As someone a little older, vinyl doesn't seem that retro to me. My mum would pick me up from school and we would go to my nan and granddads. I would head up the stairs to one of the spare bedroom aka my room when no one stayed over. It was my own little haven, a space I could do my drawing in, make friendship bracelets when it was raining and I couldn't play in the garden. My grandad let me have one of his record players so if I couldn't find anything to watch on television -There were only four channels back than. I could flip through my mum's old records and pretend that the bed was a stage, my hair brush was my mic and that I was a rock star.
Back than I thought it was pretty lame, as girls at my school seemed to have it all watching cartoons on Sky, the latest clothing and CD'S which had just come out but now I think it was pretty cool. I had a tape player and recorder, but never used it much. Vinyl seemed cooler a little more rebellious, the art work was always interesting and a lot bigger than on cassette covers. Cassette cases were made from flimsy plastic that always broke and tapes would get caught up in the player, they just annoyed me. Of course at a later Christmas my mum bless her, got me a CD player but again it lacked the feel, the grain that a record has.
David Bowie Record: From my mum's collection // Glitter Brogues: New Look
Thankful I was lucky my mum had good taste, she managed to build a classic collection and happily gave it too me -Thanks mum. There was a few records in there I probably won't ever play sorry mum but no just no, but you know I'm sure at the time they were the 'one direction' of their day. I was gutted when my record player break years ago, and had to tuck my collection away for years. I wanted a player so badly but they were all massive and took up way too much room. I come across Crosley players, when my eye was drawn to a rug in the window of an Urban Outfitters. At first I thought they were a little hipster, but than to be honest hipsters are not all that bad anymore. If they have made vinyl hip again, than that makes them okay in my book. I knew that I had to have one, they come in a cute suitcase style and a heap of colours and patterns. Note if you want a patterned one you may have to sell a kidney, they are not cheap.
Thankful Barry my other half got me a beautiful orange one for Christmas, and so I practical jumped across the room to the cupboard to search for my box of records. A couple of people told me there awful players, but honestly they are worth every penny. I wanted to expand my collection, but records don't come cheap. I will probably save for the really important ones, that I know I won't come across easily. But before you break out your violin for me, I know that you can actual bag pretty good vinyl without the hefty price tag. So no need for a pity party here thanks. I've been thrifting my heart out down the charity shops, and managed to get a couple of albums for a £1 each. If your like me and what to thrift for vinyl here are a few tips that will make sure you get a good deal.
- Firstly will you listen to it, sometimes there is a temptation to just grab a bunch for the sake of building a bigger collection. But honestly are you really going to listen to BBC sound effect volume 26 on a Saturday night. Doubtful.
- Check the record while your there, for any cracks or deep scratches it may have been fine when they first put it on the shelf but someone may have knocked it with a bag, or their kid or secretly smashed it because they hated it and put it back. Jokes aside, you want to check, it's pretty soul destroying when you discover it at home. As someone may have put in the wrong record in the wrong sleeve, so you may think your buying Hendrix and end up with Chas and Dave. I don't know how that would ever happen, but even thinking about that makes me want to cry.
- Keep your receipt even in a charity shop you will be able to exchange, it maybe just a £1 but it will soon add up if you keep ending up with records that don't work. Also why not donate any records you don't listen to, make space for all the new gems.
- Car-boot sales and local hall sales are also a great place to find cheap records, again just make sure you check them while your there.
I wish I had a time machine just to see what it was like back in the 70s, record stores were more than just shops for young people than. They had events live bands and parties and everything was about the music. I guess films like Clock Work Orange, have given me the ideal image of what they looked like even if I know they didn't. Empire Records showed the type of stores I grew up with, anyone remember Tower Records. I spend most of the 90s in that shop, buying posters and checking out boys with friends, than waiting my turn to play the latest Playstation game. Thankful there are some amazing record stores still, there's a couple in Soho and Bricklane that I love going to (they do awesome band tees too). Sadly a lot of music shops are closing down over the west end, so many have gone already so many losing their jobs at a place that honestly you have to have passion for. I hope that vinyl does stay trendy, as it keeps it alive. I plan on building a collection that my boys can have when they are older, I can only hope they will enjoy them as much as me. Long Live vinyl I say.
I don't know if you have a record player, or are thinking about getting one but you won't regret it. Records have character, they are a thing of beauty and it doesn't have to cost you a heap to build a well rounded collection. You will get such a buzz when you discover a record you have been after for ages, as I did with my Dionne Warwicke find the other day. Yes I did put it on, sat on my bed and sung 'Walk on by' minus my hairbrush and no I'm no rock star but singing to records still makes me feel like one. Do you listen to records?