One of the changes for the new year was my weird impulse decision to buy a record player for my office. It’s certainly not one of the expensive high-tech (or even mid-range) turntables, but it gets the job done and I bought a pair of speakers to go with it.

Then came the need to get a few records to go with it. I made a list of the most recommended albums on vinyl and bought some, and then went out to thrift stores and a local flea market to stock up on a few more. I ended up with 15 or so as a starter set — The Who, Beach Boys, Peter Frampton, The XX, Haim, Wayne Newton, John Denver… just a mix. Since it’s totally background noise for the work day, I’m not as concerned with getting rock-out albums, just good sounds.

And I’ve really been loving it. Like most people today in the MP3 generation, I’ve rarely listened to albums straight-through except for the first time that I’m evaluating which tracks to keep and which to toss. With records, it’s pretty much the whole thing at a time, and there’s a neat quality to it. It’s relaxing, it’s a journey, and it’s made my office feel a little warmer.

My kids were hanging out with me the other day and I had Chicago on. My 6-year-old heard “Saturday in the Park” and went, “Dad, I really LIKE this song!” That got a surprised laugh out of me, but cool. Nice to know that music can easily transcend the age barriers.

Any recommendations for guitar-heavy albums that are relaxing? Let me know!


4 thoughts on “Records

  1. Aywren January 18, 2016 / 11:35 am

    That’s awesome!

    I guess I must be weird, but when Spotify offers a full album, I still tend to listen to it song by song in order to see if I like a band. I guess that’s just a hold-over from growing up with classic rock bands, who often packaged an experience in the full album. 🙂

  2. bhagpuss January 18, 2016 / 12:20 pm

    I’m surprised you’re in the MP3 generation. I’d have thought you must have grown up in the CD years. How long have MP3s been the norm?

    I have little nostalgia for vinyl despite having grown up with it. I have over a thousand vinyl albums and probably double that in singles but I stopped buying new releases on vinyl in the late 80s. I was glad to see the back of the stuff and sorry to see that its final demise is being postponed. Heavy, inconvenient, fragile, of unreliable quality, if it hadn’t been there first I very much doubt anyone would have bothered to invent it.

    I do still prefer the use of the album format, though. The planned sequence of tracks adds an important dynamic layer to the listening experience when the artist or producer takes the trouble. The best albums use that for an emotional impact that goes beyond what can be achieved by any of the individual songs.

    That said, I do most of my music listening on YouTube these days and have done for a decade.

  3. Syp January 18, 2016 / 3:13 pm

    For me I’ve switched over to MP3s since at least 1999 (Napster, converting CDs, etc.). Haven’t really looked back since.

  4. Stropp January 18, 2016 / 7:15 pm

    For guitar heavy albums, I recommend some Joe Satriani although not sure you’d find it relaxing (although I do.)

    For a more relaxed, classical style of guitar, there’s Tommy Emmanuel ( I don’t have any of his albums but have seen a live performance and his music is quite awesome.

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