Amy – Born in the early eighties, I was a card-carrying member of the mixtape generation, and vinyl was always just something my Dad had. Cabinets and crates of monochrome gatefolds holding the works of the classical masters, and sepia-toned compilations by The King’s Singers or the Black Dyke Mills Band. It only now occurs to me, with no little shame, that the whole concept of rock music on vinyl is a realisation that came to me only in the last ten years or so. Certainly I have no experience of poring over large format artwork, no childhood memories of putting needle to groove.
And yet, a few months ago I purchased my first two vinyl albums from a market – a dusty Jethro Tull and an equally worn Leonard Cohen. To my surprise, buying them gave me the same thrill as seeking out an exciting secondhand book, or finding a great vintage coat, like making a tiny piece of history live again. Once we’d got them home and dusted off the record player, I found that the sheer analogue physicality of handling a 12″ album gives it a sense of reliability; more solidly satisfactory than digital formats. Listening to the hiss and crackle made me feel I could connect to the music in a more genuine and immediate way than if I had selected a CD track or loaded a digital playlist. However, declaring one or other format to be superior seems futile, like comparing the typewriter and the touchscreen, or a stately old Morgan with a zippy new Toyota. Digital is efficient but vinyl is evergreen. My foray into the vinyl realm has, I’m certain, only just begun.