What a topic, but it made me wonder.
I was reading something on NPR and there was a link to a blog called “My Husband’s Stupid Record Collection” http://alltherecords.tumblr.com/. I do not know the author and am not promoting the site, but the subject is interesting. I read a few of the posts and got a good chuckle. Though many of the topics were remakes or reissues of some of mine, it started me thinking. For I too have a husband’s stupid record collection.
I started purchasing vinyl around the time of the British invasion. Records started popping up everywhere and the selections were repetitive at best. I found a source to order overseas and had boxes delivered to my front door with the ‘European’ versions on 45 and LP that would not be available in my area for years.
Yes, I am talking vinyl. Back in the day when boys had their electronic toys and the toys were stereos. Amplifier, turntables, speakers and lots of wire were compared like fast cars and hot girlfriends.
As the distributors grew, every week was a trip to the local record establishment to flip through the piles of albums. Sometimes a cover would entice with an unusual graphic or photo and sometimes a new arrival of the lasted issue from a favorite band was gathered up and cherished until each note could be heard and shared with others. If the radio DJ or one of your friends recommended a purchased, another trip to the supplier was like an addiction.
I didn’t fall for the consumption as some of my friends who would purchase every possible version of a particular song or group. Perhaps they are valuable now (I do not check eBay for this stuff) or maybe they are just cardboard sleeves holding a paper wrapper around a circle of processed oil with grooves. Still I bought my share.
And every time I moved, I packed up all the records and lugged them up and down steps to have them close to me. I also volunteered to lug everyone else’s record collection back and forth as they moved. Other than a suitcase full of clothing and a few guitars, these boxes of records followed me from place to place. They defined me.
After the years, I had assisted the GNP by purchasing probably a couple of thousands of these music reproductions. My friends would come over and flip through the collection and we would sample the songs and enjoy the artwork and read the linear notes. Like books on a shelf, they just sat there until someone choice one to spin on the turntable. When my wife moved in she had to accept her husband’s stupid record collection along with my dirty socks and snoring.
A few years ago I decided to play every album I had accumulated over the years. It would be like trying to read every book in the library. It is not a bad exercise to find out what ‘really interest and last’ and what was just a judgmental momentary lapse of a taste. On my blog I posted some of my results. http://nimrodstudios.blogspot.com/2011/04/moving-music.html
Some still last the test of time and some were easily placed in the recycle bin. It is all about personal taste, but taste change. Some have maybe become historical through the media and others faded to lack of play, but when you listen to them so many years later, some still make your foot tap.
This is the same decision that future generations will have to decide no matter what the media is. My vinyl collection has dwindled to the ones that were and are important to the soundtrack of my life. I’ve made mash-ups and mixed tapes, but to sit down and place the black vinyl on the turntable then lean back and enjoy the speakers roar while reading silly promotional stuff on the 10”x10” covers brings such joy.
And after a half dozen of songs the needle will rise and ask for approval to flip the vinyl over and start again. Much like turning a page of a fine read.