Another random subject on my blog, but its all part of enjoying retirement, sharing how I fill my time and find pleasure in simple things.
I like to think of myself as relatively up to date with technology, (I cannot describe myself as an early adopter) with the ability to stream music throughout our home, utilising various smart Bose/Amazon speakers, access to digital radio stations, Apple and Amazon music. However, I have rediscovered the joy of vinyl as another way to listen and enjoy music.
Over recent years we have in the pursuit of simplicity disposed of CD’s. There was no need to store those discs with easy to break cases or have to search out the particular track, change CD’s as the music finished, when all the music we could ever want was available with a quick shout out to Alexa. However, up in our attic through the years our record collection (Vinyl is a relatively new term in my mind) had survived numerous house relocations and simplicity drives. In fact, I can’t remember us ever even discussing disposing of it! The record player went in the early 90’s but the records just stayed in their moving boxes from house move to house.
I suppose records went out of fashion in the late 80’s, I know we spent years building up a huge collection of CD’s, often duplicates of albums that we had already had. Whilst we liked the sound of CD’s, they were never as tactile as an album; the plastic case was hard, where the Vinyl LP case was cardboard, CD’s cases small while record cases were big with room for fantastic imagery and just felt special. I don’t think CD’s were ever loved in the way records were, I’m sure people of a certain age will always remember the first vinyl record they purchased, who will remember their first streamed track or even CD?
Over the last couple of years, we started to play our vinyl, we purchased a TEAC Bluetooth record deck (Record deck is what we use to call a record player). I know music experts say Bluetooth does not give a true sound, I agree, but on a pracitical level we dont have the type of house which allows for wires to run to speakers etc. For me the pleasure in playing records, is hearing complete albums, reading the album cover and reminiscing over when we bought the record. We’ve had some great evening prior to COVID lockdown with friends, looking through the records and arguing about what was the best, worst, favourite albums of all time. My point being playing vinyl has become another interest which i now have time to invest in.
As I’m sat here reading and writing this evening with the rain coming down outside, I have listened to Ennio Morricone “Theme lounge” & Jamiroquai “Travelling Without Moving” (2 recent purchases). Definitely not the best albums in my collection, but both are worth the time invested. Discussing what I’m listening to with friends and now strangers in this post is just fantastic, it’s so uplifting listening to something newly discovered, as is hearing an old 80s favourite. In no way am I musical. In fact, I’m tone deaf and according to the family my taste in music is sh*t (I like to think its eclectic, thought provoking and mood enhancing), they may or may not be right, You can agree or disagree, I don’t really care!
Part of the appeal is shopping for vinyl. As it came back into fashion, we are seeing the growth of little independent record shops, with sound booths etc. staffed by people who care. I know it’s all available online, but it’s become a weekly treat; visit a record shop, have a rummage in the bargain section, chat to the salesperson as they carefully package up my purchase. Back to proper shopping like we did when we were growing up on our high street.
If you are reading this and of a certain age and have records not looked at or played in ages, take an evening to get back in touch with your musical soul. I can’t promise it will sort out the problems of the world, but I can assure its great fun. and will make you feel better. Be aware, it’s addictive when you start and some of the old vinyl with the odd scratch does not sound as good as your streamed music.
I’ve now set myself a task to have an edited collection of 20 albums that will make the hair on the back of anyone’s neck stand on end because of their brilliance or mood defining sound.This collection will either come from the 100+ records i already own or from bargain bin purchases over the coming years.
Please feel free to let me have your suggestions and why you think your choices are so brilliant.
If you have taken the time to read this post many thanks, please leave a comment I have set myself a rule to follow anyone who takes the time to comment on my blog for at least 1 month, longer If I enjoy the posts.