It was my college roommate Menos Hiras who first got me interested in collecting old vinyl records, this was around 2006 before collecting got really popular. Also around this time we had the breakthrough of digital music and I must be honest at first I didn’t really understand why anyone would want to collect these old records, much less play them. Because I loved with Menos I would always hear the records being played and soon enough I started to get a little but interested myself. Menos and I now have sizable collections and love going record shopping together. This is something which I can really recommend to any music fan, and here is why vinyl is so special.
One of my favorite things about vinyl is that there is just so much out there and it was all discarded by its owners when CDs first came out. What this means is that all over the world there are crates and crates of vinyl records with treasure in them, the key finding them. There is nothing better than spending hours digging through crates of old records and then stumbling across an absolute classic.
We know that with digital music we can simply open our phone or computer and have access to hundreds of thousands of songs, but where is the fun in that? The joy of playing records for me, beyond the music itself, is the ritual, the theater and the drama of carefully taking the vinyl from its sleeve, placing it on the turntable and letting it spin. That first crackle of white noise before the song starts, flipping it over for side two and removing it, cleaning it and placing it back in its sleeve. Some may think that this is ridiculous but for me it is part of the joy of listening to vinyl.
There are loads of 45s which you can buy which have single tracks on them if you wish to play a number of different artists at once, but having vinyl really lends itself to listening to an album. This is something which the music world has really lost, we live in a world of single songs because of the fact that we can switch between them so quickly. Artists create albums as pieces of art, the songs are chosen in a certain order and to listen to an entire album is something really special. When you collect vinyl you’ll find that you begin to embrace listening to an album from start to finish and going on an adventure with the artist.
Menos used to tell me that the information and the artwork on the sleeve was just as important as the music on the disc, and I completely agree with him. This also makes a vinyl special, that bold front cover, artist notes and lyrics inside the sleeve, this is what makes a vinyl such a special way o listen to music.