Flipping To The B-Side

Recently we have been cleaning out our attic space, and in the process have been taking quite a few memory lane walks. One such walk has involved finding my old turntable, and giant box of LPs and 45s. If you are too young to know what I mean, google it. lol

Anyway, last Friday we hooked up the old thing to its speakers(which barely work, but still do somewhat), and started going through the old albums. Faves of mine are my two original Rolling Stones full albums, one from 1966, and the other from 1969. Plus the piles of 45 singles, ranging in years from about 1969- the mid eighties. My very first 45s were given to me by my teenage babysitter when I was 6… The Who’s “I’m Free”, and The Stone’s “Honky Tonk Woman”. Both are in sorry shape, but still play without skipping. The grooving and spontaneous dancing commenced! It was very fun!

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There was something so visceral about the “vinyl years”. The cover art for the album, the flipping through the stack to find the one you feel like listening to. Going to the record store in anticipation of buying it. The pulling of the album carefully from its inner sleeve, carefully only handling it by the edges, to place it gently on the turntable. Dropping the needle gently into the grooves. Then comes the “tone” before the song starts. That moment of anticipation…

Still kind of sucks to have to get up to skip a song you don’t like, or to flip the thing over, but that, too, is all part of the physical experience of sitting around playing the tunes. And when we were spinning the old discs last weekend, I wasn’t bothered at all. I missed it in a weird sort of way. Enough that I declared that I wanted a new portable turntable for Christmas this year. Oddly enough, vinyl is hot again, and stores are popping up in the city, which sell or trade old records…never mind the Internet has EVERYTHING! haha.
Plus you can actually go out and buy a new turntable. Fitted with USB ports and other new fangled features which let you transfer your old vinyl LPs to your iPod. Meh. To me, that just defeats the purpose of playing the record! I can buy them all digitally, for better sound, if I wanted to do that. To me, spinning vinyl is about the tangible experience, not bumping everything over to play in the car. It is about sitting in the living room, or wherever the turntable is, having a moment with the album covers while the tunes play. Needless to say, that feature doesn’t interest me.

So now, my quest is on to find some nice original albums for my collection. Not freshly pressed. I’m all about the vintage sound…even if it includes the odd scratchiness to it….  🙂