Following decades in which there were shiny compact discs a funny thing happened to music. It went virtual. No physical presence. Just lists of albums and songs on several internet platforms. Music was let loose from solid state records to be transformed into bits of data read by a computer.
iTunes offered thousands of songs for 99 cents. For about 5 years I loved it. Then I switched over to Amazon. Today every digital platform offers flat rate subscriptions for listening to music. Today I utilize the digital music to decide what to add to my new vinyl record collection!
This is my lifetime hobby. I appreciate all forms of music. The record was dominant during my formative years. Record shops and stores were all around. There are still shops but the large chains of Tower, HMV, and Virgin have vanished. Simply put: you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. After several years without vinyl I have a much deeper appreciation for the presence of a physical format.
Records are designed with art on the front and back covers. Sometimes the inside has decorated sleeves or inserts with liner notes, photos, credits, and lyrics. Each time you open a new title there is a wonderful element of surprise at work. And the gleaming new surface of the record has yet to be played. You feel so much a part of the experience.
Today the fun of collecting records has been enhanced by new technology. For example, most new titles are pressed on 180 grams of vinyl. Much sturdier elements than past eras. This gives much better reproduction of sound. Not compressed like a digital file it allows the music’s deeper tones to resonate more on playback.
A lot of the classic records of the rock era have been re-issued. Many of these titles are being pressed onto colored vinyl. On certain releases you can get red, blue, green, white, purple, yellow, and the rest of the spectrum. There are even records that have a mixture of different colors. A novelty to be sure but fun nonetheless.
The range in price is very wide for records. One of the best web pages for information is disc cogs: http://www.discogs.com . The site offers an enormous archive of releases plus price information.
Records always make me feel young. I was a kid when I purchased my first record from a local shop. The format allows you to seek out great independent shops that exist online and in local communities. For a guide to where the record shops are in your area go to Goldmine Magazine’s site: https://www.goldminemag.com/record-store-directory.
Future blogs may include more record reviews too. And now that the holidays are upon us there are a lot of new records! This includes The Beatles White Album, The Police catalog (5 classic rock albums in all), Barbra Streisand’s Walls, and Greta Van Fleet’s debut Anthem of the Peaceful Army.
Life is good at 33 1/3.