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Put the needle on the record …

August 24, 2012

In my younger years, my Saturday mornings were spent at the local music store, flicking through the racks of vinyl albums trying to decide which one I wanted to purchase.  My pocket-money was burning a hole in my pocket and the excitement of leaving the store swinging my huge bag containing a big square of music was thrilling.  It was a regular weekend ritual that was followed by going home, usually with best friend in tow and then spending the rest of the day laying on the bedroom floor pouring over the album photos and song lyrics.

When CD’s started to arrive in music stores back in the early 90’s I truly believed that they would never replace Vinyl.  I couldn’t see why anyone would want to purchase a CD with its hard plastic cover that you could shove into your coat pocket, it was so small!  For a while I had to go along with music tapes and then finally in the year 2000 (with a big defeated huff)  I bought my first CD player.

My childhood is filled with wonderful memories of playing my mother’s vinyl records.  Her collection was, still is,  huge and she even has a couple of gramophone records.  I loved stacking her 7″ records so high on her old-fashioned record player the they wouldn’t drop properly.  Occasionally, I’d come home from school to find a new record on the dining table …that I wasn’t allowed to play until I’d eaten all my dinner.  The newly purchased album would set the nights entertainment as my sisters and I would play it over and over and over again.

So, imagine my utter delight when I discovered that Urban Outfitters is selling vinyl albums!!  I played it safe and purchased the new Goyte album along with Adele’s ’21’ and Amy Winehouse ‘Lioness: Hidden Treasures’.  Then only to discover that Amazon will do a vinyl version of many artists!!  Playing these modern albums as rejuvenated everything I love about playing vinyl from the placement of the needle (can you drop the needle perfectly between two songs?) to the distinctive sound it emanates.   The opening of the sleeves to show the big black circle of music without a spec of dust and the fact that your forced to come back for more as there’s no ‘repeat’ button on a record player.

Don’t get me wrong, I have an iPod and an iTunes library with over 5000 songs and I understand that the sound quality of digital music may be better (that’s a matter of opinion though) but the instant download of music has taken away the magic.  It’s hard for me to explain exactly how but when I see my children laying on the floor, for hours, in front of my Technics record player, surrounded by album sleeve covers, it’s then that I can see (and hear), how I feel about the loss of this wonderful tradition that so many of us ‘not-so-old’ experienced when we were younger.

Do you have record collection gathering dust in the attic?  Let it see the light of day again.  Purchase a second-hand record player (you’ll probably need a new needle!) and get those records turning!!

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