Friday, 30 December 2011

Tales from the turntable, part 1: Introduction

Remember the late eighties and early nineties when people were mad about CD’s? Everybody (well almost everybody) were taking their LP collection to local second hand music store or a flea market and sold them for whatever price they could get and then bought the same stuff as CD’s. I didn’t do that. I didn’t buy CD’s because I thought (and still think) that LP’s are much better when it comes to sound and packaging. I bought LP’s in the nineties whenever they were available. I thought that this way I would be one of the last freaks to keep that precious record alive. And what happened? It didn’t die. I’m proud to be one of those who could prevent vinyl to vanish into oblivion. You can find nowadays bands and artists releasing music on vinyl and even big department stores have taken vinyl back into their catalogue. Yeah, okay, it still is quite minor thing but the main thing is: it is still alive. On the contrary everybody’s now talking about how CD is dying. I remember I wasn’t impressed by the CD when it was introduced. Especially the BS about how they sounded better and you couldn’t break them whatever you do. Infact I found out that even one dirty fingerprint could do the trick with certain players, I guess the cheap ones (I admit that), and one minor scratch could ruin the whole CD. People nowadays are buying mp3’s instead so the decline is rolling on. If you settle for a downloaded music then why not try lossless files like flac or wav which are better quality? I admit that mp3’s or CD’s are okay when you’re in a car or you have a portable player but at home LP is the only choice. Nothing can beat the LP. It’s the whole package that counts: just look at the LP cover and compare that to CD? And when you download music you don’t even get the covers anymore. How sad for the artists who design them. How can you put covers like Sticky Fingers or Some Girls by The Rolling Stones to a CD and still look good? Mission impossible. Or if you have an insert, say a poster. How can you put that same poster inside a CD box if you want to keep the same size? Not a chance. And very rarely you see a CD box that’s the same size as LP. It’s nice to rummage through an LP collection, looking the cover, feeling the cover, smelling the cover. It’s like old wine’s bouquet – the layers of different smells from the past. And the soft and full-bodied sound of vinyl then. Great whisky/wine/beer and marvelous music on vinyl are the same. Nothing really can’t beat the vinyl.

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