Friday, August 22, 2008

Loving Vinyl

I don’t care what anybody says, there is nothing, and I mean nothing, to match the first play of a vinyl record. When that needle hits the virgin hills and dales of a track, the sound is as sweet as you’ll ever hear it. Sure iPods are a miracle and digital is king, but for a resonant depth and quality of sound you can’t beat vinyl, unless you get yourself to a club or arena and go for the full body experience. So in the Attraction Economy it’s no wonder that so many young (and not so young) people are looking to vinyl for a special music experience. The new passion for plastic, sorry vinyl, has meant turntable sales of 32,000 in April alone according to he Consumer Electronics Association in Arlington. That’s less than 1 percent of music player sales but it’s significant nonetheless. For even more significance, don’t forget that some of these turntables have USB ports for digital downloading; so you’re heading from And/And to ain’t that grand! Plus you can study stunning cover art work and the sheen of the disc, and you get to take part in the delicate ritual of placing a disc on the turntable. Add all these significances together and you’ve got Mystery, Sensuality and Intimacy spinning right there in front of you. And let’s not forget that LP covers are highly collectible works of art in their own right. I also regard cover notes as works of literary importance (who ever bothers to read the notes in those tiny CD booklets?). No, I’m not suggesting a return to the old days, but yes, let’s celebrate the fact that a new generation of music lovers have chosen not to throw the LP out with the bath water.