The first record I ever bought was the UK press of "Girl's not Grey" by AFI, released on Dreamworks, with some involvement by Nitro, in 2003. This single was apparently the less rare version of the two singles released for the song, even though it was a UK import. The B side was a live cover of "The Hanging Garden" by The Cure. Finally, it was poetically pressed on a marble grey vinyl.
I bought it in 2004, online at Interpunk, shortly after moving across the country. Right before I moved, my neighbor died and his widow had given me his record player. I had been talking about how I had wanted to get into records. This desire stemmed from my love of AFI, and seeing their rich past in the record world, mostly through self-released hardcore 7"s. I also remember seeing pre-orders for The Newfits - Project 1950 and making a connection between punk rock culture and records. Luckily I never got the horrible Newfits album, but I still stand by AFI.
Anyways, after moving, and getting this 7", I excitedly played it on my unused record player (which would turn out to be a huge piece of crap. The belt always slipped off and I'd have to take it apart to replace the belt on the drive.) which didn't have any speakers connected to it. I don't know what I was expecting without speakers, but I was enamoured just watching it spin, and was surprised to hear the cartridge emitting a little bit sound itself. I hooked it up to my 5 disc CD player and played it through the AUX input, which was quiet but satisfying. In a new city without any friends or connections, I felt grounded by this record.
This record would also fuel my want to collect records, rather than just own records. This was based on the fact that even before buying it, I knew it was special as it was advertised as Limited Edition. I felt as though I was getting something in line with the Dork 7". I became part of a devoted, specialized fanbase, which I would value considering the new status AFI received with Sing the Sorrow (the beginnings of a pretentious asshole it seems). This feeling would be repeated with my second purchase, Tiger Army's "Ghost Tigers EP". I randomly found Vertigo Records while exploring downtown for my first time and purchased it mostly due to a sticker proclaiming it to be limited to 3000 copies. Before my first 7" I didn't even realize vinyl could be coloured, and the variety of what was out there suddenly became much vaster. Likewise for the "Ghost Tigers" EP, picture discs and 10"s were all new concepts to me, and the culture of record collecting began to unfold in front of me.
Once again, my own scan.
Edit: there used to be an incredibly comprehensive website that hosted all of AFI's discography and pressing information, once again similar (but far beyond) to misfitscentral, but I guess it has changed or is down, because I can't figure out the new site which is a forum.