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Last Updated: Friday, 17 June 2005, 09:33 GMT 10:33 UK
Music collections 'worth 1,500'
CD collection
British music fans undervalue their CD collections
The average record collection owned by a Briton is worth 1,500, according to a survey for an insurance firm.

Men tend to have on average 33 more items in their collections than women, the poll of 1,000 people said.

People in Yorkshire and Humberside were found to be bigger music collectors, while those in north-east England usually had the fewest albums.

Around 10% of people said they had 500 albums in their collection, according to the survey carried out by ICM.

Men owned an average of 178 albums each, compared with women's 135, the Barclays Insurance poll said.

Three quarters of the 1,000 people questioned said they would be unable to remember everything in their music collection if it was stolen, and did not usually have their music insured for its true value.

Most people think their mass of CDs are worth only around 600 - almost 1,000 short of the estimated national average.

Many music fans, the research concluded, do not value their collection as much as a valuable guitar, computer or car.


What in your record collection could you not live without? Or do you live with somebody whose music you could happily live without?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Could not live without my Foo Fighters albums and my Oasis album and single collection. Could live without my girlfriend's Busted and Ultimate Kaos albums though.
Paul Griffin, Sutton, Surrey

I could not survive without most of my CD's, but the one I would miss the most is currently, James Blunt:Back to Bedlam.
Izzy, Cupar, Fife

Not sure I could do without any of my Beatles albums. They're my musical security blanket. I could happily go without my 27 year old brother's musical collection who, to say he has a few rough diamonds is a polite understatement: S Club 7 anyone?
George Wells, South Chailey, UK

I could not be without Jeff Buckley's Grace - it sounds beautiful whatever mood I'm in or day I've had.
Sally, Portsmouth

I have an extensive collection of Dream Theater rarities. Once upon a time this would have been a private obsession. Now due to the internet I know what fellow collectors around the world have and that spurs me to greater heights. Fortunately thanks to eBay and other sites, I can now collect from around the world as well. My collection is certainly worth much more that 1,500 as I know I have individual items that sell for in excess of 200 each. Sad but true.
Paul, Farnham, UK

I couldn't live without my 70's collection of albums. they're the soundtrack to my life.
Anon

I wouldn't want to live without any part of my collection, as every one of my 120+ albums makes me think, in 120+ ways, of my partner. From the albums I listened to in the years before we got together, to the albums we listen to together today. Any album lost would be promptly replaced!
Al, Swansea, UK

Funny...I've always thought of my music collection as irreplaceable.
Ben Shepherd, Farnham, Surrey

My collection exceeds the national average and encompasses vinyl and CD. I still remember those heady days of acquiring limited edition punk music on vinyl. Although rarely played now, they are irreplaceable and when they are dusted off, bring back many happy memories of VIth form school days and the concerts I attended.
Derek Sprague, Chippenham, UK

I treasure my complete collection of Queen albums which I have on vinyl and have almost completed on CD.
Richard Collins, Ringmer, East Sussex

I couldn't live without my Stevie Wonder collection...music for all moods! I couldn't tell you what my CD collection is worth though. Maybe I should go and check........just to be sure!
Francesca, London, UK

I couldn't live without Christine Tobin's exceptional album, Deep Song. Every time I listen to it, there is another level of depth to discover. She has to be our best jazz singer.
John, Rochdale

One of my favourite pastimes was flicking through vinyl in record shops. Each record has a memory attached. Listening to vinyl in this digital age static and all is great escapism.
Barry, Bromley, UK

I couldn't live without all those albums I've amassed over the years. My life seems to be encapsulated in the grooves. True, I rarely play a lot of them.... but surely, that's not the point.
Kevin, Edinburgh

The 'average' CD buyer is obviously a lightweight. I and several people I know, own well over 5,000 CDs each! Maybe we're just obsessive!
Frank Ralph, Halifax

I have around 200 albums in my collection, so I'm just above the average according to that survey. Music helps me get through the day, so it's important for me (and I'm sure many others) to have a wide range of music to suit all your moods. My particular favourites are my U2 and R.E.M. records.
Marcus Ridgeway, County Durham, UK

