Wednesday, March 18, 2015’s the future

It doesn’t take a genius to see that vinyl’s enjoying something of a resurgence in popularity right now. Granted the vast majority of people are quite happy to carry on downloading or streaming music (and good luck to them) but there’s something special about sliding a record out of a sleeve, popping it onto a turntable, lifting up the needle and dropping it onto the groove before settling back to soak up the sound, perhaps whilst perusing the sleeve or lyrics (without the aid of a magnifying glass), that other methods of musical consumption just can’t match. The fact that you then have to actually listen to the music or risk the needle plunging into the rough runout groove (nasty) means that the whole listening experience is heightened and enhanced.

Then there’s the difference in sound quality. Debate rages over this with many people preferring the crispness of a CD (remember them?) and an equally passionate number plumping for vinyl. Okay, you’ll get the odd crackle, hiss and pop with records but there really is a warmth and depth that CDs lack. As for downloads and streaming there’s simply no comparison. Convenient? Yep, no doubt. But downloads offer a thin one dimensional shadow of the original recording, especially if the music was originally recorded on analogue kit. How about the cost I hear you cry? If you stream or illegally download stuff then of course it’s free but pop along to your friendly neighbourhood record shop (if you can still find one) and you might pick up decent albums for just a pound or two, which is cheaper than ruddy iTunes. Car boot sales and charity shops can also offer up some gems although sadly some of the latter seem to think that anything on vinyl, irrespective of the condition or artist, is valuable. Bless ‘em.

Anyway, if you’ve never listened to anything on vinyl (and I’m guessing that most people under 30 probably haven’t) give it Record Store Day’s coming up on April 18th too (although most of the special releases cost as much as a small family car and then end up straight on eBay these days, pah!), so there’s no excuse. What’s that? You don’t have a record player? Oh bugger...


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