I was born post-vinyl, but if you know me, you know I’m in love with everything 70s. My dream car is an SL of that decade, my ideal home is temple to a midcentury modernist design. I wasn’t there, but I feel I should have been, and whilst I think it’s easy to forget the things that weren’t so great (the conveniences of the Internet are not to be understated!), the things that were great, live on. Vinyl is one of these things: The fastest growing media format, or so I’m told, and such a pleasure to experience. Not every artist benefits from this format (Justin Bieber on vinyl is probably not the best investment,) but anything up to the early 2000’s and everything of quality since then, comes alive in analogue – the crude digital edges rounded off to yield a softer, more subtle sound.
Each vinyl is more than a collection of sounds, it’s a tangible thing, a piece of art, a sign of the times. If I think about the new music I enjoy from the last 15 or so years, I couldn’t even tell you what the album covers look like. Nobody cares! Such is the convenience of a Spotify playlist. Another quirk of the vinyl experience is that the inconvenience of skipping tracks or changing records means you are persuaded into listening to a full album. Listening to an album from beginning to end, in the intended order, is like watching the progression of a visual artist in chronological order – the creative is telling you a story. Instead, with digital music we pick out random chapters (our favourite “solo” tracks) and too often disregard album tracks. There are many, many singles I enjoy, and I’m ashamed to say that for most of these I’ve never explored the full album. It somehow seems… like too much of a luxury… too time consuming to sit at home and listen to music and nothing else for a whole half hour. Funny because, we have never lived in more convenient times. You don’t need to cook or clean for yourself. Amazon can deliver anything you want within 48 hours. A map, a recipe, an answer, can be at your fingertips within seconds. And yet, we seem to have less time for leisure. Vinyl forces you to make the time.
I’ve got what could be described as a very eclectic collection: Tupac, Tchaikovsky, and Talking heads, Motown, Miles Davis and Marvin Gaye. Music is like food – or sex – you should never confine yourself to enjoying only one thing!
I thought I would share with you, 9 records that I enjoy. It’s really impossible to choose just 9, so I’ll maybe do an update with 9 more next month.