Why do people like vinyl records?

Why do people like records?

I've been collecting records myself for over 35 years. I like the feel of records in my hands. I like the sound, and I like the fact that a record is a physical artifact from a particular point in time. A lot of my records have seen some interesting times - many of them are over 50 years old - they are older than me, and yet as they've (mainly) been well looked after, they still sound great - allowing for the odd pop or crackle here or there.

Records remind us of places we've been and people we have been with. OK, maybe sometimes it's the song, but often it's the actual record itself that triggers those memories. The album in its sleeve, or just the vinyl 45. I have records I bought in school and took in for school discos. I wrote my name on a lot of them and my class number in case Mr Clarke mislaid my precious 7" singles and they got mixed up with someone else's. They survived those perilous journeys to those school discos where, invariably, they weren't even played because Mr Clarke, a 30-odd year old metalwork teacher, hadn't heard of them. Because he was OLD.

MP3s and CDs don't do it for me but that's probably because I came from the vinyl generation. I have CDs and I have MP3s and they have their place, I'm not denying that. But there is no substitute, at least as far as I'm concerned, for a record. And preferably an original first pressing of a record (I'm not a fan of bootlegs or reissues - call me a record snob if you like. I plead guilty).

With record players making a big comeback, there's suddenly a bit of a vinyl revival going on and that's good by me. I'm sure  many record players will be bought as a fad and played for a while. With brand new reissues of classic albums costing over £20 a lot of the time, that may put a lot of people off expanding their record collections. That would be a shame, especially when you can often find original copies of those records for a fraction of that brand new 180 gramme vinyl price. My advice for anyone looking to "get into vinyl" would be to ignore the brand new records in the shops, make use of youtube and other streaming services to listen to music to find something you like, and then buy them second hand. You will want to ensure that you buy copies in good playable condition so choose vinyl records that are VG+ or EX or Mint and you should be OK as those conditions should all play very cleanly. (A properly graded VG record should also sound fine, with maybe a bit of crackle in the quiet parts or the run in or run out).

Well that's why I like records. How about you?

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