Monday, September 21, 2009

Music Makes My World Go 'Round-The Vinyl Edition


I adores vinyl. Actually, adore is too weak of a descriptive word. Love is much better.

Take two: slaps a piece of wood down on the table

I loves vinyl. While I may have been pulled kicking and screaming into the modern times by becoming a 21st Century Digital Boy, vinyl has always been my first true passion.

So take a seat in my Mustang convertable and join me in a musical road trip, as I explore my extensive vinyl collection, as well as the various back roads that I will explore whenever I feel the need to take a road into the unknown. When you see this *, it denotes that a future post will cover it in greater detail.

We'll first start off this road trip by introducing you to my record collection. I have, at last count, about 2,500 albums and about 1,000 45's. I acquired these in the usual ways.

1} I purchased new or used (Intergrity n' Music is an excellent store for slightly used music in all genres, with a heavy specialization in Jazz).
2} I acquired through non-nefarious means (got as leftovers from friends, co-workers and family).
3} Received as gifts (brother would find stuff while on road trips or doing home improvement jobs. got a batch of about 100 45's that my brother found on the side of the road one day).

I have about 90% of the most frequently used albums properly stored away (heavy duty wooden cubes that I got at a place called the Mill Stores, with the remaining 10% stashed away in large storage tubs.

I have almost every genre* imaginable that could be found during the time frame of the mid-1950's through the early 1990's. I also have about twenty or so boxed sets* scattered throughout my collection. I have an extensive reissue* collection as well.

As for the 45's, I haven't actively pursued or purchased them in a couple of years. The reasoning is pretty simple. I prefer to by the album for the song, because the true adventure in music lies in not listening to the occasional hit from an artist (that's why I loathe greatest hits collections), but from exploring the album from which the hit song came from.

I want to close out this particular post by sharing a strange tidbit about myself. Before sticking my collection in a database, I originally put it on index cards. First the albums went on 5x8's, then the songs were crossed indexed on 3x5's. This took me about six years to do. Now, in order to keep myself occupied while doing this, what do you think I listened to? That's right, music.

And what music?

That's right, my entire music collection. I listened to (at the time) all 1,000 albums, all my boxed sets, and all of my 45's while doing this. From the beginning to end. Good music. Average music. Mediocre music. I listened to it all.

I loves vinyl.

But more importantly, I loves music.


  1. That post made me laugh. YOU DO LOVE your music. My middle son loves to organize and sort and whatever else it is he does, his music on his Ipod. He's given one to his Dad and sister full and I mean full of the music that they like. It amazes me.
    Music soothes our souls. All kinds of music. :)Bea
    P.S. I'm so glad you continue to write. I want to comment on how great it is to see you put your stories out there to share with us.

  2. I like vinyl, too, G. Love the tell-tale crackle in the background of a well-loved album on the player.

  3. Wow, I've still got about 150 to 200 albums, mostly rock, but my needle currently doesn't work on my turntable.

  4. You should try getting vinyl in Tasmania...

    Slack jawed blank eyed gimlets stare at you with hollow eyes while you explain...

  5. Bea: Thanks for the compliments. I'll always put my stories out on my other blog, because I believe it's the general public that should be the ones to say yay or nay.

    But it does help if other influential people like them as well. :-O

    Lynn: I love exploring most of my albums, because I've always find those special tracks that really make me understand the band or the singer performing them that much better.

    Charles: There are some companies out there that still make good quality turntables and components.

    And if you're still into the various rock genres, there are quite few good online retaileres out there that carry high end vinyl.

    But...vinyl is my one true passion. Once I get myself financialy situated again (Hah!) I'll be on the hunt for more music from my youth.

    Miles: I get the same looks when I try to explain what a cassette or an 8-track is.

    Seriously though, it's pretty sad when you have to explain to people what vinyl is.

  6. That's awesome. My husband is a musician and I have overheard many debates about vinyl being the best medium.

  7. R.K.: Vinyl is making a small but determined comeback these days.

    I actually have some releases from the early 2000's on vinyl and the quality is really superb.

    But the true adventure is just simply listening to it. You be amazed at what you can find, especially if you're listening to one that isn't a hit.

  8. Wow, that's a whole latte albums going on here. Love music too, particularly live. We bought a selection of used albums this summer to make an art display out of the covers, which are of some of our favorite concerts.

  9. Joanne, that sounds so cool.

    I do have an ungodly amount of music, yes. I'm also still doing one of my long term projects with it, which is converting them to CD. Haven't done any since last winter, and will probably do the same thing this winter.

  10. I have a massive vinyl collection too. The 45 that cost the most was "Reet Petite" by Jackie Wilson.

    I don't use the vinyl at discos that often though, mainly cd's. I never use a laptop, although really I should have one as a backup option.

    More than anything I love the sleeve notes and covers on vinyl albums.

    I store mine in musical styles. :D

  11. Joe: I agree with you on the album covers and liner notes. It's not so much gleaning the info from the liner notes, but it's the beauty of the album cover itself, which gets lost in the conversion to CD.

    I store mine a bit more mundane. I alphabetize by artist, then sub alphabatize by title.

  12. Wish we had a player as my husband has a ton of records. My biggest fear is that they are all warped down in the basement.

    The records, not the music LOL!

  13. Playing vinyl is such a wonderfully tactile experience. I still have my turntable and my vinyl collection. And I still remember the fun of going to the record store and buying the latest 45 when I was a teenager - albums came after getting a part-time job. I always went home and immediately played the "B" side - lol~

  14. Pink: I know at the better audio stores they carry good quality turntables and components. You might want to try your luck there.

    Talon: B-sides are always a blast to listen to. I was always amazed at the little gems I would find whenever I flipped the 45 over.

  15. Bea...can your son set up an ipod for me. I can't stomach transferring all my cds to digital.

    G...if I am going to sit in your will I hear your records?

  16. Simple my dear Bear, I'll burn them to CD's.

  17. Totally off subject but look what a fun site I found today:

  18. Thinking I need to go out to the garage to see if my old stereo components are out there..I downgraded to a crappy tabletop cd/radio when I moved south. Vinyl, I'm sure would not like the humidity there. But I refuse to just toss them.
    I do still have at least a couple hundred albums. If I do decide to part with them, I'll let you know.
    We had an awesome record store in Northampton, that continued to stock whatever new vinyl was being released into the 90's.
    Great post!

  19. Kim: Thanks.

    You can still find relatively new releases of vinyl mostly online and maybe one or two indie music stores.

    And you're probably right about the humidity being murder on vinyl. That's why I use a dehumidifier in the basement. It does a pretty good job.

  20. I have two turntables, but they're not hooked up. Got prob 50 Lp's n a shoebox of old n scratched 45's. Used to be this great place near the Coop in Harvard Squeare, Cambridge MA where you could buy used very cheap- Not there any more.
    Someday when I ever have time to dig- n if the old amps still boost- I did blow a few speakers, now the other 6 are in storage across town.
    I know how it is, that "Coolest Classic" tune love-

  21. I actaully had a decent stereo prior to moving back to Newington, but unfortunately, someone stole it while in transit.

    It was a little bitty thing, but it gave great sound and it was my pride and joy.

  22. I thought the whole vinyl come-back thing was a spoof until I saw them being sold in stores again. Oh the needle on a scratchy old album, what memories of that. So may great great albums.

    Don't know if I ever indexed any , but that is so cool.

  23. Vinyl is making a very good comeback. It's about the only thing that has shown consistent growth for the past five or six years.

    A lot of the major and indie artists are doing the vinyl thing nowadays.


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