©Elias Touil

YVES, COLLECTOR

Yves, retired teacher, vinyl collector
“It’s a part of my life that occupies all of my free time. When I’m too old to go out, I’ll listen to music. I have enough for 150 years!”

Yves developed a passion for music after discovering the band The Beatles at the age of 14. During his youth, he spent almost all of his student wages buying vinyl records by his favourite groups. The Beatles, the Stones, Jimi Hendrix – Yves acquired records by the greatest rock artists of the 60s and 70s.

Sales of vinyl records dropped in 1980 with the arrival of CDs, and the music lover seized the opportunity to collect thousands of albums sold cheaply at flea markets. Some of the records in his collection were purchased during trips to Chicago, New York, London and Toronto. Other were simply gifts from friends or acquaintances.

Among his 13,500 records, Yves has 7,000 rock, 2,000 Francophone (Quebec and France), 1,000 classical and 3,500 jazz albums. He has developed a love for jazz over the past several years and has almost all of the albums by artists of the genre – Miles Davis, Charles Mingus and Yves’s favourite jazz musician Jim Hall.

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Yves has a unique system for categorizing his collection that allows him to find an album in less than two minutes. His records are arranged in alphabetical order by genre according to very personal categories, such as the number of copies he owns or the ones he particularly likes. His collection is real a goldmine that includes such names as Depeche Mode, John Lennon, the Bee Gees, Radiohead, U2, Jean Leloup, Gilles Vigneault, Charles Aznavour, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Genesis and more. Yves is able to see the resemblances among different album covers and how they evolved.

Among his rarest albums, Yves has a recording of the inauguration concert for the Grande Salle (renamed Salle Wilfred-Pelletier) of Place des Arts in 1963 signed by the Mayor of Montreal, Jean Drapeau, and one of the conductors, Zubin Mehta. Yves’s oldest record dates from 1910 and is a single-sided album of the Italian opera singer Enrico Caruso.

Despite his passion for vinyl records, Yves also has a collection of CDs. Almost no albums were produced between 1988 and 2000, and many recordings could only be found on CD.

Yves has a dream of mounting his own exhibition in the not too distant future. To prepare, he creates mosaics using nine album covers grouped together by artist, Gilles Vigneault or Nina Simone, for example, or colour, such as shades of blue. His collection is a vast library filled with treasures for music lovers.