Moving the Wall of Vinyl
by Duncan Fry.
They say that vinyl (as in records, not wet-look trousers) is making a comeback. As I look at my wall of 12” LPs I realise that for a lot of us it never went away!
The reason I was looking at the wall of records was that it had to be moved about a metre to make more room for my ‘studio-in-a-corner’. Moving it is not an easy job when it’s full of at least 200 of my musical memories in one of those IKEA room dividers.
There are four rows of four sections, with about 50 albums to a section. The top two rows are all 12” LPs, the bottom two rows are filled with cardboard boxes of 7” singles and other stuff – desk tape cassettes mainly.
And the truth is that all of it has to be taken out before the thing can be moved. I know this for a fact because when I shifted out of my old apartment I tried to move it without emptying it, with the help of some friends.
As luck would have it we managed to shift it about 12” (poetic justice?) before the end corner dug into the floorboards and the whole thing collapsed like a house of cards! Or, to be more accurate, a house of vinyl! Ah, a little joke there.
When the wood dust had settled I bought myself a new one at IKEA, and glued and screwed the old one together. I then sold it online for more money than the new one cost. I didn’t have the time to do all that this time, so the long task of emptying began. I thought I might take the opportunity to perhaps weed out any records that I no longer needed.
Hah! Like that was going to happen.
My good intentions disappeared in a cloud of dust as I flicked my way through the first twenty five records … I suppose at one stage the whole lot were organised in alphabetical order, but that was about four moving house occasions ago.
This first bunch were all compilation albums of various artists, like Woodstock 1 and 2. Sadly Woodstock 1 is the local Australian version, edited to remove Country Joe and the Fish’s “Fish Cheer” track so that listeners from various religious organisations would not be offended!
Looks like they’ve lost the right to the moral high ground in the intervening 50 years, doesn’t it.
Other collections were some TV specials, like “Up in Lights ‘82”, “Go for It ‘83”, and “Bop Girls ‘83” from K-Tel. Sadly this one was sold under false pretenses, since it had no tracks from our original Bop Girl Pat Wilson.
The trouble with the TV special albums was that in order to fit a lot of tracks on, they often were shortened, and/or lacking much bottom end since low frequencies needed more track space and bigger grooves. Once again you got what you paid for – or not, as the case may be.
I probably picked up these from Sunday markets for three fifths of sweet f.a., just to have a particular track. Or they might have been stock left over from Dunk’s Disks record shop.
Others are collections of the same artist from early to late, such as The Shadows 20 Golden Greats, Cliff’s Hit Album, The Kinks Greatest Hits, etc. Some good, and others too embarrassing to mention.
The late Glen Campbell would often say that he was the 12-string guitarist on the Rooftop Singers massive hit record “Walk Right In”. Sadly he may have been mistaken, because the last time I was in New York (always wanted to put that in a story) I managed to buy a copy of the original LP of the same name at the Hell’s Kitchen market.
The album lists all the players on the rear cover, and he ain’t one of them.
As I slowly flicked through the albums, I thought ‘Isn’t it great that I have this tangible record – no pun intended – of all the music I’ve ever liked.’ Sure it’s a real pain in the bum having to bundle it all up and take it with me every time I ‘ve shifted house, but it’s there whenever I want to play some tracks, or settle an argument over who played what, or even just look at the cover.
Compare that to the Millenials, who carry all their music on a memory stick full of MP3s or on their phone. Sure it’s convenient, but phones break with monotonous regularity, and memory sticks fall out of your pockets and then that’s it. All your music is gone. It’s OK because of course you’ve backed it up …Not!
Now I’m not planning on starting an argument over the quality of todays music, but there’s very little of it that I would actually buy if it was available on vinyl.
CX Magazine – May 2019 Entertainment technology news and issues for Australia and New Zealand – in print and free online www.cxnetwork.com.au
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