Saturday, October 16, 2010

Can vinyl save recorded music for all of us?

I was walking across campus yesterday listening to my iPod. As I was enjoying a "Best of 2004" playlist I began to notice that I was struggling to remember the artist for songs that I did not own on vinyl. While this disturbed me, it makes some sense.Vinyl records are so much more than just a piece of wax, they are physical artifacts that represent the music that can play such an important role in our lives.

Back in the day when vinyl was king, we music geeks had a relationship of sorts with our brick and mortar record stores. These were the places where we found new music by thumbing through stacks of new releases, or by working from A to Z in our favorite section(s) of the store. End caps would often hip us to new releases that we hadn't seen yet, and there would always be new music playing that could catch our interest as well. The trek home was filled with anticipation of enjoying our latest acquisition(s), which would likely remain in our collections for the rest of our lives, barring some natural disaster (of if you were one of many sad souls who got rid of all of their vinyl when CDs came into favor).

I purchased more new vinyl in 2010 than any year in the past decade, and when I listen to my 2010 playlists I have no trouble identifying the artist, artwork, label, and other physical aspects of the records. My hope for the future is that more artists find ways to get vinyl into the hands of music lovers like myself and so many other vinyl heads out there (you know who you are!).

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