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Re: Why Am I Obsessed With Records?

PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:05 pm
by will vine
I suppose one of the great things about vinyl records is that they never let you down. Sure, they could get scratched and damaged, but treated right they'd always deliver a little slice of heaven on demand year after year. Of course, portable in themselves, the equipment required for them to perform was not so. They were not quite car friendly, and for that reason I will never decry the cd or cassette tape. A mate of mine did however acquire a battery operated record player and rushed to my house to demonstrate it. We sunbathed on the lawn listening to side one of Let It Bleed. We never got to side two as, stirring from our ease to investigate the slightly underwhelming sounds towards the end of the title track,we discovered that the full force of the sun had rendered this particular piece of vinyl a sort of replica of a fairground Waltzer. I don't know anyone who's successfully brought back to life a badly warped record with a warm iron and tea towels but that's what we tried.

And another thing - The vinyl record, what a design classic ! What a thing to behold in action ! It's like close up magic. I can see all the movements, I sort of get it's about a groove, a needle, and a vibration but I still can't see how it's done. There's no way it should work, no way it should deliver up such magic (mind you I speak as a man who still wonder at how marvellous it is to be able to call up someone a few streets away let alone on the other side of the world). And stereo - what's all that about then? I never really "got" stereo. My uncle had the most fabulous equipment through which he seemed to play nothing but those stereo demonstration discs (what were they called?), and sound effects records. For me, even now, it just has to be loud enough.

When you first started buying vinyl records if you did it as a youngster chances are it was always much more a voyage of discovery back then than it is now - now that we are much more well read in all these things. We probably stared at the labels and, in particular, the LP covers taking in every detail, understood and misunderstood, just sort of looking for clues; telling ourselves stories, imagining ourselves in the band, looking for some sort of sense in the printed lyrics, wondering what ffrr (full frequency range recording?) was all about. There was a whole day's work in some album covers for a bum like me.

Re: Why Am I Obsessed With Records?

PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:43 pm
by Adam Blake
Will: Totally!!

Jamie: Thank you for your kind words. You SHOULD dj with vinyl. It's much more fun (not that I've done very much of it).

Re: Why Am I Obsessed With Records?

PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:51 pm
by Janet M
the full force of the sun had rendered this particular piece of vinyl a sort of replica of a fairground Waltzer


I did that with Best of Cream in 1970 (it was a lovely summer)

Re: Why Am I Obsessed With Records?

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:55 pm
by Willy
Liking this thread. I was delighted when first I came upon a video on YT of a record being played. I mean I enjoyed the song but also just watching the record go round and round. (It's just not the same with a C.D.player)
Another thing I like doing is finding an oldie at le junk shops and refurbishing it. In order to remove the sticky finger marks, beer, dust and nicotine stains, I wash them under a warm tap(avoiding the label) using a new washing-up sponge and a drop of detergent. I then rinse and dab dry with a clean tea towel and Hey! Presto! a sometimes markedly better recording appears. Yay!

Re: Why Am I Obsessed With Records?

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:00 pm
by Chris P
Willy wrote:Another thing I like doing is finding an oldie at le junk shops and refurbishing it. In order to remove the sticky finger marks, beer, dust and nicotine stains, I wash them under a warm tap(avoiding the label) using a new washing-up sponge and a drop of detergent. I then rinse and dab dry with a clean tea towel and Hey! Presto! a sometimes markedly better recording appears. Yay!


Cool, a re-fettler! Or, as I have been advised/discovered fettling is essentially de-burring (pottery and metals), I'd say a re-finesser!

Re: Why Am I Obsessed With Records?

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:23 pm
by Willy
Tee-hee Chris, I know some might frown at my technique but I post, in part, to see if formistas have better ways of reviving old and possibly valuable vinyl.

Re: Why Am I Obsessed With Records?

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 8:08 am
by Ronald
Very nice read. I also used to have that affliction but (thank god) not anymore, I am slowly getting rid of all my lp's. Sometimes I used to wake up in the middle of the night thinking about all the albums and realising it would take years to listen to all of them. I do go to secondhand shops every now and then but never buy anything anymore.

I also gave records away or traded them, once I rather foolishly traded a whole heap of 1960s beat singles (many of those on the Decca label with the orange sleeve) for a Bob Marley double album (which I sold recently).

This affliction makes you sometimes behave unwise. Once I wanted to have an lp by a singer from Tchad (Maitre Gazonga) I knew a shop in Amsterdam which sold it. On the day I wanted to go I woke up with a terrible headache and stomach pains, I had flu, I also had a temperature, I felt completely miserable but I had to have that lp. So I showered took the tram to the station, boarded the train (one hour from Rotterdam to Amsterdam), all the way having my eyes closed to shut out the light which was painful. The shop fortunately was only a 5 minute walk from the staion, I bought the record, went back to the station and took the first train back (I must have been less than half an hour in Amsterdam). Once at home I immediately went to bed, only listening to the album after a day or 5. Later I realised I also could have waited until I felt better but you know how it is, you keep thinking about that record and you must HAVE it. I still do have that album but haven't listened to it for years.

Re: Why Am I Obsessed With Records?

