Friday, 11 January 2013

Why Vinyl?

Was just off to bed and this question sprang to mind. Why Vinyl . Audiophiles talk about the warmth missing from digital representations and the personalisation that scratches and worn grooves bring but therein lies my argument. Vinyl is one of the most self destuctive of all media. Once the needle hits the groobve both vinyl an ddiamond / sapphire begin to destroy each other. Dust gathers on the record , heat warps the discs (remember dynaflex? The bane of my Bowie and Lou Reed collections).

Jimmy Page worked out that the optimum length for a vinyl long player was 18 minutes . Gram hold of an original pressing of Led Zeppelin I or II and check that there's no shiny spare vinyl in the label run off.

Vinnyl did enable some interesting tricks. Brian Eno's Great Pretender on Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy ran into a closed groove that effectively never ended. You don't get that on the CD version. Monty Python had a three sided album because one side consisted of two separate spirals so you never knew what track you would get when you put it on.

Then on Todd Rundgren's Inititiation , the running time of that album clocked around 69 minutes with an instruction to only play with a brand new needle. I bought mine on cassette!

However we have seen a major vinyl revival , recently The Beatles and The Who's Studio Output have been boxed at £300 and £150 respectively , very impressive they are too . Nice to see the covers in their proper size , but it's still vinyl and very expensive. Black Sabbath have also had a box out

I am happy with CD and digital , for convenience sake , but I am also glad that vinyl is here to stay as well - though I wont be part of the buying public for vinyl , well maybe the odd seven incher .....