Just yesterday, The New York Times ran a piece declaring that vinyl is back. Once a casualty of the CD, vinyl records are now selling at a steady clip, and not just to nostalgic sexagenarians. Younger music fans are embracing old-school records, frankly because they deliver a better sound than compressed MP3s. When Daft Punk released its latest album Random Access Memories last month, 19,000 vinyl copies were sold, representing about 6% of overall sales. And that may be a lowball number.
There is, of course, a nostalgic component to the vinyl revival. We fondly reminisce about the days when music had other tangible and aesthetic dimensions. Remember when you could feel the weight of the records, study the cover designs, revel in the liner notes, then slip the discs onto the turntable and watch them spin? Those memories get captured by a new photo exhibit — “World Records” — being held at Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles from June 8 to July 13. It features the work of Kai Schaefer, who has photographed over 100 classic albums on an array of turntables. Above, you’ll find a copy of Miles Davis’ jazz classic, Kind of Blue, sitting on a Rekokut B-12GH. Other favorites of ours include London Calling by The Clash on a B&O Beogram 4004, The Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street on a Dual1010, and VU’s The Velvet Underground & Nico on a Thorens TD 124II. You can visit a larger online gallery of photos here.
A Celebration of Retro Media: Vinyl, Cassettes, VHS, and Polaroid Too
Neil Young on the Travesty of MP3s
Neil Young Busts a Music Store for Selling a Bootleg CSNY Album (1971)
I don’t know how true it is, but an old friend who has been involved in the “live sound” business for bands etc for over thirty years says that if you added something like 2.5 to 3% harmonic distortion to mp3’s, you would get the same sound as on old vinyl recordings. His view is that mp3’s are much clearer and closer to the original sound within the recording studio.
I could not agree more to your old friends opinion about mp3’s,invented by the famous
Fraunhofer Institute in Germany.They made use of the masking effect in the human
hearing system in short, filter out every bit of sound your ears are not capable of
detecting anyway. This eliminates a lot of
harmonic and intermodulation distortion, creating an acceptable copy of the original recording. With the assistence
of suitable computer programs, you could
create a DTS 5.1 multichannel recording,
bringing the reproduction of the original soundstage another step closer.
With copliments, Geoff.