Posted tagged ‘records’

The enduring attraction of vinyl

September 19, 2008

Nostalgia is not on the whole my thing, but there’s no other way of classifying this: I have just taken delivery of my first vinyl ‘record’ since, I think, 1985. Every album I have bought since then has been on CD. The first CD I bought – if my memory is correct – was Parallel Lines by Blondie, and I believe also that this is the only album I had (until now) both in vinyl and CD versions. I was so captivated then by the clear, crackle-less sound in the digital product that I went straight over to that format. And in the 20+ years since then I have bought a very large number of albums in all genres; until iTunes and the iPod opened up a new platform, but that’s another story.

As readers of this blog will know, I am a fan of the music of the band A Fine Frenzy, and of Alison Sudol’s (their singer) beautifully lyrical and haunting songs. So when I saw on Amazon that there is a vinyl version of the band’s album, One Cell in the Sea, I decided to add that to my collection, and so I have my first real ‘record’ in years. This in turn has taken me back to my vinyl collection, now very dusty and neglected but still there: about 280 albums, at a quick count, and goodness knows how many singles. And I’ve been putting them on my old hi-fi gramophone,and it’s just great. How wonderful to hear the crackles again after all these years – but also, maybe I do think that the sound itself is just that little bit clearer and crisper than CD; or maybe that’s wishful thinking.

But it seems I am not alone. There have been articles in the media – such as this one – that vinyl sales are soaring and even eclipsing CD sales. I don’t really know how this will work in the digital age, but to me it’s a very comforting thought. Some good things, in the end, don’t go away.