Tomorrow is record store day, apparently. Firstly, we don’t have record stores, we have record shops, a clue that it’s the invention of the corporate music industry and hence a way of getting mugs to part with lots of money. How? By ‘releasing’ lots of limited edition plastic discs for people to plonk on eBay and upset genuine record collectors.
Secondly, vinyl is the best way to listen to music, if 1) you have a sophisticated hi-fi system that cost over £4000, 2) You are listening to music recorded before 1982.
If you have neither of these, just download your music, it saves space, means you listen to what you want to listen to without hassle and doesn’t bugger up the planet.
Take your average old person, who may own up to 400+ vinyl LPs. They probably don’t listen 90% of them, because the music, however nostalgic, is old and shit. So do yourself a favour. Download your LPs onto a drive, flog them to some idiot collector and spend the money on a nice meal or holiday.
You see, at one time, I had over 300 long playing records. A record of my life from teenage years right through to the age of CDs. Then one day, looking in the little box room we had that needed clearing out, I thought: ‘These have been there for ages. I’ve not listened to any of them for at least 5 years.” So I gave them away. A year earlier, I’d thrown away all my cassette tapes.
It seems amazing, I thought by now I’d be mortified, but … I don’t care. Music is fluid. Now we have the internet and instant streaming, I have no need for a little disc that I have to flip through, missing all the crap tracks to get to the ones I love. What’s more, I’m not leaving any debris for my children to throw in the skip when I pass on.
I still have a chest of drawers full of CDs. Plus a couple of boxes. All kept in a cupboard. Today, I realised, I no longer have a CD player in the house. It’s nearly time to jettison them.
But, you may ask, what happens to my vast collection of music when I die, all that virtual stuff on iTunes and Spotify Premium? Do I just lose it?
Yes.Probably. But does it matter? Do my children want to inherit it?
My dad loved his music. He had hundreds of LPs. Frank Sinatra, James Last, The Mills Brothers, Mrs Mills…
Did I want to inherit all of these and listen to them on my headphones?
Your honour, I rest my case.