I first met Peter Dvorak at college and we originally bonded over our love of music. Now this was in the mid-90s and it was all about cassette tapes and the CDs which would soon begin to dominate our life on campus. Peter however, ironically not a fan of classical music, began to purchase old vinyls from charity shops, telling me about how valuable they’d be one day. Regrettably I didn’t really follow Peter until about 15 years ago when the vinyl scene was once again beginning to become fashionable. Peter was very much ahead of his time with this, and has a great collection as a result. Despite its new found popularity, this is still not a super popular area of music, and if you are a fan here is why I think you’ll love vinyl collecting.
Completely and Utterly Absurd
If we forget about sound for a minute and focus on the fundamentals of playing a vinyl versus playing a digital song, the former seems completely absurd. When you play a record you have to select it, remove it from its sleeve, ensure that it is clean and then place it on the deck, pick the song carefully with the arm and then let it play. If you want to change the track on the record you have to go through all of this again. On the other hand, with digital you can simply open the computer, search for the song and press play. The point here however is that it is in this absurdity that you find the real love for the music, it is about the drama, the theater, the touch and the ritual. Digital music is almost too easy.
The vinyl loving community is a really great one to be a part of and there are so many within it who are happy to share their finds, to help each other and work together to celebrate the passion that we all have. There are some communities which operate on social media that are just savage and it seems everyone is trying to get the better of someone else. With vinyl however, everyone seems to be happy with their passions and for anyone who wants to join.
Digging For Treasure
Whilst you can of course always buy new vinyl that comes out there is a certain romance and nostalgic joy that you get from digging through crates and crates of records and then stumbling on a hidden gem. What I love mostly about old records is the story behind them, I often wonder who bought the record first, where they played it, what it meant to them. Old records are little time capsules into the past and this is certainly one area of vinyl collecting which I really love.
And finally, when it comes to an album, I find that it is so much joyous listening to a whole album on vinyl. When you listen digitally there is a real temptation to flit between artists and songs, on wax however, sit back and enjoy the album as a whole piece of art.