Monday, October 28, 2019

Return to vinyl

A few weeks ago, I opened the browser on my computer to read a post by a blog-buddy. At the top of the page, there was an ad for an Audio Technica turntable with Bluetooth connectivity. The ad was a little more than coincidental, and it took me aback. I’m a little concerned that Google knew I’d been “thinking” about buying a new turntable.
Most people we know ditched their turntables and vinyl records back in the mid-80s. When our old turntable bit the dust over 20 years ago, the urgency to get a new one had diminished. We still listened to music, but CDs were all the rage, and they were supposed to last forever. Right? 
The biggest downside to CDs was the covers. It usually took a magnifying glass to read the song lists, and most of the artwork was just sad.
Those of us who came of age listening to the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, The Byrds, and Pink Floyd were lucky. When we plunked down money for a new album, we not only got great music
Album art 
but oftentimes we also got an album cover that was often a piece of art.
We bought most of our collection while living in the trailer. I would say that had we had our record collection appraised, it would have been more valuable than our home.
When we removed the vinyl from the cover, we handled it as if it were a fragile sacred text.
We were slow to buy into the CD format, but we did finally move in that direction. While we no longer needed the turntable, something told us to hang onto the albums.
Many of our music-loving friends sold their record albums at yard sales and donated them to thrift stores. We felt a little foolish, but we stacked ours in protective cartons and stored them in the barn. 
One of our nephews, who loved records, asked Jilda and me to leave our record collection to him in our will. 
Our love affair with CDs started waning a few years ago.
Streaming services like Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music are convenient, but something seems to be missing. Listening to music from those services does sound as full and rich as record albums. This affected our experience of listening to music on Sunday mornings.
The mysterious ad I mentioned earlier planted a seed that began to blossom. I’d been saving up a little mad-money for Christmas, but I decided that Santa would love for Jilda and me to have a new turntable.
A few days later, I got a notification when it would arrive. I met the UPS man in the driveway and hustled the package inside.
After connecting it to our stereo, I headed to the barn to fetch the crates of record albums. They were dusty, but I knew that with a little TLC, they would be fine.
One of the first I cleaned and tenderly placed on the new turntable was Jackson Browne’s Saturate Before Using. I bought the record in 1972 while I was in the Army. Closing my eyes, the music instantly transported me to my old barracks in Panama.
Since the day I installed the new turntable, Jilda and I have listened to it daily. 
I’m thankful that we decided to buck the trend and hold on to our old records.


  1. Everything old is new again.

  2. Sounds like a great experience. I'm reading this while listening to music on an Amazon Echo. Not the same.

  3. When CD's came out I remember people gushing about how pure the sound was, and there were no pops and crackles from the vinyl.

    I get the nostalgia, but I do not get preferring the quality of vinyl to CD's...but then there are a lot of things I don't get, so I am glad you are enjoying that old vinyl experience.

  4. We still have our vinyl. It has been too long since we have listened to them.

  5. SADLY, I gor rid of all my old albums when I moved. We'd not had a turntable in years and no one I knew had one either. Savation Army took them in so I'm hoping someone found one or two they could use. I'll never forget the first album I got along with a record player when I was a teen back in the 50's. It was by the Platters. Do you remember them?

  6. At reads like this, I wish I could really hear. I hear now, and everything is either Donald duck or very mechanical.
    Sherry & jack

  7. I am happy to say I still have all my albums. I have all the ABBA records including the Spanish one. There are some great art covers but how can one seriously look at that one Beatles record album and see all the famous people in front. Some famous people created album covers as well like Phil Hartman...I think he did a few. I love our turntable and I use it as well as my CD's. My brother is a huge collector of record albums and, since I was a kid, I always got him a record for Christmas even when records seemed to have disappeared.

  8. I still have a HiFi but not sure it works anymore. I remember I used to listen to my Moms old 45s. Growing up in the 80s, Records and albums were a big thing.

  9. We used to have a bunch of old shellac 78's. One of my favorites was Daffy Duck's Rhapsody. Of course 45's were all the rage. For 50 cents we owned 2 songs. Some of those records had hit songs on both sides. One of my sons received a turntable as a gift a few years ago. He plays his KISS records often.

  10. I remember Tim tossing out my records when CD's came out now he feels silly because of how popular they are now

  11. I still have my vinyl records and a turntable. Moved around everywhere we moved. I have cds and an iPod I enjoy but vinyls just reach me deep inside. Enjoy!
    Take care, Sheila


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