Above image: Sunday morning vinylin, iPhone photo.
Playing vinyl record albums on a turntable is alluring. It’s engaging. And about 4 years ago, I rediscovered this pastime because I stumbled upon a gem of a record store, Apollo Records. Followed by asking my father in-law for one of his turntables, who’s a record enthusiast himself.
A former co-worker told me that there was some research done to the effect that if one lacks appreciation of music, then there’s something wrong with that person’s soul. How profound. So, naturally there’s the musical appeal to spinning vinyl. What else is there?
Grabbing that favourite record—whether it be pop, rock, jazz, reggae, indie folk, or whichever—is pleasant to the senses. First, looking at the eye-catching cover: Prince sitting on a purple motor bike in an urban, evening setting; the Irving Penn black-and-white, tight-cropped photograph of Miles Davis; or the suburban retro-styled Arcade Fire album cover. Second, pulling out the record from the lyric-printed sleeve. Or an inclusion of a poster of the musician, or band. There’s definitely an aesthetic and tactile involvement, which is absent from an iTunes download.
Also, during album play, a sense of reflection as to where you were in your life when you first heard such and such a song, or purchased the original album. As if that specific song ostensibly defined a moment in your life. Hence, record collections are also a personal collection of memories.
Audio-wise, the therapeutic warm sound with all the hisses and pops one hears as the needle lands on the vinyl—again, lacking in the digital download. That true sound is organic in character and feel. Not sounding flawless and flat like its download counterpart.
According to Friedrich Nietzsche, “Without music, life would be a mistake.” I think he had a large record collection too : )
Note: Apollo Records’ inventory section of used, dollar albums offers attractive selections, which would be several times the price at other more known record retailers. They also carry newly released or re-released albums.