Vinyl...Urghhh

 

The past decade has seen the slowest resurgence of anything anywhere since Cher hit gold with her first #1 single in 24 years, "Believe". Vinyl albums went from being a dust coated novelty decorative item you could place your beer on, selling for 10 cents a piece in op shops to a widely sought after gem reaching prices exceeding that of what it was as a freshly manufactured item. 

 

With reports this week stating that Vinyl sales in the UK have now outstripped that of digital sales for the first time ever - it begs the question, why? 

 

I get the vinyl fixation if it is of your era, I am a nostalgic/sentimental goof myself and surround myself with those things which reminded me of happier, simpler times. I understand when you say that it sounds better than CD's, how it's the crackle and hiss that adds the true colour and vibrancy to a recording. Your ears were conditioned to hear it as such and why I have the same reception to music recorded to cassette tape - it is of my time, back before I deafened myself and lost my frequency range.  I also note and accept that you love the large packaging it comes in and how you appreciate the art work provided with it, it's like a picture book from your childhood. If you are of the right age I acknowledge and accept your right to enjoy your midlife crisis.Please by all means blow your daughters university fund in order to purchase the entire Led Zepplin back catalogue in both mono and stereo with original and reissue pressings. Go on you deserve it you tragic, pathetic old bastard. 

 

But you people, you know who I'm talking about. Yeah you, ya culture raping super absorbent life sponges that are Millennials. You fool no one.

 

Tell me again why you think recorded sound on Vinyl is 'waayyyy' better than that on a compact disc without using the terms 'crackle' and 'hiss' because I can remember your pristine ears and how you wouldn't let them be tainted with low quality audio systems, radio with weak reception or dodgy dubbed recordings I mix taped for you. Oh and excuse me, I didn't realise everyone was an art critic now. Could have sworn that your appreciation of art extended only as far as liking how Colonel Sanders was drawn on the KFC billboards. And I really don't remember you paying an ounce of attention to the same art work when it was slightly smaller in a CD booklet format. In fact I don't even recall you removing said booklet from the case despite your now repeated attempts to assure me that you like vinyl because it gives you something to look at while you listen and absorb the album as it plays. And yes your argument about being able to listen to the whole album without skipping tracks is flimsy - did you realise you can do that with a CD too? It just requires a little bit of will power so you don't keep skipping to the radio singles every time.    

 

It's impractical, can't play it in a car, hard to store, gets easily warped by the elements, those scratches aren't just gonna buff out by the way, ridiculously expensive, when you were teens you thought records were lame and that your Dad was like Alan Partridge for not upgrading to a CD player, too make vinyl sound good you have to spend thousands of dollars on audio gear - CDs sound good on $40 boomboxes from Kmart and I can't just skip to the god damn radio singles. 

 

Yes, you are poseurs yet again caught by another manufactured trend.   But now everyone has accepted vinyl as modern technology how long before other redundant formats are brought back from the dead - VHS, 8 track, Mini Disc, Laser Disc will no doubt soon be back to the forefront while I will be scratching and shaking my head coveting my Blu Rays and CDs remonstrating 'That this is was the pinnacle dammit'.... 

 

The Vinyl gold rush shows no signs of availing anytime soon. Tauranga even has it's own ever expanding second hand Millennial owned vinyl store. The Mount  has two used Vinyl shops. Warehouse Fraser Cove has close to the same amount of records as CDs now. Tracs and JBHIFI have had to adapt to the demand as well. Op shops now attempt to charge $5 for Nana Miskouri albums we previously would have needed to be paid $5 to listen to. None of my friends have CD collections anymore but in between using Spotify for life on the go they all have modest, boutique record collections. 

 

Have we become a society that has ceased moving forward and only look back? Or are we amateur historians each with our own small Smithsonian chronicling and cherishing the past before it is forgotten?   Maybe we were always like this, when the Gramophone was invented someone probably lamented the death of live music or whacking a stick against a tree for entertainment. Or perhaps despite my protests Vinyl is something that is meant to be around from decade to decade  - never to be upgraded. Always looking and sounding the same, seemingly invincible in a sea of change. Kinda like Cher when you think about it. But me, well I 'Believe in life after vinyl'..... 

 

 

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