Tracing the Musical Milestones of Roger Collins

Definitive Records asks interesting Vancouverites to scour their sonic-led memories to pull out the three albums anchoring their musical tastes.

For our latest edition, we asked Roger Collins, co-owner of Strathcona’s popular Rise Up Marketplace, to pick the three most monumental music albums of his life to date. (Don’t worry, we hit up Roger’s business partner, Rags Narine, as well – check back soon for his top three.) For today, let Roger inspire:

Bob Marley and the Wailers | Survival

I grew up in Toronto, going back and forth from the Caribbean. My mother listened to a lot of Calypso and Soca music, which are staples throughout the West Indies. My older brother (by 12 years) had a great influence on my early exposure to music. I remember laying on the carpet looking through album covers and the inside artwork. I listened to Bob Marley as a child, but when I got older and more aware, the African flags that adorned the Survival album really stood out to me. Then, when I heard the Rastafari bassline (heartbeat), the melodies and the teachings in the lyrics blew my mind, and I really felt like I could hear exactly what Bob was conveying. I listened to this album over and over, and I heard and learned something new every single time. From front to back it is a history book… “One Love”.


Public Enemy | It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back

Being a 70s and 80s kid meant listening to the radio. When Rap/Hip Hop came out, it got no radio play. Then, when movies like Beat Street, Breakin’ and Krush Groove hit the screens, almost everyone got into it in some way. Breakdancing, graffiti and DJs became the sounds of the streets. Run DMC, The Fat Boys, The Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff, Kurtis Blow and the Beastie Boys were all staples in this new cultural phenomenon. It was fun and light, and heard at school dances and house parties in the hood – sometimes even on the radio. But everything changed when P.E hit the scene! After their debut album (Yo! Bum Rush the Show) they dropped an instant classic that would change the whole scene. Chuck D was the MC, and he brought a message of self awareness and pride in our culture, along with some insight of how the political landscape operates. These inspirational and motivational messages changed the way I, and many other people, viewed America, it’s history and how we see each other. Public Enemy eloquently lifted the veil so we can feel and hear the truth.


John Coltrane | A Love Supreme

Jazz will always be my first love! Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald all played a huge part in my falling for jazz music. I loved the way the musicians would jump in and out of songs, the solos and especially hearing the collaborations amongst these amazing musicians. I’ll just say this: put on some headphones and let A Love Supreme take you on a journey to another dimension. I still play this album on many mornings as I get ready to enter the world. It takes me to a place of love, creativity and motivation. I truly hope you can find the time to enjoy and appreciate this musical masterpiece!

There is 1 comment

  1. You rock Roger! Love your articulate insights about the music that influenced you.