I don't think this survey holds water. None of my mates (of which I have quite a few) own more than 30 albums and what about the millions of people that don't own any? (OAPs, deaf people etc. ?) I think they only surveyed middle management in their 30's/40's!
David, Wimbledon, London

I haven't really done an accurate count but since I buy around half a dozen CDs a month and collect old vinyl from record fairs as well, I guess the collection runs to four figures by now. I'd hate to do without any of them although there are some I don't listen to much any more. I'd have to hang on to the Marillion collection, though. They really are one of the music business' best kept secrets.
Phil Stephens, Llanelli, South Wales

I own about 100 CD albums and, looking over them, I see how my music tastes have changed over the years (I'm 25). My collection used to consist mainly of House and Trance compilations. Although dance remains my favourite genre, strangely most of those albums have been packed away into the loft, while my ever-growing collection of 'proper' dance, rock and guitar-band music remains proudly on display.
Ross, UK

Kanye West, Coldplay and D'angelo, which in my opinion is the best of rap, rock and neo-soul.
Chiby, Gaborone-Botswana

Sadly, my Marillion albums - the first band I really got into 20 years ago. My tastes have matured greatly since but these are the records I have owned in about three different formats (tape, vinyl, CD and then remastered CD)over the years!
Stuart Chandler, Dewsbury, W Yorks

I'd never cope without my collection of Manic Street Preachers albums. I've got the lot, seen them live eight times and they are about the only band I listen to that get a play at least once a week. But I could live without the Crazy Frog single which my 15-month old son Luc loves!
Darren Burke, Doncaster

I've about 1200 albums in my collection, LPs CDs and cassettes. Very few could I live without. A few are rarities and some are just personal favourites of mine which no one can understand why I listen to them :o)
Rory, Dublin, Ireland

I have all my music backed up on DVD/iPod and hard drive and now download anything new. I think if my CD collection was stolen they'd be doing me a favour. It won't be long before the idea of having a physical copy of an album seems quaint.
Trev, Ireland

Can't live without: Queen, The Beatles, Radiohead, Keane, Kasabian & The Police. Can happily live without: Black Lace, Abba, N-Sync & DJ Sammy!
Robert, Birmingham

Although i was not around in the sixties i could not live without Big brother and the holding company's Cheap Thrills. The vocals by Janis Joplin are just amazing!
Mark, Bristol

There are so many albums I couldn't live without. But I think anything by the Prodigy, Blink 182, The Beatles or Oasis I couldn't live without.
Alex, Gt.Dunmow

I have around 300 CD's spanning all genres. I hated finding specific tracks and albums so one day I 'ripped' them all as very high quality MP3s with my PC - which I now use as a Juke Box. I'm now listening to my collection more widely and more regularly, and with a wireless network I can even listen to them when I'm in my garden. Probably can't live without it now. So, a BIG thank you to a huge and nameless software company that apparently everyone loves to hate.
Ian, London

I would question the research - people in Yorkshire and Humberside have the largest collections, whilst those in the North East have the smallest. Correct me if I am missing something here, but where are Yorkshire and Humberside in relation to the rest of the country...
Adam Harris, Surbiton, UK

I couldn't live without the boxes & sleeves of my collection, but I've seen people's CDs strewn about boxless or left in a pile on top of a TV gathering dust and scratches - I even have a memory of this being done with vinyl back in the day. With the mp3 era I'll miss not being able to lend someone a beloved record & have it returned unplayable.
A.Dehany, London UK

Out of all my records, CDs, tapes, Downloads, the one album that has rarely left my CD player, Walkman, MP3 or Car Stereo for the past 18 years is Guns'n'Roses' Appetite for Destruction. One of the best albums ever recorded. It has & always will be a classic that few could match never mind surpass.
Mike Jones, Chester, UK

