I have loved music since I was a little kid and I used to own over 1500 CDs before the digital age came and I decided to sell them all. It was for this reason why I was so confused when I met my friend Bharat Bhise at college, who was a mad collector of vinyl records. Having just sold my own CDs I just couldn’t fathom why he decided to pick this music format, especially given that he wasn’t a DJ and these records were just for his own personal use. Over the years at college however I totally got why he collected them and I now have my very own collection to boast. If you love music then here is why vinyl collecting is going to be your new addiction.
The Absurdity of it All
When you want to listen to a song on Spotify you open the app, search and play, when you want to change to a different artist you do the same, search and then play. When you listen to a record however you will take the disc out of its sleeve, being careful not to touch the vinyl, carefully place it on the turntable, place the needle down and enjoy. When you wish to switch to another artist you have to remove the disc, clean it and find the record you’re looking for before repeating the process. This is utterly absurd of course and it is why I love it, the touch the feel, the careful nature of it all, it is about theater and drama and it adds something special to listening to music.
One of the reasons why I adore listening to records is because you are far more encouraged to listen to an album as it was intended to be listened to, in its entirety. With digital streaming sites you have so much choice that you can simply flip-flop between singles, not so easy with vinyl of course. When you put a vinyl on, you can sit back and enjoy the whole piece of art which has been created, and not just chop and change singles.
The sleeve of an album is a piece of art in itself, and the more creative the album cover the more impressive the sleeve looks. It is not just the aesthetic value of this sleeve which I love however, it is also the information. When you play a digital song you have very little information about the album but with a vinyl sleeve, all of the geeky stuff is there. When playing an album you can read the sleeve to find out who produced it, who played which instrument on which album and you sometimes seen get the lyrics of the songs inside the sleeve.
I may have mocked Bharat at first but as it turned out, his collecting of vinyls was something which I would very quickly fall in love with.