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Analog And Digital

Observations On And By Feelings For My Feelings For Vinyl Aand Digital Music Formats

By Mike Singleton - MikeydredPublished 4 months ago 3 min read
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Back Cover Of The Suicide Album

Introduction

I've been seeing the Marc Jacobs advert for "Daisy" or something, and the soundtrack uses "Cheree" from the debut album by the band Suicide's debut album from 1977.

Suicide was an American musical duo composed of vocalist Alan Vega and instrumentalist Martin Rev, intermittently active between 1970 and 2016, but when I heard the album on John Peel I bought it immediately.

I have it on CD but when I saw the advert I wanted to get it again on vinyl, and then started wondering why I wanted it.

My Vinyl Desire

I have a couple of hundred albums and singles on vinyl and know that I don't need any more. Just because we don't need something doesn't mean we still don't want more.

I usually buy vinyl for both the presentation and the music. One of the problems with new vinyl is that it's either coloured vinyl or a picture disc and then that's it. One of the problems is that often picture discs result in worse sound production, but if they are interesting I will still buy them. This is one of the many pieces I have written about music presentation.

I started thinking that digital music is just convenient, even with CDs. Vinyl packaging used to be often as much about the presentation as the music.

For Jethro Tull's "Thick As The Brick" the presentation was a full broadsheet newspaper that the band wrote, and that took more effort than actually making the album itself.

So the reason I decided I wanted the Suicide album is because the vinyl gives you a closer physical connection to the music.

When you have a vinyl album, it's not a case of just pressing a button. You have to take the album out of the sleeve taking care as you place the album on the turntable. Then you select the speed, either 45rpm for singles or 33rpm for albums and then set the album playing either automatically or by dropping the needle into the groove, before listening to the music contained in those vinyl grooves.

I use YouTube to share music here but there is no personal connection there, it is just an easy way to share music with my Vocal audience, but like all streaming services, it is very impersonal, just convenient. All digital formats are similar, although CD can sometimes be interestingly presented and there are some examples in this story here.

The thing is that vinyl can give you so much more than just the music. When you are reading through the text on the album cover or enjoy the pictures you do grow closer to the artefact in a way that cannot happen with digital music.

Not long ago I finally bought a cassette (often called musicassettes) from the Beehive in Alnwick because my RPM record player set up also has a cassette player. Cassettes were portable and allowed the creation of mixtapes to swap with friends, but the size of a cassette case doesn't allow for to0 many extras to be added to the product.

Conclusion

So although I feel my vinyl collection is complete, I still like buying more, especially if the album cover is interesting. So my collection will continue to grow.

The Suicide vinyl album has been ordered and I will probably share some of it on my Instagram channel when it arrives at my house. Obviously, it won't fit through my letter box.

I do like the connection I feel with my vinyl records and some people complain that vinyl has surface noise where digital doesn't. John Peel's response to this was:

"Life has surface noise mate"

And I have got to agree with those words.

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About the Creator

Mike Singleton - Mikeydred

Weaver of Tales, Poems, Music & Love

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Comments (2)

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  • Zara Blume4 months ago

    Mike, this was so wonderfully written! I’ve never been able to put into words why I prefer albums over streaming music, but you did it for me. I also prefer physical copies of books over ebooks. There’s something special about holding a tangible piece of art in your hands. And thank you for introducing me to that song. I hadn’t heard it before, but it’s so good! 🤍🎶

  • The surface noise adds warmth & atmosphere to the music, something frequently used to great advantage in cinema. So much gets communicated with such a simple sound of vinyl popcorn.

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