5 reasons why vinyl blows downloads out the water.
1. Join the tribe. You might not know it, but record buyers have as much passion for vinyl as theatre lovers have for say Shakespeare. You see it’s a very kindly addiction (you get hooked but there’s no come down AND if you have good taste you can make money on it). You make friends with people who love it, and like a committed fanatic, you try to convert the downloaders towards a better way of living, truly believing (and knowing) it really will save their soul.
2. Technically superior. Record buying really is the best way to listen to your idols, think I’m making it up? Well I have science to back me up here, stay with me on the following technicals. You see an analogue recording corresponds with the variations in air pressure of the original sound and artist’s voice. A digital recording is different and is a series of numbers that correspond to the sound's continuous variations, but the numbers then have to then be reconverted to analogue signals before they can be listened to. So in plain English, if you want a ‘flesh and blood.. Nearest thing to standing next to the singer in the recording studio experience’ analogue is going to be closer.
3. Memories When you really love a song, an artist or a concert, it floods you with either feelgood vibes or connects you with some emotion or memory. Whenever I hear ‘Panic’ by ‘The Smiths,’ I feel happy, ‘Ghost Town’ by The Specials’ makes me feel nostalgic and youthful, and Dolly Parton’s ‘Coat of many colours’ makes me cry. Having the record in your hands and the ritual of placing it on the turntable makes you feel connected to that artist, an artist ‘that gets who you are’ in spite of the fact that you have yet to meet them and probably never will.
4.Artwork And that brings us to the artwork on the covers, disc, inner sleeves and lyric sheets etc. Looking at the album cover, reading all the notes, associated musicians and lyrics provides you with an additional connection to the music. In a world of thumbnail sized photos on your phone in ‘download land’ we have lost this very important umbilical cord to the music. The artwork also enriches our understanding of the music, checkout Roger Dean’s artwork on ‘Yes’ album covers if you don’t believe me.
5.Sharing and caring. Vinyl worship is a communal or solo experience depending on your choice. On your lonesome? Feeling low and need a pick up? Get Abba on the decks. Want to cry? How about a little Leonard Cohen to get those tears tumbling down the cheeks. Spending time with others? Grab a bottle of wine and you can be D.J for the night in your own living room. I once went round to new friend’s house (a few years back) and she played all her favourite Musical theatre numbers whilst we both put the world to rights. A few hours later we were sozzled and singing Elaine Paige numbers at the top of our lungs, marvellous fun. As for what can happen between lovers on a vinyl night…I’ll leave that to your imagination but ‘Prince’ is always a good starting point.