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Why I Love Vinyl, Even in the 21st Century

Posted on | November 15, 2012 | No Comments

Vinyl is awesome. You wont find many muso’s who disagree, whether your iPod is always in your pocket, or you rarely listen to digital music, you can still love vinyl either way, and some people are truly crazy about one of the oldest forms of listening to music. Call it nostalgia, call it snobbery, but I love vinyl, and have a load of reasons to back it up.

Vinyl is the only music format that has actually grown in the last 10 years, other than digital of course. A growing community are celebrating a love of these musical artifacts, and bands and artists are still putting them out, so there must be some appeal still left in records, even in the 21st century.

Here are my reasons for loving vinyl.

  • The crackle. This is not an argument that vinyl is any better than CD or digital, and some might consider the crackle nothing but a nuisance, but I certainly don’t. Something about the crackle of a record adds to the experience of listening to an album, and takes me back to the days of The Beatles and The Stones rather than the Nicki Minaj’s.
  • No skipping tracks. It’s really tough to skip tracks on vinyl, and most tend to listen to an album or EP in its full form, this is how it was designed, and the greatest bands and artists have, over the years, honed their skills at constructing an album as a whole piece of work, not something that should be played on shuffle. Sit and listen to OK Computer or Sgt Peppers in its true form, from start to finish, and appreciate the genius properly. No skipping tracks here.
  • The aesthetics. Music and art have always gone hand in hand, and of course they still do. Though listening to music on an iPod and seeing the artwork in a 2 inch square is one thing, physically having to pick up the sleeve and observe the beautiful artwork in all its glory adds to the whole experience.
  • No piracy. I’m not against this (check out my post on music piracy), but it can be hard when illegally downloading tracks to get them at their highest quality. Somewhere along the line they will have been fiddled with, compressed, file formats changed and data lost. On vinyl, you get to hear the song as it was intended, without losing all of that detail along the way.
  • It’s an artifact. Vinyl can be passed down through the ages, it can be kept and loved and cared for, and it can become a family heirloom. They’re collectible, and they’re beautiful, and why would anybody get rid of these beautiful inventions?

Something about the whole feel of vinyl makes me feel great about music. Like I’m being taken to the very place where the song was written or recorded, and like this is how the artist wants me to hear it. Digital is great, and the fact that we can access almost every song ever released via the internet in seconds is truly amazing and liberating for the industry, but, like cinema to the movie industry, vinyl will never die.

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