Monday, June 02, 2008

Don't throw away that turntable just yet...

I'm in "grumpy old woman" mode tonight.

Last week Woolworths announced that they will no longer be selling CD singles. Now I've never been a fan of the CD single - they were far too overpriced and I'd prefer to wait for that artist's album (or the next 'Now'-type compilation). However, there are many people out there who do like them, and once again the humble record buyer is being dictated to by "the market", in the same way that they decided that we should throw away our turntables and vinyl records once the shops became full of CDs, will those same CDs become obsolete now that "downloading is the way to go"? And before you ask, I'm not anti-downloading by any means, far from it, but the customer should be allowed to choose how we want to listen to our music.

But there is some hope. Whilst shopping in "the big city" yesterday, one smaller record store just brought back so many memories. Among the CDs and DVDs, there they were. Vinyl albums. Just like the ones I used to buy all those years ago, before I was dragged kicking and screaming into the compact disc era. I didn't get rid of any of my vinyl though: it's still here at home with me, and I've had the same hi-fi system - with turntable - since 1994.

Whether it's a reaction to downloading, or maybe the arrival of those MP3-turntables, there's a renewed interest in vinyl, and many bands are also choosing to release 7"-only singles.

For a generation (or two) of music fans, this may be a quaint novelty, but for anyone, say, 35 years old or over, "the vinyl years" were very special indeed - a time when buying an album was a very special experience. And can you really say the same about downloading a few songs off the internet to play on your tinny little mobile phone speaker?

Rant over :))

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