Vinyl albums were once the only option for any music fan and then at the beginning of the 80s this was flipped on its head as the compact disc was introduced. In the following years people got rid of all of their vinyl in the wake of the compact disc, and then when digital music was introduced it seemed to be the death knell of physical music altogether. Many people harked for the old days however and as such vinyl is in the grip of a beautiful renaissance. As a young man I never owned vinyl previously but after spending time with my good friend and DJ Stephen Varanko III, I very quickly became a huge fan of this medium. If you haven’t jumped on to the wax bandwagon just yet, here is why you should.
There is much debate about which format offers the best sound quality but there is no question that nothing quite compares to an LP when it is being played. Digital music can often be accused of being too perfect and too clean, something which isn’t always the case when you listen to vinyl. Very often a vinyl album will sound much more raw and more akin to how it was recorded in the studio. This is not to say that the equality is poor, far from it in fact but there is a certain authenticity that you get with wax that you can’t find through other formats.
There is little theater or excitement about opening up the Apple Music or Spotify app and selecting your song. With a vinyl however all of this changes and there is real drama and theater about playing a song or an album in this way. Taking the record out of its sleeve carefully, placing it on to the turntable and then lowering the needle all add to the drama of music listening. Furthermore the record sleeve itself features all kinds of information about the artist and the people who worked on the record. This kind of theater cannot be replaced by any other means than vinyl and it is a real pleasure to listen to music in this way.
Since vinyl caught a second wind towards the end of the nineties, many vinyl stores raised prices in line with the new demand, especially on newer music. Despite this however there is still a huge trove or records which you can pick up at bargain prices to fill up your collection. All of those LPs which people got rid of in the 80s are still in circulation and a trip to the record store becomes the greatest treasure hunt that you have ever been on. Digging through the crates of records, looking for something that catches your eye is a really pleasurable experience and it adds to the enjoyment of listening to the record when you get back home.
If you haven’t jumped on the vinyl bandwagon yet, now is the time to do so.