The first time I heard a vinyl record playing was from my grandfather’s gramophone. I listened to it more times than I could remember but every second I was more and more amazed by the sound. Then I got my dad’s old gramophone from his teenage years and his first vinyl record, it was from Millie Vanilli. When I listened to it it had several surface marks, but it did not disturb me, the sound charmed me even more. I went to a record shop to buy myself my first record. I was like a little kid in the candy shop. I saw the one and only album Some girls by the Rolling Stones. It is a special feeling when you give money for music that you can literally hold in your hands. Although I listened to that album on my phone, when I first played it on gramophone, it was so much better that I could not stop listening to it. I was amazed by the sound, the beauty of it and everything that vinyl records present.
In this article, I want to introduce the beauty of vinyl records and their charm and magic.
One could say that Vinyl records are stupid in the 21th century because of their unpracticality. You cannot take them anywhere. You can listen to music on your phone literally everywhere… when out for a walk, when on train,.. But records are also very delicate things when it comes to taking care of them and they have only five to six songs on one side. So, are they even worth our time and money? Why do they still exist and why so many people prefer them over digital music?
I have read somewhere that the thing about art is not to be practical but to slow down your time and make you feel things like love, nostalgia, importance…, which only you can feel in that second. And vinyl records are real art.
The golden age for vinyl records was in the 60s and 70s when they were the best consumed grade of music. Hippie culture occupied the music industry and records became amazingly popular among all generations. People went to the vinyl shops to buy music, they listened to it together and gathered around the gramophone. Music was amazingly appreciated.
At the end of the ‘80s CDs came and by that vinyl records almost ended.
In the 21st century, when digital sound has been dominating the world, and with upgraded technology, one might expect that the world of vinyl records would be smoothly forgotten.
Maybe you can bring better audio, but you cannot delete people’s memories so easily. Many people have something engraved in their vinyl records, and that is nostalgia. Every surface mark, sound, melody has a story. And the charm of vinyl records is that they bring back precious memories. Many people resurfaced their gramophones and records from their attics, especially because they could not get the same feelings from CDs.
Records create nostalgic memories not just because of the songs that are played, but because of the way the music is played.
MAGIC LIVES ON
Imagine you walk down the street on a Sunday night and suddenly you hear music from a nearby bar. It sounds like a live performance, but when you go in you do not see any singer or a band. There is only a gramophone and a vinyl record.
The one thing record lovers really swear by is the vinyl’s rich, powerful, and colourful sound. Vinyl records have uncompressed music, which means the record is pressed the exact way as it was written in first place, so there is no loss in tone which means high-quality and the order of songs in the album is exactly the way the artist imagined. In fact, MP3s, CDs or youtube, could never sound better than vinyl because when it’s broadcasted it’s always in lossy format, details are messed up and quality is reduced.
Vinyl records are physical objects that we can hold in hands. That means records reflect each person, they can get scratched, warped, changed or be in a perfect condition as if they have never been played before. When someone gives us an old and used record, we cannot only hear the music but also the scratches that were made by the person.
Vinyl records are the physical representations of owners.
Sometimes vinyl record collectors can be quite sensitive about their precious collection. Video:
There is also a very good movie from 2000 about a record shop owner in New York.
And the new series with Zoe Kravitz after the original movie:
by Melanie Štumpfl