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 10:36 am
by uiwangmike
Janet M wrote:
the full force of the sun had rendered this particular piece of vinyl a sort of replica of a fairground Waltzer


I did that with Best of Cream in 1970 (it was a lovely summer)

A belated (in every sense) warning.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMI5wR2P9jQ
My dad once used an Incredible String Band single as a teapot rest. It didn't sound all that different.

Re: Why Am I Obsessed With Records?

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 12:12 pm
by Adam Blake
Nice banjo playing! Very funny. Cheers!

Why be so down on the ISB? They made some lovely records (before they made all the unlistenable ones)...

Re: Why Am I Obsessed With Records?

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 12:15 pm
by will vine
Very funny.
Then there were the records, you may remember,you just weren't sure about. Is it faulty? Is it supposed to sound like that? Third Stone From The Sun on Hendrix's Are you Experienced, a story about which I posted recently, being a case in point.

Re: Why Am I Obsessed With Records?

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 12:59 pm
by Adam Blake
I discovered Hendrix's music just when all those dodgy rip-off releases were beginning to get underway. I used to look for the albums with the least tracks because I wanted the ones with the longest guitar solos. Thus I acquired the appalling "Live At The Isle Of Wight" album and the rather wonderful "In The West" live comp before I even heard "Are You Experienced?" or "Axis: Bold As Love". When I finally got around to them, and "Electric Ladyland", Hendrix achieved his still unassailable position.

Records that sounded wrong? Best example for me would be "The Faust Tapes" which was released for the price of a single (49p) in 1973. I bought one on spec, as Richard Branson knew I would, not least for the fabulous Bridget Riley cover. Getting it home, playing it on my parents stereogram, hahaha! Good thing I had been so well trained by repeated listening to The Beatles "Revolution No.9".

Looking back on it, that was a real turning point. Ian MacDonald's essay on the back cover, Bridget Riley's painting on the front, the genuinely experimental music on the record (so far from the phoney experimentalism of Prog). It all added up.

Re: Why Am I Obsessed With Records?

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 2:58 pm
by allears
This thread has made a great read and has reminded me of things I haven´t thought about in years. May I add some comments prompted by what you´ve all written ?

Adam Blake :- we also had an old wind-up for 78´s, and I used to buy ex-juke box 45´s with the centers punched out. Two of my best purchases were Memphis Tennessee and No Particular Place To Go. My B-sides-that-you-end-up-prefering are I´m Not Like Everybody Else (Kinks), Play With Fire(Stones) and, almost but not quite, You´re Welcome (Beach Boys).
P.S. Laughed out loud when I saw the name Muggsy Spanier. How do you get to have such a cool name as that ? Sadly we can no longer ask Duster Bennett - he must´ve known for sure.

kas :- track list and asking price on that Jacques Brel LP, please.


AndyM wrote: Being able to sit in my bedroom on my own, playing records, was transformative.
Same for me, AndyM ! During a summer spent clearing tables in a Plummer-Roddis cafeteria I was able to buy my own record player and a copy of Bookends. Still remember my "Rosebud" moment, sitting on the floor next to the record player listening to Simon & Garfunkel. To my credit, I didn´t actually hug the record player, ok ?

will vine wrote:I suppose one of the great things about vinyl records is that they never let you down. Sure, they could get scratched and damaged, but treated right they'd always deliver a little slice of heaven on demand year after year.

^ That may be true, but as my brother and I discovered one wet afternoon, a 45 single will crack irreparably if you flick it across the room and it hits the opposite wall at speed - but boy are they aero-dynamic !

And back to Adam again:- Is that a recommendation, or are you saying that The Faust Tapes is best left in it´s eye-catching sleeve ?

Re: Why Am I Obsessed With Records?

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 3:10 pm
by Adam Blake
allears wrote:And back to Adam again:- Is that a recommendation, or are you saying that The Faust Tapes is best left in it´s eye-catching sleeve ?


I was genuinely dumbfounded by that record. Since then I have found that Faust's first four albums continue to repay further listening, even after 40 years. It was a brilliant idea to put it out for 49p. I cannot imagine how many other people were introduced to authentically avant garde music as a result. These days, unfortunately, an original copy in the Bridget Riley sleeve would cost you a great deal more than that, but I highly recommend it, nonetheless.

And Muggsy Spanier's music was almost as cool as his name!

Re: Why Am I Obsessed With Records?

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 3:34 pm
by allears
I remember standing in a record shop considering that Faust album - before deciding that if it was that cheap it must be terrible ! Anyway, you´ve succeeded where Richard Branson failed, and convinced me to give them a listen. Luckily, I´ve been listening to a couple of Can albums recently, so hopefully I won´t be too outraged by Faust.

Re: Why Am I Obsessed With Records?

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 4:04 pm
by Adam Blake
Great stuff! Do let me know how you get on.

The first album is probably the most difficult to listen to.
The second ("So Far") is probably the easiest.
The Third ("The Faust Tapes") is probably the most interesting.
The fourth ("Faust IV") is a bit like the best of the first two.

But everything they did has a cheeky question mark hovering over it like a cloud. I'm something of a fan, as you've no doubt gathered.

Can had a much better drummer, however...