Records are not like they used to be

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VideoGameCritic
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Records are not like they used to be

Postby VideoGameCritic » July 19th, 2020, 12:11 pm

Until recently I've puzzled at the appeal of vinyl records. After all, I had them as a kid and they weren't that big a deal. But now I see what the buzz is about.

Record albums are different now. Let's take Garbage's album Strange Little Birds for example (highly recommended by the way). Although it's just a normal album (11 songs) it's spread over two records. It's packaged like double albums used to be, with a "gatefold" cover with lots of artwork. Each record has its own decorative sleeve with art and liner notes. You feel like you're getting a lot for your money.

These new records are thick and HEAVY - nothing like those from the 1970s. In fact, I had to look up on YouTube the proper way of handling them because they can be downright unwieldy to take out and put back in their sleeves.

The 11 songs are spread out over three sides, which is now common. I thought the fourth side was empty, but upon further inspection I discovered a bonus track on there. In addition, etched in the record below the bonus track (yes, in the black part) are images of leopards running. Pretty wild! Kind of like finding an Easter egg in a video game.

Finally, listening to a record on vinyl is a superior experience. In the past I've listened to this album in the car, at work, on a computer, etc. I always liked it but it kind of washed over me. When you listen to vinyl it's usually in the ideal environment (quiet, no distractions) so you get the whole experience. For example, in the track Night Drive Loneliness I could hear a lot of layers I never noticed before, giving the song a haunting quality. I have a whole new appreciation for this album.

Thoughts?

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Retro STrife
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Re: Records are not like they used to be

Postby Retro STrife » July 19th, 2020, 12:48 pm

I'm always so torn about whether to buy a new or old version of a record. My "video game collector" side says obviously I want that 1980s version of the record.. it's more desirable/more nostalgic/more cool to have the original than the re-release. And then my "normal human" side says obviously I want a nice shiny new version that isn't all mucked up by 30 years of prior owners. So far I've tended to gravitate toward the originals if the price is comparable, but I'm slowly being converted to go new. What do others prefer?

And then purely in terms of audio quality, I wonder what audiophiles prefer... I sometimes worry that the re-release might be produced from a digital source, which is almost always going to be lower quality than an original that was recorded in analog. I don't know if that's a legitimate worry or not.

Of course, for some of the 90s and newer albums, they're being recorded on vinyl for the first time. It's nice to have them in that form, although I wonder if almost all of those come from a digital source.

To me, it's been a little hit and miss in terms of the packaging. Just this week, I received new versions of "Kind of Blue" (with very basic packaging) and "Sgt's Pepper's" (with very impressive packaging).

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Re: Records are not like they used to be

Postby VideoGameCritic » July 19th, 2020, 1:38 pm

As for Kind of Blue (as you meant, clearly) they actually recreated the original 1959 packaging, and there's something to be said for that. Of course it came with a modern, heavy record.


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