“When I dream, I dream to records on a turntable, filling me with warmth and care, desires and passion, connection and communication, and my dreams are real”. These are the words of acclaimed composer Clint Mansell, who is throwing his support behind Record Store Day and has made two of his original soundtrack scores available for the annual vinyl-fest on Saturday 19th April – Filth and Into the Wall.
The West Midlands born composer is an avid vinyl buyer and a lover of independent record shops. He spoke to Record Store Day about his earliest musical memories and about the friends he made in the process. He said ”Having been a music lover as long as I can remember, my earliest, fondest memories are of going into Birmingham City centre on Saturdays to do the rounds of the record shops that stocked all the latest punk singles and albums. Rockers, Inferno, Swordfish, HQ, Virgin, the stall in the Oasis market, Reddingtons…many of which are now sadly gone.”
He continued “You’d get to know the people who worked in the shops, like Rob, who played guitar in the Cravats and the Very Things or my mate Bryan, who worked at Virgin and later at HQ, who I still know to this day. The guys who ran Swordfish started a record label by the same name, releasing records by local favourites the Scarecrows.”
These early experiences shaped Mansell’s formative years as he vividly recalls “Sitting on the train back to Stourbridge, looking at the days purchases, reading the lyrics, the tactile feel of the sleeves, the design work, the photos, the vinyl itself, all building the anticipation of getting home and blasting out the new records by the likes of the Adverts, The Clash, Generation X, Stiff Little Fingers, Adam And the Ants, The Jam, Tubeway Army, Martian Schoolgirls, Kleenex – the list is endless. And it all seemed so real.”
Mansell said “I love the accessibility of MP3s but they feel disposable and less than real. Their efficiency is matched only by their cheapness and lack of soul.”
But when it comes to vinyl he enthused “Those records brought a whole new world of discovery and excitement to my young mind and, also, gave me something that was truly mine, an exclusive club where I was actually welcome – and there weren’t too many of those available to a 15 year old spiky haired, spotty, glasses wearing, anxiety-riddled mommy’s boy. I get the same response from vinyl records today, they’re so real.”