Last year I had one thing on my 2014 Christmas list, and that was a record player. I can’t remember why exactly I wanted one, but I guess it was just to me at the time a cool thing to have. Maybe it helped bolster my music geek credibility to those who had no idea of what vinyl really was, or maybe I just really wanted to listen to some of my Dad’s old records collecting dust in my childhood home.
Regardless of the reason I wanted a record player, I sure am glad that I got one a year later. What started off as a vintage collection has a year later blossomed into a full-on obsession… maybe even an addiction. I’ve managed to fill an entire milk crate of vinyl records both old and new, of all sorts of genres, and from many different artists. If you looked through my collections you would say that my musical taste is, if anything, eclectic. Ranging from alternative, classic rock, experimental jazz, hip-hop, to electronic. I’m pretty certain my year one collection has something that would impress any fellow music aficionado.
So, why do I love vinyl? A lot of people say that vinyl sounds better than more digital mediums, and sometimes it does. But the real reason I love picking up a fresh new record from the store is the excitement of picking up a piece of art from my local record store and having that physical piece of art to keep for myself. I love the artwork of my favourite albums, the little bonuses most records have with them (posters, stickers, etc.). If I had to explain it simply, it’s like having a physical copy of a book. Even though there are plenty of digital ways to read books there is something special about having a good old-fashioned physical book to touch, feel, and display on your bookshelf. That’s how I would compare vinyl and mp3’s.
With a record you are stuck with your purchase. You better love every single song on the album, or at the very least be willing to open your ears up to the possibility of loving the odd tracks that sit between the singles released to mainstream music listeners. The vinyl record is an experience; and one at that I’m glad I’ve had.