Break on Through
Records spin back into fashion
Published: Monday, November 5, 2001
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
How cool would it be to get a CD for three dollars? Well, it's possible, if you stretch the CD out to about 12 inches wide and make it out of a substance that a needle can read. Yes, we're talking about used records, and they're the best deal in the music to-day.
All you need is a record player, and they aren't that hard to find. Try your parents' basement or a thrift shop and you can get one for next to nothing. And there's nothing like experiencing a throwback to a culture that thrived more than 50 years ago.
Save for a little static, records play cleanly. And who doesn't like that static, which reminds us of times past? It was a time when people crowded around the record player to hear the latest hit. It was a time when a new LP meant great excitement in a household.
Some newer bands, such as Pearl Jam and R.E.M., continue to put out records to go with their CDs. Obviously, they don't sell as well as CDs, but it's a treat when bands put out albums not just on disc but on vinyl as well. Pearl Jam even wrote a song about records, called "Spin the Black Circle." The song describes the simple process of putting on a record and the pleasure of "spinning it round."
High Fidelity is an ideal book and movie for record lovers. It is about a record-store owner who loses his girlfriend. Much of the movie takes place in the record store and is an ode to records. It is a record lover's treat to see a movie that glorifies records. The movie should make anyone want to go out and start a record collection.
As shown in High Fidelity, old and rare records can get expensive. But at used record stores, they can also go for as low as a dollar for good ones. Even classic records of good quality can be purchased for just a few bucks. A recently released album might be better purchased on CD, but a classic album should be listened to like it was when it was released. There's nothing like spinning an old Bob Dylan record to get a blast from the past but also to hear how older songs still have relevance today.
Records are certainly not going to rule the music industry like they did in their glorious past, but it is comforting to know that they are also not going to die out anytime soon. They're just too nostalgic and they hold up well after decades and decades of use and storage. Whether they are bought to crank up loud, spin softly or just have as collectors' items, records should be treasured.