Welcome Back To Vinyl

I’ve not had a record player since 1989. Mine did not make the move to university when I started there, nor did it go to my parents’ new home when they moved there the same week. I would have access to a record player at their house, but by that time I was buying only CDs. But now I have a record player again. And this is why…

It all started in Autumn 2021. “Welcome to the Pleasuredome” by Frankie Goes To Hollywood was included as one of HMV’s special 100 anniversary releases… with colour vinyl. Thanks to a friend, I got my hands a copy.

But now I had nothing to play it on. I could have just kept it in its packaging. After all, as I particularly know from the work on my book Frankie Fans Say, keeping albums in an un-opened condition is a sure fire way to boost their value. I didn’t need to listen to it again on vinyl. I also have several vinyl copies of this album alone, having picked up some Japanese ones. But, I also heard so much about how listening to vinyl – not just the sound quality, but the experience – is better than listening to MP3 (I rarely listen to CDs even now).

Then came this post in a Facebook group for Frankie fans…

Well I do. Very distinctly. And I write about it in Frankie Fans Say. But this image acted as another trigger to make me think about getting a record player again. A short time later, I had a new player.

And there really was only one record to put on for the first listen.

While I didn’t have headphones as in the picture above for this first return to vinyl, I did have 5 speakers (rather than 2 very small ones back in the 1980s). I even waited until I was home alone so I could maximise the listening experience.

It does sound great. I’m not such a purist that I could claim it’s better than MP3. Also, what a 50 year old can hear is different to what I could hear back in my teenage years. But there is no doubting that the experience, when you are in the mood for losing yourself in the music rather than having it on as background (as I always do as I cannot work in silence), is much better. I’m not sure how often the vinyl will get used – after all, it’s going to mess up my iTunes stats (via Rocket Player and iSyncr on my phone) if I don’t keep track of the plays! – but it will certainly get used.

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