All right, I did. The article is from 2021 and specifically about Red. Since this is from 2022 and about Midnights and Folklore, I assume the problem doesn’t apply any more.
Those silly women weren’t playing the records at the wrong speed - the silly manufacturer mispressed the records at the wrong speed.
If only they’d used their lady-brains!
I’ve seen most of these on the rack at Target, so, that checks out.
About 5 years ago I was talking to a neighbour I didn’t know well, and we got to the “jobs” part of the conversation. He said “I work in a record store.” I did a double-take. “You mean… music on physical media?” I was fascinated. I hadn’t seen a record store in years, but he worked downtown, on a high-rent street.
I asked him about that. They sold a lot of vinyl, and the turntables to play them. A big chunk of the clientele were audiophiles who would never try to listen to their classical recordings on anything but analog media. Fair enough, but do they pay the bills? Maybe, but there’s another demographic: Kids These Days. They love vinyl, for all sorts of reasons. He overheard a conversation between two young men in their late teens / early 20s after they’d bought particular record. “Man, great find. Do you think you’ll get a turntable to play it on?” Sounded like a sincere question too, no sarcasm.
Turns out the kids these days often stream and pay nothing, but if they love an artist, they like to go out and buy the artist’s physical products as a “thank you” gesture. And vinyl is an attractive buy - it’s basically the music and a poster all in one. Even if they never play the album. This was a sizeable chunk of his store’s revenue. So Taylor Swift going platinum on vinyl might back up what my neighbour was saying.
I bought my first turntable as a Christmas present to myself. A roommate brought home a bunch of vintage records (probably all bought in the 80’s) from his uncle’s estate sale, along with the worst turntable known to man (currently available at Walmart fro $50). I enjoyed sitting down and listening to physical media so much I decided to get a modest but respected turntable, preamp and headphones. Turns out sitting down and listening to a whole album at a time after having my dopamine system shattered by social media and instant-access streaming services was pretty nice.
And yes, Rumors was one of the first albums I spent money on. Still need to get Thriller, but it isn’t going anywhere.
I often sit down and listen to whole albums at a time, though I do it with digital sources. I really wish I understood what people get out of doing the same exact thing, but with an analog source. Is it just the tactility of fiddling with the media and equipment? Does that make you feel more connected to the artist?
No arguing with that sun yellow pressing. Get one in rubber for the dog to chase too.
Well you can hand it off, but certainly one can do that with digital players too.
There was a time when I really loved my old analog systems. LP, Reel-to-reel, etc… but have slowly been giving my collection to friends who I think will cherish them. I completely understand the joy of physical objects (it was a delight to serve tiki drinks and toss on an old exotica tape during a late summer afternoon), but for me it was mostly about having access to recordings that were hard to find in other places/ways and that isn’t nearly as true anymore. (One notable exception being the album: Norman Blake/Tut Taylor/Sam Bush/Butch Robins/Vassar Clements/David Holland/Jethro Burns but that’s just it’s own thing). At the end of the day the financial and physical investment (I kinda feel like owning objects is an investment in time and energy) didn’t add up for me anymore. But I support everyone for whom it does.
Not in my case: I’m not really trying to connect with the artist in any way. But somehow having to physically handle the object, clean it, pay it just right, sit there in the limited range of my open back headphone cable, sit through songs that I might have skipped on a stream (or even CD) is a meditative ritual, as opposed to having everything on my phone, in my earbuds, infinite choice and accessibility. I get to anticipate picking up an album, which is stupid because I already have it probably several times over between streaming and YouTube etc.
Sometimes limitations are actually pluses.
Yeah, there really is nothing like being able to hold a piece of art, read along with the lyrics, wonder at the creative choices and fully absorb the work.
I was at a target a few years ago and hit up the discount cd section and picked up a bunch of cds that I wanted. Went to the checkout and the cashier went, “wow, I’ve been here 6 months and I’ve never seen someone buy these things before!”
I told her I prefered to own my albums not lease them (luckily I didn’t have to explain what an album is). I said that if I own the physical copy of the album no one can take that away from me: I don’t have an issue if my computer/server goes down, or if a service decides they don’t want to support the format any longer.
I love my records (oh man the album art can be beautiful to look at (and be able to read the liner notes)), my cds, my treasure trove of “mostly” legally downloaded music, and my streaming platforms.
I find the whole process of selecting an album, taking it out of its case or sleeve, … (everything in between), and listening to it a process/ritual that I quite enjoy. Don’t get me wrong, I love being able to say, “hey smartspeaker play * on streamingservice,” but there’s so much disconnect from that. Instead I put an album on, crank up the volume, and then sit back and experience the music.
I heard “Wow! They have Bridgerton on vinyl” at Barnes and Noble the other day.
I prefer CDs (or SACDs), which I can rip. I regret tossing my old turntable in an ill conceived Marie Kondo dilemma some year back. It just needed an obscure power cord and a preamp!
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