An LPs Worth of Tunes

Music has come such a long way in my lifetime. When I was young, I actually knew someone who had a victrola and we would sit and listen to those old records through the flower shaped funnel that came off the top. Man was it cool! 

I grew up in the age of vinyl – 45s when I was younger and then on to albums as I hit my teenage years. Some complain about the sound quality of vinyl, but personally I love it. I even have a couple picture discs, where artwork was done right in the vinyl itself. At one point, I think I even had some 78s back in the day. And who wasn’t excited to open the album cover to maybe find a poster included or special dust jacket information and pictures.  

Then came 8 track tapes. I was never a big fan, but they were portable and you could listen to them in your car. In the late 80s I bought a beautiful dark blue 1973 Grand Am – still one of my favorite cars that I’ve owned in my lifetime. The car had its original 8-track player in the dash…and it worked!! A friend gave me a whole box of 8-trtacks that he had and I carried those with me everywhere I drove. Friends from work would ask if they could go to lunch with me so we could ride in the car and listen to those tapes. Fun memories! 

Then came cassettes, then CDs and now digital. All had their points of improvement over the previous option and we couldn’t wait to try them all as they hit the market. Over the years we’ve built up quite a collection. We still have some music on cassette or vinyl that never made its way onto the newer mediums, and we’ve continued to add to our collection of CDs and an ever-growing collection of digital music that graces my iPod.  

Our music collection is pretty good size and well rounded, in terms of musical tastes – though I think you would be hard-pressed to find much rap or old-time country in our home! Rock, pop, grunge, metal, new country, gospel, classical, blues, jazz, soul – heck even some old dance, crooner and 50s thrown in for good measure! 

So when we went to replace our beloved stereo equipment, we were sad to learn that some items were not as easy to get as others. Amp, tuner – check! Single deck CD player – because how can anyone know what they want to listen to next until what they are listening to now is done?? – harder, but check! Cassette deck – much more difficult, and still on our list of needs, although I did score a cassette player that records to MP3 so you can burn to a CD. Not the same, but useful in some cases! 

Then this week, we broke down and purchased a new turntable. Some would wonder why we wasted the money but those old albums, even with a little crackle here and there – well you just can’t get the same quality and richness of sound sometimes! Call us old-fashioned, but we love it! 

The hubby went down to our favorite stereo shop and received an education on today’s turntable options. Boy, things have come a long way from my little “suitcase” record player that I listed to Shaun Cassidy records on. (EEK) They reviewed the pros and cons, and prices, and he settled into a mid-range unit with great sound quality. Home came the unit, the setup was quickly completed and we were soon christening that new turntable with some wonderful old albums that we hadn’t listened to in many years! Hubby even broke out the headphones that my Mom had gotten him for Christmas many moons ago – and we laughed about how much we’ve missed not using them more often! 

I still love my CDs and digital music for their portability – but give me a vinyl record any day of the week and I know it will be a joy to listen to! I think that a visit to the local vinyl shop is going to be added to my agenda of things to do on a long weekend! Can’t wait to see what I come home with!

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