I’m not a collector of vinyl. I’m a music lover. And I don’t necessarily think that vinyl has a better sound than CDs. It’s just the experience with vinyl is wholly different: the huge cover art, the steps that must be taken to play, the fact that it’s easier to put the needle down and let it play rather than skip from song to song to song.
Also…some albums are just vinyl albums, both sonically and literally. They were meant to be heard on vinyl. Or…they are only available on vinyl.
There are some albums I would (blank) to own. I say blank because my first thought was ‘kill’ but…I’m not a very violent person, and I’d rather this blog not be used in a criminal case in the future. So, you can fill in your own ‘horrible thing I’d do’ verb. ‘Eat bitter melon.’ ‘Listen to an economist discuss his most recent theory.’ ‘Sleep with a lady.’ (…not that there’s anything wrong with ladies…I just prefer dudes…)
VYTO B – TRICENTENNIAL 2076
Vyto is number one on my list because it’s rare, obscure, and least likely to happen. There is one teasing webpage that comes up each time I search for this album on vinyl, a sale that happened awhile back, where a collector bought a copy for over $300 that also came with a note (written by Vyto, I believe to a radio station, and signed by Vyto as well). I’ve seen one other online…$200…but the first song on each side skips.
This album caught my attention because of its simple complexity: one man, accompanied by guitar or piano, singing songs that take us through a future laid out by the first track. Each song expands on a line from the title track. The melodies are quirky and memorable. The sound is unlike anything I’ve ever heard.
This is as much a fanboy wish as anything else: I became an instant fan of this album. Now I need it. It’s something I want on my shelf before it’s too late, and all copies have drifted into obscurity.
ANY SPARKLEHORSE ALBUM
I want them. Nay…NEED them. Especially ‘Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot’ and ‘Good Morning, Spider.’
Sparklehorse is my biggest influence…my Beatles, my Radiohead, my life experience, my independence. From the moment I ‘actually’ discovered who I was (a road trip to Maryland to visit a friend I’d met on the internet) to the moment I genuinely set forth on a career in music (finishing school work one day, and finding out Mark Linkous, the sole member of Sparklehorse, had died), Sparklehorse has been there and still is.
I need that big artwork, the ritual of dropping the needle, the restriction of the experience that sits me down and stops what I’m doing and makes me listen…really listen…to the album as a whole.
BARNES AND BARNES – FISH HEADS 45
When I was a kid I think I broke my brother’s copy of this. Or maybe I think I did because it was this musical memory of mine: a funny, quirky song that my brother would sing to me. I remember him coming up to me with the 45, in two pieces, and singing ‘No-More-Fish-Heads.’
I wanna buy it and give it to him.
DR. JOHN – GRIS GRIS
This album hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday. I used to listen to it when I was REALLY young thanks to my friend Jason Fraser. Yes…as a child I used to listen to an obscure New Orleans voodoo jazz album.
This one is sonically something that NEEDS vinyl. It’s how I heard it first, and then a cassette copy of the vinyl. I’ve heard a clean version on Rdio and although it still has it’s gris gris power it lacks something that only a needle on vinyl can deliver.
I’ve been pretty lucky. I’ve managed to get some copies of vinyl that I desperately needed. Finding a copy of Renaldo and the Loaf was a victory. I have Tiffany’s albums on vinyl…DON’T JUDGE! For new music, I own Neon Indian’s album on a double vinyl though currently have no turntable to play it.
Owning Peter Hammill’s ‘A Black Box’ ensured that I could hear the entirety of ‘Flight’ the way it should be heard.
They are just ‘things,’ but fleeting things that can be there one moment, and gone the next. Although the internet has made it easier to rescue and distribute obscure albums that doesn’t mean everything will survive. You can only be sure you have your music if you have it in your possession…
…what if you replace your entire collection on Spotify and then Spotify goes out of business?
…or if your computer dies and you lose the entire collection.
Sure, a house fire would do the trick on a vinyl collection, but my computer has broken down more often then my house has caught fire.
And there’s something lost in the process when you throw a thousand songs in an MP3 player and skip through. I’ve noticed some drastic changes: I don’t know the names of songs as well as I used to, I don’t remember lyrics of entire albums like I used to, and worse of all…I spend more time staring at text trying to figure out what I want to listen to than I ever have.
That’s why I’d (blank) for some of these albums on vinyl. Some music is meant to be different, stand apart, and have a ritual. But to hold the ritual you first need the music.
Are there any albums you would (blank) for? What are they? Have you ever been so close but so far?? Tell me!!
Find me on Twitter @Potoroo where I hang out most! Chat me up, I’m happy to hear from you. And if you have music you want me to hear, please send it my way!!