So What is the (Needle) Point?

So why the hoopla? Why the fanfare? You may be asking yourself, Why should I care about vinyl records when all of the music I listen to is already in numerous other formats that offer presumably better quality? What people fail to grasp is that record collecting is more than just the experience of listening to music. It is true that music is the sole purpose of a record, and a quality record can soothe or excite or engage a listener in ways that are truly personal. Yet, in the experience of most record collectors I have talked to, it is as much the search for the perfect record that is as rewarding as listening to the record itself. A good bargain can be hard to come by, and the thrill of the hunt is what propels the record collectors game. Diving in and out of flea markets and garage sales with a single goal on your mind can be therapeutic. It is the same drive that propels anybody to begin a collection that they are enthusiastic about adding to. Yet at the end of the day, the record collector is unique in that he/she does not simply display his trophy like most other collectors, but instead chooses to relax and enjoy the beautiful sounds of their newest addition

And what fabulous sounds they can be. According to Charlie Scales, owner, proprietor, record obsessed manager of Hyde and Zeke’s records in Gainesville, a newly pressed record, straight from the factory and played with the proper equipment, is actually of the finest fidelity available to the average consumer. But more than that, a record gains character. It gains ticks and pops that become as much apart of the experience as the music itself. And perhaps best of all, a record forces the audience to properly explore an artists output. There is no easy way to skip to your favorite songs on a record and therefore the artists can have the satisfaction of knowing that more of their work is being heard than may otherwise have occurred. I find that after collecting and enjoying enough records that I think of my favorite sides of whole albums rather than popular singles. This is in my opinion the purest form of audience participation. Enjoying a work as whole instead of in fragments.

Ultimately, it is a personal decision whether or not records are the right way for you to listen to music. As a hobby it can be a lot of fun. It is not expensive and the thrill of finding that perfect record among piles junk simply cannot compare to anything else. Besides, records are fading out of existence, and it is important to preserve the past. So get out there and star stockpilling because who know when it will allbe gone. Just remember, in the end, it is really all about the music.

Record Reactivated