I used to own over 4000 albums until one fateful day my parents sold them at their garage sale. I was warned about doing something with them as I lived away from home and the records were at my parents house. Of course I did nothing until they were sold for a $100. That memory ranks 3rd in my all time bad list behind my father’s death and my first wife leaving me on Valentines Day.
I still do not own any vinyl to this day as it is an addiction for me that I can’t have in the house. I refuse to buy a new turntable because I know that I will buy records to play on it. So in the days of MP3s and streaming audio why does vinyl still matter to me?
Vinyl matters because it represents a time when recorded music was accorded a sense of respect. People bought a record to hold in their hand and look at the artwork , place carefully on the platter and actually change to listen to the other side. People actually sat and listened to an album rather than multi-task with the computer playing streaming audio. The inner sleeve was often covered with lyrics , photos and credits in a format that was big enough to read unlike the CD or cassette. Records actually sold in numbers to support musicians financially and record stores still could make a profit.
In today’s world all the big chain music shops are gone and only a few local independent shops still exist . A lot of those surviving shops make most of their money off vinyl. Now that online music has decimated CD sales , young people are getting into buying vinyl as a kind of retro hipster thing. I went to Record Store Day in April and almost all the people buying records were under 30. Vinyl will always be cool because it has that tactile thing that CDs never really had. It only takes someone to pick up a record and look at the large cover art to get how records were about the feel and personality. MP3s are great in that they are convenient and take up room but they have zero sensual appeal.
Vinyl even sounds better on a good stereo. It has warmth and depth that a good CD often lacks. Lets not even talk about the quality of MP3s. It took a long time for CDs to improve as the first releases of many big artists were sub par compared to the vinyl version.
I may never own vinyl again but I will always love records for the permanence they represent.
Be Well Mark