became an increasingly popular avenue through which collectors could make contact and buy, sell, or trade Beatles records. Reflecting a burgeoning collecting scene in the 1970s, as time went by, the adverts were becoming dominated by traders who were interested in rare vinyl unassociated with the Beatles. In September 1979, The Beatles Book came with a record collecting supplement, and the response was positive enough for O’Mahony to launch Record Collector as a separate entity in March 1980.
By June 1980, Record Collector was a glossy A5 publication which ran to no more than 100 pages. With the addition of another editorial staff member – Peter Doggett, who stayed with the magazine for almost 20 years – Record Collector began to take shape and assume its own identity. Aimed at the collectors’ market, early issues focused largely on the music of collectable artists from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.
Uniquely, Record Collector features consisted of both prose pieces on the history of the artist, and detailed discographies of their UK releases. These discographies would provide all the information needed for collectors to pore over, and which enabled them to differentiate between different pressings of supposedly identical releases – catalogue numbers, release dates and distinguishing features of the records and sleeves themselves. In particular, they would also include a valuation of each record, so that dealers and collectors had a springboard to work from.
Collectors outside London found themselves limited by their situation. The mail order listings in Record Collector were important, and one of the few places for buyers and sellers to make contact with each other. At its height, this section was up to half of the publication. However, at the turn of the 21st century with the success of selling to consumers on-line via sites such as eBay, many sellers now use this type of method and the amount of listings has greatly declined.
Extract from Wikipedia