In the February 2012 edition of Mojo Magazine Jack White has this to say about vinyl:
“It’s still the best medium for music to be delivered on. You should expose kids to it like you expose them to books.”
Vinyl has survived reel-to-reel tape, cassettes, eight tracks, CDs, DAT and it will survive MP3 downloads.
So renouncing boomers, lapsed Gen Xers and download only Gen Yers, it’s time to buy a turntable and experience the real sound of music. I’ve been through my own period of not buying or listening to music on vinyl. After being a teenager in the 1980’s, buying vinyl and amassing a collection of a couple of hundred, I bowed to the seemingly inevitable in the early 1990’s and bought a CD player and I didn’t buy any vinyl again for five or six years. Luckily I did not sell my neglected collection.
It wasn’t until I was studying in the mid to late 1990’s that I started buying vinyl again, simply because it was cheaper to buy second hand. Here’s where I rediscovered its superior sound, its warmth, the smell of the cardboard sleeves and full sized artwork. Most importantly it was the sound that grabbed me – that warmth and the full impact of the bass and drums. It was a revelation.
Even so it took a while for me to be convinced. After years of listening to the plastic ‘perfection’ of CDs I heard every pop, crackle and rumble produced by the needle in the groove. After I started to buy newly released albums on vinyl I would have internal arguments about whether I was doing the right thing investing money in these imperfect objects. But the imperfections are all part of the organic experience of analogue sound and you come to embrace it and love it. You can have a meaningful relationship with your vinyl and it is a rewarding one.
Closed Groove is basically a tour of my record collection with its coloured vinyl, special editions and obscure classics. Although I’ll comment on the music I’m not particularly trying to be a critic, more an enthusiast encouraging people to take a trip down to their record store and reacquaint themselves with the vinyl record. Hopefully via this blog you’ll get to discover some new music, be reminded of great music you’ve neglected and most importantly be inspired to buy a turntable and make a start on your own relationship with vinyl.