Death Of Vinyl & The Album Phoenix:
My partner, Michael Hodder, basically opened up ‘Musings’ as a sort of “emotional-release” when it comes to the frustrations of life in relation to music. And I think that he was right to do so, it adds to the appeal of ‘Highly Evolved’, and it’s damn well time I contributed something to it. The way I see it, these opinions are clearly personal, so I feel free, and so should you, to be entitled to an opinion, no matter how drastic. This is basically, peoples, where the arguments begin, where the comments you leave, and the words you write, start to have a bit more meaning. Full discussions can literally take place…
The heading, although a little ‘epic’, is literal. I mean it in every way. It’s happened in the past before, and it will happen again. Over and over, like “The Matrix”. Someone’s got to break that chain. With an open patent for vinyl in 1918, the door for music of the 20thcentury had been opened, and for the first time, tracks were being recorded, and so unto the world, given birth was “the album”. Since the introduction of vinyl records, the music revolution has slowly and steadily gained momentum with each passing generation.
For most of us newcomers to this “Day & Age” music can be found anywhere and everywhere, at the touch of a button. ‘Simple, quick and easy…‘ has been the motto for the 21st century, and is already having dire effects on the music industry. Mainstream music is one thing, but with albums still sitting on the shelves – downloads through the roof – the death of vinyl ends either with the ‘Boomers’ or the ‘X’. Children today are weaned on the machines of society to an extent where things are becoming purely electronic, and the physical materialistic approach towards products is dieing. Electronic music, books, the list is endless.
All in the palm of your hand, now – looking down at that eight-hundred-dollar gizmo called ‘The IPhone’.
And this is actually strange, coming from an eighteen-year-old – just another one of those ‘GenY’s’ – whose only just discovered the wonderful world of music through the ‘old-fashioned’ CD-player, amplifier, speaker set up. The way it should be played, in my eyes. There are a small few of us left, Michael Hodder included, who believe that the MP3 format for music – which removes the inaudible background sounds, allowing for music-compression and better storage – is removing the vital components that give ‘body’ to the sound. Distinction between, say, a .wma and a .mp3 on small-scale equipment, like your MP3 players, and your computers, is insignificant. Hence the boom of MP3 with its introduction into the market. But, pump that same old MP3 back into your stereo, and not even halfway on the sound-dial, you’ll be crying on your knees.
The simple shift from vinyl to the CD was obvious – vinyl was clumsy, fragile, scratched easy, and the quality could go if not taken care of. Same can be applied to the CD, it scratches, though it’s a little more durable, however its capacity to hold music at a high quality is unmatched next to vinyl. There is some effort involved when you have to flip a record over to hear the second-half of the album, next to a CD, where you bang it in, and you’ve got the same quality, minus the frustration. Vinyl-lovers still argue that the sound from records is superior to the CD, and that’s a never-ending argument for another day.
The fact remains the same: ‘GenY’ hasn’t had a connection to vinyl as it has had with the CD – some probably have no idea how to handle a record, let alone a player. Production of vinyl is already fighting a losing battle with the CD anyhow. The birth of MP3, however, does not sound an end to the hard-copy album. As long as stereo-systems exist, the album will persevere. And, with any luck, ‘GenY’ will get a slap in the face and realise the superiority of CD-quality music. Nobody goes to a concert to listen to a small MP3-player ear-bud being amplified through a mike, they go for the supreme quality of live. And if they can’t get that, then the next best thing – their CD – will have to do…
The “Death Of Vinyl” production might ensue, and through a small few others, might persist a little, but it is finished in concern with mainstream music, and private companies. For the odd album, perhaps for a laugh, but the days are long since over where the shelves are full of records. And as for that “Album Phoenix”, it’ll boom back, once MP3 burns and dies miserably, and out from the ashes, albums will fly free.
The pessimist, The Enantiomorphic God