For quite a few years now I haven’t had a record player. I switched to CD’s when that became popular and the last years I’ve depended on streaming services such as Spotify and YouTube to provide me with music. Don’t get me wrong, Spotify is a very convenient and user-friendly media especially when you are on the move but, to be honest, there’s nothing quite like dropping the needle on your favorite records. The physical experience of analog audio is truly magical.
As a wrote in a previous post (“Record Store Day:…”) there has been a flush of excitement around vinyl in the gramophone market in last five years. RSD actively promote the unique culture around independently owned record stores all over the world and their initiative combined with an overall revival of the retro style have increased sales and there’s a renewed interest for vinyl records.
Your favorite record’s on the turntable
I drop the needle and pray
This has also lead to increased sales of record players. Manufacturers are aiming for more flexible forms of listening. There is a tendency across the hi-fi industry towards all-in-one models, where amplifiers, bluetooth and such are packed into turntable chassis.
The record player I had for Christmas (an Argon TT) is a simple, ready to go, solid and elegant record player with built-in RIAA amplifiers ready to be connected to any set of speakers. I have connected it to my Marshall Stanmore Speaker and now I’m ready to go through my collection of vinyls that have been gathering dust for too many years.
Funny thing about albums; whether it’s the art, the story, or the posters and photos inside, there are many small details that make an album unique. Don’t miss my entry “The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle (Epic Album Covers)” to learn more about album covers that I find are like art.
The first ever Springsteen vinyl album I bought was Born in the USA. It was a massive commercial success with seven top-10 singles and it was my “gateway drug” to Springsteen fandom. The first song that caught my attention was No Surrender (there’s a blogpost about that too 😇). However, my other reason for buying the album was its cover: the most iconic arse in rock’n’roll.
The reason I bought the Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes’ vinyl album Better Days, (released in 1991) was mainly because of the special guests: Springsteen, Bon Jovi and Steven Van Zandt (who also produced the album). The liner notes are accompanied by photos of for example Max Weinberg, Garry Tallent and Steven Van Zandt. It’s a beautiful album on which toasts are raised to old times and lost friends, and Southside, Van Zandt and Springsteen create songs about the old days and the men they’ve become since.
Within just over a year after Thriller was released in 1982 it became the world’s best-selling album. However, the reason I bought the album was the 14 minutes long music video, which has been credited for transforming music videos into a serious art form. In the video Jackson and his girlfriend are confronted by zombies while walking home from a cinema. Jackson becomes a zombie and performs a dance routine with a horde of the undead.
Jackson’s red jacket and the zombie dance have had a lasting impact on popular culture. Fans worldwide still re-enact the zombie dance.
The 1985 album We Are the World is a charity recording for famine reliefs efforts in Ethiopia. It was recorded by the supergroup USA (United Support of Artists) for Africa selling more than 20 million copies and raising over 63 million dollars. The song was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and more than 40 musicians participated including for example Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick, Tina Turner, Cyndi Lauper and Bruce Springsteen. In addition to the title track the album includes nine previously unreleased songs by donating artists, for example Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s rendition of Jimmy Cliff’s Trapped.
It’s essentially an epic, star-studded ever- entertaining song/album that everyone listened to and that I needed to own at that time.
As you may have noticed all the albums I’ve mentioned are from the late 80’s/early 90’s and that’s the time period when my vinyl collection was formed. The last Springsteen vinyls I bought were Human Touch and Lucky Town.
It’s time now to update my vinyl collection with essential albums that I’ve missed. Which albums do YOU suggest I buy?
Note: the title and the quote in this entry is from the song Mary’s Place by Bruce Springsteen