Since I was young I always liked vinyl records, I don't really know why but I just love the process of having a physical object that allows you to hear music, having the album cover printed and keeping a collection, just makes me smile. Lately I have started collecting more vinyl's and it has been very fun, buying a vinyl on every city I visit, walking into beautiful stores, and just looking through corridors of music history is an amazing feeling.
First the formats, their are three formats the smallest one is the 7" record, which turns at 45 RPM, basically it consists on just one song on each side, then there's the 10" record, which turns at 78 RPM and it's mostly used for EP's, and finally the 12" record which is the standard size for album's and turns at 33 RPM.
Well now that you understand the formats and the different kind of vinyl records that exist I want to talk about why I love them so much, what makes them so interesting, and the fun part of searching for your favourite records.
A Physical Playlist
So one thing I love about vinyl's is that it's almost just like building your playlist on your phone but in the real life, but there's a catch, obviously the 45 RPM's are available, which only have 2 songs one on each side, but whenever you buy a 33 RPM vinyl there's the whole album on the record, and for me that's the most enjoyable part of vinyl collections, you don't just hear the song that you like but in a way you force yourself out of bad habits, because nowadays people mainly like to listen to random music, but they have forgotten how important it is to understand the creator's work, the storyline through the album, the up's and down's is how I like to call it.
One of my favourite thing in life is that feeling you get when you're just drinking a glass of wine on a rainy day listening to an album, and you actually feel the changes of energies and power that the artist expresses through the album. I always liked Fleetwood Mac and for me it was truly important to have at least on of their many albums on my collection, a few days ago I chose to listen to one of their album's and I listened to the whole album, it started quietly, very emotional, very acoustic, and then it intensified and before I knew I had already heard both sides of the vinyl record and I had gone through a rollercoaster of emotions and through a whole story.
That's a feeling I haven't felt in a long time the feeling of really enjoying the music.
I like to compare vinyl record owners to kind of a fashion lover that loves to find rare clothes on a second hand store's, in french we say "La Pepite", for vinyl lover's the goal is the same, to find that rare piece, that original version of a master of an album in a great condition lost in a box in a record store. The hunt is what at the end of the day gives so much more meaning to a record, it makes it special.
We also have to talk about album covers, I don't know if other people love them as much as I do but, when I see a record with a cool album cover even if I don't know the band or the producer I just want to buy it to display it, I enjoy them so much and the great thing about them is that they can be anything, from a picture to a cartoon, to a blank coloured square, in different formats and with different fonts... There's so much that go into choosing a album cove thats's why I decided to show you, some of my favourites:
For me this shows perfectly the diversity of styles, and I like how personal to the artist each cover is, it clearly represents the spirit of the song, and the feeling that the artist is looking to transmit to you, for example, for the Bee Gees every song in that soundtrack makes me want to walk just like Travolta used to and dance like him, or even for Boney M, I fee like I'm riding a wave every time I hear Gotta Go Home, it's just so cool to analyse the whole process that goes through the creation of an album and really appreciate the artist work, from to cover to the record inside.
At the end of the day it's expensive to buy vinyl's, and obviously it's much cheaper to listen to your favourite songs on youtube or a streaming service but the experience is not the same. If you love music my recommendation is to get into vinyl records, it will help you appreciate a lot more your favourite artist and songs, and you'll learn a lot of knew songs.
Just remember if you take care of them they'll keep being valuable in the future.
The article song
This article was written while listening and enjoying "The visitors" from Abba, a truly beautiful Swedish work of art.
Here's the album,
If you want to get started on vinyl's I'd be happy to answer if you have any question through instagram at @flashrcrds.