A few days ago I had a wonderful feeling of deja vu. I did something that I haven’t done in years, maybe even decades.
I went into Barnes & Noble and thought I’d look in their music section. Surprise! They had a decent sized rack of new vinyl records. I flipped through them with an eagerness I haven’t had since I was a teenager and used to stop at the 1812 Overture record shop on the way home from school.
Granted then, it was an extended proposition since all they had was vinyl in those days. Now, my perusing took all of say, 20 minutes. But it was enjoyable.
I’ve waited 30 years or so for the return of vinyl.
Does anyone recall the first vinyl album they ever bought? The first I bought (that wasn’t childfare, like The Archies) was Black Sabbath’s eponymous first album.
I wonder if people who buy CDs remember their first purchase? I really wonder if people who download MP3s have any sort of connection like that.
I believe that vinyl is special. There’s more to it than just so much black wax. There’s great artwork published at a frame-able size. And listening becomes an active experience.
Sure, I have MP3s on my phone, and I listen to them walking at the mall, but I’m not really listening. The music is just there. It automatically shuffles songs. There’s no thinking involved.
But vinyl? You have to choose the music. Choose the album or song. Then you pull the record out of the sleeve. Gently place it on the spindle. Most of us have some sort of brush or cleaning solution that we use prior to placing the needle upon the vinyl.
This is all part of the experience. To those who just don’t understand the appeal of vinyl, all that is considered work. Unnecessary work, they believe. And they look at us as though we’re just plain weird.
I don’t want to get into the digital versus vinyl debate. I’ve read all the science behind it, the statistics, and cold, hard facts. That doesn’t change my opinion, my feelings, my hearing that I happen to think vinyl just sounds warmer. Music is, after all, analog.
So seeing vinyl, new vinyl in the store makes me very happy. A part of me that I thought was lost is found.
Now all I need to is to replace my crappy phono preamp with a better one. It is a TCC TC-753LC and it has weak output, so I have to turn its knob up to past three-quarters of the way to get it to sound loud enough and then it has this hiss. It’ll have to do for now.
It’s good to get my groove back.