I have Spotify. I love it. Absolutely fucking love it. It’s on constantly. With the amount of music that I listen I cannot afford to buy it all so Spotify makes perfect sense. Although, last year I went out and bought a record player and a few of my favorite albums. These along with a bunch of records that my parents had in a box in their basement. What made me want to spend sometimes up to $65 on an album that I could listen to on Spotify for a monthly fee? Well, lets dig deeper into that…
First of all the sound quality is very high and is comparable to CDs or digital music. I find it kind of ridiculous that vinyl still has some of the best sound. I mean, it’s over 100 year old technology. To me they have more of a raw feel to them. You get the odd crackle but that makes it more realistic to me.
The album art is another big deal for me with vinyl records. The packaging is actually larger enough to see all of the detail and beauty of the cover, back and all the other art that comes along with it. Go to record store and take a look at Mastodon’s Blood Mountain and tell me it is not impressive. Try experiencing that with a CD cover or online. Think of the hours that was spent on some of the album art out there. It is nice to appreciate it from time to time (except Led Zeppelin III; that cover is terrible).
I guess that CDs started the era of just listening to songs as singular entitities; eventually ending up at the period where people just listen to or buy certain songs off an album. Yes, I like me a good mix tape, burnt CD or one of the 30 playlists I have on my Spotify, but I find that vinyl encourages listeners to enjoy the entire album. I find it helps me appreciate the band move and to dig deeper into every song on the album. Sometimes you find gems that you would rarely hear at a concert, on the radio or on a playlist.
The last reason is that I enjoy collections. I read a lot so I own a lot of books. I have to force myself off of Amazon sometimes because I just like adding to my collection. I could get an e-reader and save some space in my house or not have to take 6 books on vacation (I like to have a selection). I am the same way with vinyl. I like owning something that is almost like having a piece of a band I love. It brings great joy to me every time I bring out an album to listen to it.
Yes, there are some disadvantages to vinyl. It isn’t a very mobile form of music for one. I even find it a pain in the ass to bring records over to a friends place. Having to flip the record blows. How easily they get scratched, warped or broken if you are not careful blows as well. Although, in my opinion the negatives do not come close to the positives of buying vinyl records.
I guess that is why the I spend money on them.