Some years ago now, a friend invited me to go vinyl shopping with him. As someone who used to collect a wide array of CDs but hadn’t yet explored vinyl, I was curious to see what the hype was about.
He took me into Clarity and Streetlight records in the Adelaide CBD. After walking into both shops, I was amazed at the array of classic AND contemporary releases they had on vinyl. I couldn’t believe that contemporary artists across multiple genres released new music on vinyl.
My first purchases consisted of Bonobo’s North Borders & Black Sands albums, along with Pond’s Tasmania. A nice way to start the collection I thought!
Eventually this collection grew and I started to collect more vinyl, new and old, spanning across many genres. At the time, I played all my vinyl on my Grandpa’s old turntable and my Dad’s old stereo set up from when he was an adolescent.
I feel like that’s where I really fell in love with vinyl.
Soon I began digging through Mum and Dad’s old records (they have great taste) and found myself falling in love with a totally new aspect of music - collecting and playing music in one of its earliest forms - a form that is still insanely popular since it’s inception.
So, what’s there to love about vinyl. For me, it’s really summed up in three things: it’s a raw authentic form of music, the appeal of the vinyl artwork itself and the
AUTHENTIC FORM OF MUSIC
Another memory I have of vinyl was sitting back and listening to bonobo and my friend’s vinyl albums all night. We stayed up and had some beers, each showing off our favourites and listening. Now even though this might sound a bit silly, the process of going up and flipping the vinyl to the other side, putting the tone arm down so the stylus brushed against that sweet vinyl.
What I personally loved was the alternate covers that normally wouldn’t be there on streaming service album covers. Along with a lot of other merch inside - lyrics, downloadable content and also messages/photos from the artist.
Further to that, some of the vinyl material itself can be translucent, brightly coloured, have alternative artwork on it too - the artistic and personal feel to this really made me fall in love with vinyl.
Displaying the vinyl on cool shelves around the place really gave our place and studio a cool feel, reminding you of the feelings and memories that those albums gave you.
Following on from the artwork point, some vinyl albums are so rare now that they have become priceless collectables. However, it’s not all about price. Personally I got hooked on trying to complete my favourite artists discography. However, I forgot that these things cost money and that habit slowed down.
Looking through my parents vinyl collection also really gave me an insight into the music that shaped their lives. It was really awesome to see and maybe some day my collection will be looked on in a similar way.
If music is a window into our souls, then our collections are an extension of that.
Going to the effort of buying the rawest and most expensive form of media to consume your favourite artist shows the passion in which fans will proudly support music they resonate deeply with.
At the end of the day though, this is just my experience with why I think people connect with vinyl. I could be wrong though, maybe Big Vinyl is controlling the market 👀.
Anyway, go forth and support your local record shop and favourite artist.