Sunday, 21 October 2018

Did Digital Nearly Kill Music ... And is Vinyl Bringing It Back To Life?


Three years back I wrote a history of music media in a post here, and at the weekend I nipped into Vinyl Guru and got talking with the lady in there about how when you buy vinyl you feel you have actually got something. You have sleeves, booklets and picture discs. I'm sure I did a post that said CDs were the McDonaldisation of music, all of a sudden you could skip songs , program the order , and the CD jewel cases are not something that look good, though they are very functional.

MP3 became even more dismissive of musical content, and a lot of the iPod generation can't even listen to a full song. When you wanted to record a tape for someone it had to be done in real time, even from CD, but now it's all Spotify and Deezer playlists which, lets face it can be done in thirty seconds, although a well done one can take time to put together.

These days I see a lot more people browsing the vinyl sections of shops and Newcastle now has a lot of shops where you can buy vinyl and this post has a list of them. One thing is there don't seem to be that many impressive covers such as Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" newspaper cover, or Hawkwind's "In Search Of Space", although "Space Ritual" is a available in it's full six square foot fold out. I was in Reflex and noticed  "Faust Tapes" was £25, when I bought the original release it was 49p !

Vinyl provides more than just music, and the shops often provide coffee and food while you browse. People still complain about the cost of music, but remember if albums had kept pace with inflation you would be paying £80 for an album.

When I was in Vinyl Guru I spotted a 12" copy of Biko by Peter Gabriel, which I mainly wanted for the "B" side "Shosholoza" which I don't think is officially available digitally, but I found this lovely rendition of it for you to enjoy.

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