I don’t remember specifically when it happened, but somewhere over the past 2 years I’ve become a big fan of vinyl. I posted a blog about acquiring several vinyl 45 lps and full albums a year ago. Since then I’ve collected a lot more albums and 45s. I know it started with Springsteen, in picking up his old albums on vinyl. Now it’s just whoever I come across that seems interesting. I pulled out all these albums this morning from people I have never heard of, some of them from the 1940s. It’s fun stuff. The only problem is that you have to change the records out, which is part of the beauty of digital music in the lazy factor.
I listened to Johnny Cash’s San Quentin a minute ago. I’d never heard that one before but it’s on the Boy Named Sue 45 lp. This slight hiss on the record is pretty cool too, I know a lot of people love the classic nostalgia of the sound on vinyl versus tape or disc. What I’m most fascinated by is the fact that people could make recordings in the 1920s and 30s and mass produce them on a vinyl disc. Maybe it’s a 21st century arrogance that leads me to think that people a century ago couldn’t do what we can in 2011. If that’s the case, I’m certainly guilty.
Listening to Johnnie Cash and The Tennessee Two (notice the different spelling) right now. Great stuff, even though I’m not much of a country guy. It doesn’t seem to matter to me that this stuff doesn’t have the clarity in presentation, in either the recording itself or in the presence of the 45. Like a lot of Cash’s stuff, it’s almost better served roughed up a bit than pretty and shiny.
I’m also getting into picking up modern albums released on vinyl. I know The Civil Wars put Barton Hollow on vinyl, which is really cool. The Rocketboys did the same with 20,000 Ghosts. A few weeks ago when we had Andrew Belle in the studio he asked me where he could pick up some vinyl. I told him about a shop in town and later at the show he showed me what he’d picked up, mostly more modern rock albums and stuff. It’s cool that stuff like this comes and goes in popularity, but also in the marketplace. I know that in the 1990s people were selling off their old vinyl albums at garage sales and used book stores by the droves. Collectors of vinyl probably recall the 90s as the hayday for picking up albums. Now the market has changed and they’re popular again, but the prices are more expensive than before.
Who knows if it will be the same for 8 tracks or cassettes. I see Tshirts now with cassette tapes drawn in fun ways and it seems like Boomboxes are making a comeback too. I guess I’ll really be old when cds make their way back into pop culture. Hopefully I’ll have a decade or so before I experience that.