Hey, this vinyl playing thing is pretty fun!

My first ever trip to purchase vinyl met with good results but I’ve already decided to avoid buying new records. I’ll take the hand-me-downs instead. I was aware that new vinyl releases were expensive but it wasn’t until browsing through a bin of new releases did the costs of this wave of nostalgia really sink in. New vinyl was going for anywhere from 15-45 dollars (even higher for certain items). Consumers complained when CDs were nearing the twenty dollar mark but vinyl sales increased dramatically again in 2014 so price must not be a problem. I purchased 4 records (3 used, 1 new) and still have money left on my gift certificate. I bought Deep Purple Made In Japan, Bruce Springsteen The River and Blue Oyster Cult’s self titled album all used. The only new record I picked up was The Beach Boys The Smile Sessions and if it wasn’t for the fact I was using a gift certificate I might have passed on the record and its 24 dollar price tag. I am enjoying listening to LPs even if I have to physically get up from my comfortable seat and flip the disc over or put on a different record. The idea that it takes a little effort to enjoy 20 minutes of bliss is a very fair exchange and I pay more attention to how the tracks are organized since it feels like it matters. The Smile Sessions is a good example of the importance of track order, my favorite section of music is all on side two of the first record: Wonderful, Look (Song For Children), Child is Father of the Man and Surf’s Up. It is a different experience listening to these songs grouped together instead of listening to the same sequence on CD. I start to wonder about the artist’s intent more since sequencing takes on greater importance when the listener can only hear a side at a time. I am an album-oriented listener meaning I like to listen to the whole album start to finish but I’m already starting to needle drop certain tracks or, in this example, start with side two. As a father of three children, I’m lucky to listen to anything at home. All the songs get mixed in my ears with the constant hollering of “Daddy!, Daddy! or the sounds of sibling rivalry. But I like the ritual of getting out a record and placing it on the turntable and my kids are fascinated by it. My 4 year-old is still trying to figure out the mystery of where the sound is coming from and I’m not ready to tell him just yet. Why spoil all the fun?

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3 thoughts on “Hey, this vinyl playing thing is pretty fun!

  1. A couple years ago I went through a retro-vinyl phase. The thing I loved best about vinyl was the shopping – looking for a gem at a bargain price. Look around where you live for used vinyl shops, Goodwill stores, library sales, etc. One of the best places I found was my friends of the library bookstore. They sold all records for 50 cents each. Eventually I went back to Spotify because it was too convenient, and I preferred specific tracks too much. With LPs, the natural mode is to listen to whole sides.

    • Yes, amazing how much format impacts listening habits. Felt like I missed out on something I was too young for the days of friends getting together just to listen to records.

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