Vinyl is on it’s way back and a recent life event might have given me the passion to start a record collection of my own.

The history

Over the past decade the digital age has really kicked into gear, significantly affecting the music industry. The rise of online streaming and music downloads has seen the decline of modern physical media such as CD’s, DVD’s and Blu-ray. Despite being more convenient for the consumer, buying music these days has lost its magic. Gone are the days where you would eagerly await your favourite bands new album and head down to your local music shop to purchase it. You couldn’t wait to get it home and hear it for the first time.

After being replaced by cassettes in the 1980’s and later CD’s in the early 90’s, vinyl was quickly forgotten about and were only found collecting dust in the cupboards of a generation of baby boomers. However, recently vinyl has made a comeback. CD’s are still by far the most popular physical medium but vinyl sales have risen steadily by roughy 1 million sales per year since 2006.

With consumers pushing for convenience and portability, digital formats were a major milestone allowing us to quickly and easily access music and take it with us wherever we go. While this was a massive step forward for the industry, there were many that felt the experience of purchasing music was a bit hollow without physically owning something. Most people are content with buying CD’s, which is fine, but there are others that prefer the certain charm that comes with buying vinyl records, especially now that convenience and portability are no longer an issue.

Where my journey began

Recently I inherited a bunch of vinyl records from my late uncle. Actually, there were quite a lot, 240 of them in fact. The majority of these were from the 70’s and 80’s. Being 28 myself, I was brought up with music in the 90’s and 2000’s and although I love music from my youth, my taste in music dates back to the 60’s. As a youngster I have vivid memories of turning on my parents radio and lying on the bed listening to tunes that they would have grown up with. I remember being fascinated with ‘Bad Moon Rising’ from Creedence Clearwater Revival and ‘Most People I Know (Think That I’m Crazy)’ by Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, sparking my interest in music from before my time.

Creedence Clearwater Revival has since become one of my favourite bands and a few years ago I was lucky enough to see frontman, John Fogerty, live at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.  Even in his late 60’s he was still amazing live but I would have given anything to see them in their hay day.

The spark

Going through the collection there is plenty of albums of bands that I love and will certainly be keeping, but as I sorted through I realised two things:

The first was that there seemed something special about vinyl records and I can see why my uncle was passionate about collecting them, but also why they are starting to make a comeback. From the oversized album art, to the interaction of playing them through a turntable. It’s enough to make me want to continue my uncles collection.

The second thing was that there is still a huge amount of music to discover from this era. There are over 90 albums that I have already picked out of bands that I love and I will certainly be enjoying for years to come but that leaves almost 150 consisting of songs and bands that I’ve never heard of or know but can’t recall their music just by looking at the album. But simply not knowing a band or their music shouldn’t mean that I should flog them off to my local op shop.

Where to from here?

After throwing on a few I quickly found that although I wasn’t familiar with certain bands, I had heard the music at some point in my life. So I’ve set myself a mission. Even though it will be time consuming, I’m determined to go through and listen to all the records before making a decision on which ones to keep.

There are plenty of arguments about vinyl and while I understand that it’s not for everyone, for the experience alone it’s hard to beat. Sure, there are more convenient ways to purchase and listen to music these days, and this won’t stop me from doing that, but why not have both?

As I go on this journey I might share some of the interesting things I find along the way but I’m sure my uncle would be proud that his collection isn’t going to waste and that his taste in music lives on in me.