Music ain’t dead

Needle on record spinningI love Spotify. I quite like being able to amaze older relatives, and the less technically savvy with being able to locate any song on the planet (other than any produced by Taylor Swift because her record label aren’t quite down with the kids yet) and calling it upon my overly complicated TV-laptop-surround sound based music system in my living room or on my mobile. However…

A couple of days ago, I inherited an LP player. Between us, Mandy and I have built quite the record collection by means of our parents combined, and it’s been something we’ve wanted for ages. After not having the time for the last few days, I am now sitting here listening to Albatross by Fleetwood Mac on a somewhat knackered 33 and a third. And it is exquisite. I’m struggling to comprehend why it’s better; is it that I have to select the size of the record followed by the RPM by which it should be played, is it because I’m obliged to listen to the songs in the order in which they were intended to be listened, is it because the thing hiss and pops of its own accord? I don’t know, it just sounds amazing. I’m sat here with a rather nice Spanish Rioja like I’m hearing music on my dad’s CD player for the first time circa 1994.

The music sounds fuller and richer, whereas MP3 just seems to have that tinny disposable disposition. A guy in a charity shop once told me it’s to do with the sound waves being rounded rather than squared off like they are in digital form. Lord known, he was probably talking tosh, but I’m sat genuinely reeling at what I’ve been missing out on.

I’m now listening to Bye Bye Baby by The Bay City Rollers, and it’s struck me what makes this special. Each record has its own personality; it ages like a fine wine until it eventually becomes unplayable (much like the said wine will become undrinkable) but the journey along the way has made it seem like an old friend. If a song comes on an album, and I don’t like it, I could faff with the arm until I find the grove of the next song, but then I find myself sitting here ploughing through until I eventually see what the artist was trying to tell me personally.

Is music dead? No, nowhere near, but it is throwaway. I bet I listen to about 70 songs per hour on Spotify, whereas writing this I’ve listened to 12. Here’s the song that inspired me to write…

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