Sunday, August 17, 2008
For years I have stared at a long shelf full of vinyl LPs, my soul flooded with conflicting feels of irritation, nostalgia, bafflement, longing. What should I do with them? Throwing them away was out of the question; but, equally, what were they actually for? The conflict was such that I never actually dared look at them. But, yesterday, I received an early birthday present - a turntable to go with my now ageing stereo system. Having been bought this device in Norwich, I then immediately stumbled upon a bewildering number of shops selling vinyl - Norwich is a strange and wonderful city. Blood rushed to my head and I bought LPs by Jerry Lee Lewis, Joe Cocker and The Hollies. Emboldened, I returned home to flick through my own collection. Tears filled my eyes as two tracks I thought I would never hear again - The Byrds' Truck Stop Girl and Kevin Ayers' Shouting in a Bucket Blues - filled my room. Much has been said about the quality of vinyl versus CD. I'm still struggling with it. But there is something about the sound, a certain, for want of a better word, materiality. It is, perhaps, the lack of the absolute silence you get with CDs. The air seems, somehow, more occupied with sound by Vinyl. But this requires more thought.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 10:51 am