The Pride in Owning Vinyl Records
For vinyl lovers, we’re constantly asked by those that haven’t entirely caught onto the craze about our appreciation for vinyl records. Whether those asking the question know it or not, the answers are quite simple and are pretty much always the same no matter who you ask. You might discuss the warmer sound, better sound quality, the nostalgia, the album artwork, tactile experience, and the process of placing it on a turntable and hearing it through an entire system.
Although these answers are all perfectly accurate, and I agree that they are a massive part of why I enjoy listening and shopping for vinyl, there is one answer I rarely hear people mention. Commonly left out of the conversation is the pride in ownership that occurs with owning vinyl records.
The Faults in the Advancement of Technology
As times change and generations grow older, so do people’s views. Views about politics, society, quality of life, etc. These are all areas of which it’s perfectly normal and healthy to exercise personal opinions on a subject. However, with the advancement in technological innovation, pride in ownership is no longer what it once was musically.
Let’s talk about cars for a second. How often do you see someone in your neighborhood polishing their vehicle? I would argue hardly ever. People used to talk about America’s love affair with their cars. Back in the glory days of the automotive industry, people were in love with their slick and shiny vehicles. They caressed them all the time, but now you can hardly get anyone to vacuum them.
The Benefits of Inconvenience with Music
Back then, there was a greater sense of pride in the cars they owned because there was individuality among them all. Now they basically all look the same inside and out, function with the help of a computer, and can be driven off the lot without having to buy it.
You can just lease a car you like at the time, and in a few months and payments later, trade it back for a newer model. Sure it’s convenient and may even boost your ego knowing you’re driving the latest car on the road, but where’s the pride in that? Well, this is similar to digital streaming platforms.
Just like when you lease a vehicle, you don’t own the music. You’re paying X amount of dollars every month to renew your subscription so you can keep those songs on your playlists and have access to new songs by your favorite artists as they come out. When you really think about it, there’s the little personality behind a playlist you create. Yes, there’s the personality behind the songs you add to the playlist.
Still, the playlist itself just becomes a dumping zone because it’s so easy to just add a song to it anytime, anywhere, without thought. And that’s great! But this isn’t about convenience. It’s about genuinely loving, appreciating, and growing your music collection in the most honest and hard-earned way possible. And that is through the purchase of vinyl records.
Why I Love Vinyl Records
That’s what I love most about the physical component. When I enter a record store knowing how many records I can afford that day, the task needs to be well thought out so that I’m not blowing money, yet I still leave with what I genuinely want to buy. And when I leave that record store with new vinyl, I’m in love with knowing that I own that record now. It’s mine, bought with the money that I earned. And then I get home, open it up, take the record out, admire it’s slick and shiny look (like a new car), place it on MY turntable, turn on MY receiver, and enjoy MY new record through MY speakers.
Although some might read this and sense some arrogance, that’s because they have confused it with my pride in loving what I own. That is why I love collecting vinyl.