My music collection is a map of my life from an adolescent through to now being nearly 40. All recordings; tape, vinyl, CD, MD or iPod, contain memories of time, places and people that I have experienced throughout my life so far. I couldn't dream of loosing any of my recordings as they all mean something different.
Rob Forrest, Preston, UK

I have a large collection of music, both vinyl and CD, probably around 1500 in all. However, I'd have to admit that certain recordings are there purely to complete the collection and not because I like the music on the records. Is this wrong?
Alastair, Guildford Surrey

I thought moving in with my boyfriend would mean I could save money by sharing his CDs, but he made it clear early on that this would not be the case - our CD collections are to stay separate on pain of death. However, two CDs of his that I won't be rushing to the shops to buy are one of Medieval court music and a collection of poetry about worms.
Milly Prawnes, London, Uk

I can't live without Public Enemy's second album - "Nation of Millions". In fact it's the first album I play whenever purchasing new stereo equipment!
Neil, Croydon, Surrey

I have found the more disposable cash I have the more CDs I buy. When I was a student I would buy probably one CD a month (max), whereas now this is probably 2/3. I find myself buying CDs I don't really want, and some I have only ever played once. Although on the plus side I have the opportunity to buy more experimental choices, I don't really get as much from the music as I did. Back in the day I would really give each purchase the time it deserved and get absorbed in the record - and I think I enjoyed the music more for it. I have around 300 albums, and have started flogging the 'unplayed' ones at car-boots.
Loz, London

I treasure my music collection more highly than any of my other possessions, although if you were to see my room you would believe that they possess me! I think I got over 100 albums last year alone and am trying very hard to kerb my spending this year - although it's not going very well. :) Why do i have so many albums? Because it's much easier to be exposed to, and find, great new music using the internet than it is on radio or TV.
Bob Sheridan, London

I would hardly call a poll of 1000 people indicative of the UK population. I know for myself my CD collection is around 1500 albums in itself, and my dad, while not as big a CD collection, probably equals mine with his vinyl, tapes and CDs added together.
Stuart, N. Ireland

Between my husband and myself, we have a wall of CDs - about 1700 at the last count. We also have an attic full of vinyl - over 2000 albums plus singles. The difficulty is getting them all on my iPod! The sad thing is that we are both avid collectors of both new and are quickly running out of space. Next purchase? A double CD player for the Hi-fi that will burn our vinyl on to CD. Maybe then I can eBay his Metallica and thrash metal collection...
CarolAnne, London, UK

Having been a music buyer and occasional DJ/ presenter for 30 years, I have amassed a sizeable collection of material (3,000-odd 7" singles, 1,500+ vinyl LPs, never mind the CDs!) Although I obviously don't listen to a lot of it, I don't want to get rid of anything, so the obvious thing is to digitise the material and save some space, but even at the rate of one album a day it would take more than 4 years! To play the whole collection would take over two months of 24-hour-a-day listening. I think I am stuck with the vinyl, really! I have no idea what it's worth, although I did have some trouble with my house insurance a number of years ago, and they insisted on itemising it, and valued it at ?12,000 - very nice, but it would never realise much if I sold it as the market in vinyl will do nothing but decline in the future. To answer the question, though, I wouldn't want to live without any of it, and I want my kids to be able to listen to it all (and perhaps appreciate some of what they are missing!)
David, Herts, UK

Fortunately, my girlfriend finds my collection of nearly 1000 CDs very impressive, and my geeky obsession curiously sexy. Thus, I win. Hooray!
Pete, London UK

I tend to collect CDs, and I only recently realised quite how many I had. I dread to think how much I've spent! If you spread them about the room in different racks and storage units, it makes it seem like a lot less!
David Rickard, Bucks, UK

I own about 3000 CDs, 1900 vinyl albums, and 3000 tapes. 15 of the LPs, and one single, are worth about 1000 between them. The rest are worth about 2.50 each, realistically, given the hassle and time of selling them. I could live without most of them, because, in effect, I do - there are a lot that won't get played again before I die.
Dave Heasman, London, England




SEE ALSO:
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17 Jun 05 |  Technology
Digital shakes up entertainment
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