My wife wanted to buy a fun Christmas gift for me this year since I usually just got clothes or practical things. She picked out a turntable and purchased a gift certificate to go along with it so I could pick out some vinyl to play on it which is a very nice gift and I love it. Most people love their first record players and at age 44, I finally have mine. That’s right, I have never owned or purchased LPs before despite being a music fan for almost 30 years. When I first became seriously interested in music vinyl was written off as a dead format and the stores were flooded with cassettes and compact discs. I remember when you go into any department store and find a respectable amount of vinyl for sale and at some point mall shops dominated and vinyl was shown the door. I’m not an audiophile, so I’m not about to debate sound quality or go all Neil Young and bash CD sound, I liked the format then and now for its portability and easy storage as much as its supposed indestructibility and clean sound. I loved cassettes back then too and considered a skill to be able to fast forward through a tape to the next song and hit it pretty much on cue. Plus vinyl is a commitment, it’s heavy and needs to be cleaned and there’s more care and maintenance involved. Okay, cassettes needed love too and even then they’d still get clogged in their players or break but at least they’re were light and easily disposable. Vinyl is heavy, takes up more space and it can be hard to get rid of even when the market is hot. I base that conclusion on the many folks who I see on a weekly basis at local garage sales practically giving away their collections just to get it out of their house. So I never wanted to be one of those guys trying to ditch their crap on other people (yes most of their records were crap but you get the idea). So now I am a turntable owner and I have played a couple of records on it already, the Rolling Stones Tattoo You (Start Me Up too obvious a choice for 1st record?) and David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust. Tattoo You played pretty much the same to me as my CD copy but Ziggy flooded the room with a warmth of sound that confirmed there is something to the claim that vinyl produces a fuller more ear-pleasing timbre. These are original records not recent remasters by the way, that I may or may not have confiscated from an old college radio station that no longer exists back in the late 80’s. I took them because they were headed for the dump and I salvaged a few gems in the melee of former DJs trying to grab everything they could get their hands on. It was partially as a souvenir from my radio days and I’d always appreciated vinyl even if I never wanted to invest in it. I snagged the untouched poster that came with Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits and still have it (framed but not hung). So I have a handful of well-used but good records and a cache from a garage sale (different story) but I have never bought an actual LP. So I’m at the start of a very exciting next step in my musical journey (some call it addiction) where I can pick about anything I want vintage or new, familiar or off-the-wall it doesn’t matter, it’s a great way to start off 2015. Thank you for my Christmas gift honey, I love you.