Saturday, 19 June 2010

When The Needle Hits The Record

I bought A track the other yesterday, The Beautiful Game By Billy Franks. It was brought to my attention by Facebook it was for charity and I like Billy Franks so I did it, one click to i-tunes another to download and it was done, sitting in my i-tunes library waiting for me to play it, and that's the point I haven't listened to it yet. The track isn't significant, I have 100's of tracks I haven't listened to, I'll get round to it eventually but I sometimes wish we were back in my teenage years when music wasn't as easy to access.

When I was first getting into music we only had 2 formats, vinyl that came in 45 and 33RPM versions single and album and cassettes, 8 tracks had died and CD's were a good few years away. I still remember the excitement of the weekend approaching, when you could travel to your nearest city or town to buy your single of choice. Supermarkets didn't stock music in those days it was all about the record store small or big, or maybe within a department store but I lived for the moment of approaching the sales counter and asking for my choice of single, would they have it? what would the b-side be? Would it have a picture sleeve? All things I would ask myself a hundred times on the bus. The ride back home would be more exciting looking at the purchase as the tension mounted before you could get it home and eventually play the song. In those days we played the b-sides as well over and over ago. I remember buying Dave's On The Road Again by Manfred's Manns Earth Band and being totally transfixed by the B-side California, I recently downloaded both tracks and have to say I still love the B-side. Picture sleeve were limited in order to get people to buy the single quickly and get it in the charts and this was followed by coloured vinyl, picture discs and and then bizarre shaped picture discs and then 12 inch singles in all formats.

My world went insane with my first 12 inch single was Airport by The Motors it didn't have a picture sleeve but it was blue vinyl, I think I looked at it for days in wonderment. Albums weren't bought as often however you could multiple the excitement by 10 for the purchase of an album, because of the cost it was really important to get this purchase right but there was so much more to look at, gatefold sleeves (sometimes) lyrics (rarely) but even the front and back of the album cover was enough to keep you happy. Truthfully you wouldn't need a lyric sheet as you would listen to the album so many times, you would know the lyrics within 2 days anyway.

So were I'm I going with this, I'm not really sure I love the fact that music is so accessible now, I watch a show on TV here a song that I like use my phone and Shazam to determine who it is and within a couple of minutes have looked up the artist, listened to a taster and then downloaded the album within 5 minutes, and that can be as exciting as the bus ride home after purchasing a single but I sometimes wish for the innocence and exciting of limitations of youth.


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