Vinyl is back
Got some old records tucked away in the shed? Dig them out, because vinyl is back in a big way.
Are you as old as me (or older)? Sorry if you are – but that means you know exactly what I’m writing when I sing the praises of listening to music on vinyl. Purists will tell you the sound when playing a record is deeper and that you can ‘feel’ the music as the needle rubs over the vibrations. Maybe. But there’s something about slipping a vinyl onto the turntable in 2019 that gets the blood pumping. In most cases it’ll be a blast from the past when The Stones (Sticky Fingers), Dark Side of the Moon, or perhaps even ABBA’s Arrival get a spin.
What was the first record you ever owned? It’s a good conversation starter. My folks bought me the album called ‘Ripper’ in 1974. It was a compilation album which had ‘Horror Movie’ by Skyhooks and ‘Down Down’ by Status Quo on it. I still have it and drag out every once in a while. I bought ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ as a 45rpm on my 10th birthday – it cost $1.05, and I remember having to run back to the car to ask mum to lend me 5c because I only had a $1 note that I’d got for my birthday. Sheesh.
The first real album I owned was ‘Breakfast In America’ by Supertramp, and to this day I’m very proud to say it was the first. It’s kind-of ratty and scratched and worn out now, but it’s still amazing to listen to. When the old 2GZ radio station went totally digital about a dozen years ago, they had a sale and got rid of all their records. No vision people … your loss was my gain. I picked up a pile of classic vinyls for a pittance. Everything from ‘Hot August Night’ to a 45 of ‘Duncan’ by Slim. A couple of times a year the touring vinyl sale comes to Orange and Bathurst. They sell everything from collectors’ items worth hundreds of dollars down to ‘Slade Alive’ for $2.
I was recently helping out a young lad of 17 with his calculus and he had Bruce Springsteen playing in the background … on a record player. His parents had bought it for him as a gift, and he only had one record. I lent him a couple more, and I reckon he’s not only a convert, but on the road to obsession.
The 18 year old under our roof knocked us over with a feather last month as he uttered the statement “I just bought a record online”. What?! Yep, a new English artist (world famous to the educated young crowd) named Jacob Collier had pressed his collection of brilliance onto vinyl. The disc arrived via the post from pommieland a little while later, and we’ve been listening to it ever since. Tick, another one converted. I took the portable record player I own into work last week and tried something different, as we played background tunes whilst the seniors are heavily into review for their upcoming exams. We played a mix of records, Dire Straits, Foo Fighters and Paul Kelly were the main ones. Some kids loved it, some tolerated it, and others didn’t jump on the vinyl train. Worth a crack, I say.
It’ll cost you the best part of fifty bucks to buy a ‘new’ album on vinyl at the stores today. But it’s not hard to dig around and find something at the Opp shops or ‘Old Ware’ places. They’re all understanding the demand for them now, so I reckon you’d better be quick before the prices go silly. Go on, shelling out $3 for an old Skyhooks or a Sherbet record will be worth it for sure.