16.5.16

More thoughts on Vinyl



Here are two articles that explore similar terrain to my thoughts on vinyl.

Firstly Stephen Thomas Erlewine who, along with Richie Unterburger, Thom Jurek, Andy Kelman and Ned Raggett I often find myself reading at the useful database of Allmusic. I always think that the grandly-monikered Erlewine sounds like he must be a Southern gentleman. He writes excellently at Pitchfork on the death of the greatest hits compilation and the reissue at Pitchfork. Really what he is bemoaning, like me, is the death of the curated compilation because, as he points out, there is no shortage of "straight" remastered reissues of famous old titles. I do think that this energy has relocated to places like Mixcloud or Spotify playlists - but that's rather like saying that quality music journalism migrated to the blogs. By avoiding the hurdle that came with proper publishing: the underlying demand for properly-researched journalism and the need to deal with irritating editors - blogging weakened the form. Likewise it's easy to cobble together a bunch of tracks but there is none of the requirements of proper compiling. No respect towards original artwork; studio, recording and label information is nonexistent; and, woops, no-one gets paid.

Secondly Tim Jonze at The Guardian who sells all his CDs just as I'm starting to buy them. Lol. The fascinating thing about this column though is the excellent comments in its wake. Many people demurring. It seems, in the first case, that once people are well and truly on the hook, that Spotify and the other streaming services will start to crank up the prices. Think - you might not even be able to download mp3s in the near future - or at least not cheaply. Many people, like me it seems, are disenchanted by the vibes and the listening experience afforded by streaming. Many people pointing to the cycle that affected vinyl in the 90s when everyone was offloading it as cheaply as they could. Saying that that will also affect the CD - which in due course, like vinyl, will become valued. Many people pointing out that it has never been cheaper to get a bunch of great music on CD for very little money. Rip it to FLAC some of them say.