Rediscovering vinyl has brought me back to music.
I decided to explore rock/prog/funk music of the 70s, just before I was buying LPs. My tastes have changed somewhat since the high school and college days, so some of this classic music to me is unknown, vaguely familiar, or never gave it a chance because it didn't have a screaming guitar solo.
Going to used record stores is now a fun and addictive treasure hunt. First stop is the "New to the Store" used bin. Afterward, hit the main racks to see if anything I've been hunting for has made it there. Finally, the cheap racks, often a buck or two per LP, just to see what jumps out. Most are garbage, but with a little perseverance (often involving kneeling on the floor) I uncover some gems. They might need a little cleaning (distilled water works great!) or have a banged up cover, but that's the risk. Flipping through these cheap bins is the real draw for me - like constantly pulling the handle on the slot machine, hoping for some sort of payout. Anything that looks interesting, somewhat familiar, and/or looks like it can play without too much trouble, I'll roll the dice for a buck or two. These random LPs are becoming the majority of my collection.
I also buy new releases and re-mastered old LPs, but much prefer to find the original releases in decent shape. I also like the ritual of pulling an LP out of the sleeve, running a brush over the side about to be played, and plopping on the couch with the cover and liner notes. And being encouraged to explore the album, listening to every song and not skip one that doesn't immediately hit me. Often I only do one side per LP before changing records, so I randomly pick side I or II.
As for the sound, it's a lot of work, can be expensive, numerous things can interfere with the sound, and it never seems to end. Yet, even though digital is cleaner, it's also somewhat sterile. I'm sure it's mostly in the head, but listening to music on vinyl *feels* more "real" than digital. I can look close and see the music on the album, and there something about that visual to emotional analog connection that's missing with digital.
My opinion: the effort and care put into something results in a greater appreciation for it. Music is worth it!
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