Monday, November 7, 2011

The Joys of Collecting Records - Part I

I've been collecting music ever since I was a teenager.  Back in those oh, so wild days, my friends and I would sit around, chew the fat, and listen to records.  Though the cassette was probably the most popular medium during those days, most of us had an interest in vinyl, aka records.  Perhaps it was the art work and large lyric inserts; or perhaps it was the sense of solidity that a record has.  Sure, vinyl can warp, be scratched, needs to be cleaned, and requires much more care than the cassette or CD (or MP3), but it also has a historical sense that none of the other mediums seem to have.  At least to me, records have a little soul that is passed on from owner to owner.

When I hold my first pressing of Bob Dylan's 1966 Blonde on Blonde, there is a connection to the past that not only resides in the music, but the actual gatefold sleeve and record.  Flip open the cardboard sleeve, and there are the original pictures, including the Claudia Cardinale that had to be removed on subsequent pressings.  How did the original buyer of the record feel when he plopped this down on his hi-fi and heard Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 for the first time?  Did they hate it?  Or were they intrigued by this groundbreaking album?  Did it open up new venues of thought and memories that were planted deep inside?  I'll never know, but it's still something to think about.

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