For me, it represents music in its most authentic state. I love vinyl because, unlike the modern world in which music falls victim to your fingertips, listening to an LP from start to finish allows you to hear an album the way the artist intended. There’s no skipping songs, jumping around, adding to playlists – just the art, from the opening melody to the soft crackle as the last song ends. I believe it is so important to listen to music this way, which is why I decided to start my vinyl collection.
My dad has hundreds of vinyl records. I used to look through them as a child. The oversized album covers, the feel, the smell – yes, vinyl has a smell – always intrigued me. My dad owns every single Beatles record on vinyl because he won a writing contest he about on the radio – that was the prize. He let me display some in my room when I was in middle school – I’ve had Abbey Road hanging on my wall since sixth grade. The first record I ever bought myself, however, was John Lennon’s Imagine.
Unfortunately, the speakers we had for my dad’s turntable blew out a couple of years ago, so we’ve been without a working system for a while now. However, it’s not just about the music for me – the look of vinyl, what it represents, is all important to me. I hung Imagine up alongside some other Beatles records to create a Beatles-themed wall in my room, as you can see in the photo above.
There aren’t a ton of places to buy vinyl around my town, but I definitely take advantage of record shops when I find them. There’s a really cool underground music store where my family lives in Alabama, so I always go in there when we visit. I picked up Elite Hotel, by Emmylou Harris, last time I was there, as well as Carole King’s Tapestry and Willie Nelson’s Stardust on CD. Part of collecting hard copies of albums for me is the significance of the music and the artist to me. I don’t just blindly purchase vinyl; I want to own my favorite albums by my favorite artists so that I can create a collection that is the most meaningful.
Recently, I went to visit my best friends at the University of Mary Washington, and I found a couple of records while I was there. I had been looking for some Dolly, and my friend Elly just happened to pull All I Can Do out of a crate I hadn’t looked through yet. I was so excited she found it! Dolly is for sure on my list of artists I want to add to my collection.
I also decided to pick up this classic – I Love Rock ‘N Roll, by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts. I loved “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” and “Bad Reputation” when I was in middle school. This purchase was out of respect for my younger self and the nostalgia Joan brings back for me.
As I said, we do not have a working turntable anymore, but of course I am looking to purchase one of my own very soon. Of course, I want one that can provide a quality sound, and I also want one that is visually appealing so that I can set it up on my bookcase with all my records and create my own vinyl paradise. We’ll see! If you have a turntable that you like, please leave a comment letting me know what brand and where you got it from!
In the future, I hope to collect multiple Joni Mitchell albums, especially Clouds and Song To A Seagull (my favorites), Tapestry on vinyl as well, and some more current albums, like Leon Bridges’ Coming Home and Jason Isbell’s The Nashville Sound. I have a whole list going on my phone. If you are a music lover the way I am, I think collecting vinyl is such a fun and meaningful way to appreciate your favorite artists and the music they created by listening and respecting the entirety of the record, from the selection of songs, to the order they were put in, to the album art and the liner notes. All these details say a lot about the record as a whole and I think it is so important to recognize that.
I also want to take a quick moment to link my newest YouTube video! I try to post a live video of myself playing an original song every other week, so I would really appreciate if y’all would take a moment to check out my channel. If you like what you hear, please leave a comment and let me know!
I hope y’all enjoyed today’s post – I know it’s a little different from the usual Music Monday, but I just wanted to switch it up a little. Do you have any favorite albums you’d love to own on vinyl?
As always, much love.
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