I grew up in the age of vinyl. My parents had 8 tracks and a player but I went straight for the vinyl. I had my own little record player in my room. I enjoyed listening to my Disney collection, Sesame Street Christmas, and 20 Power Hits albums. My favorite songs off of the 20 Power Hits were Knock Three Times by Tony Orlando and Green Eyed Lady by Sugarloaf. On my parent’s player downstairs, I listened to Creedence Clearwater Revival, Elton John and Wayne Newton. I developed a crush on Wayne, as I listened to him and stared at his album cover. This was before Bon Jovi came into the picture.
I remember the first cassette I bought – Look What the Cat Dragged In by Poison. I was fascinated because the cassette was clear. My all time favorite cassette was Def Leppard’s Hysteria. That was the first album I ever bought the day it came out. I also bought it on vinyl and I still own it. By the time CD’s entered the picture, I didn’t own a record player and honestly didn’t think much about vinyl. They were never in the stores and the only time I ever saw them was at my parent’s house. The first time my boys saw my parent’s records, they came upstairs exclaiming “Look Mom! Giant CD’s!”
A few years ago, my husband bought me a Music Hall record player for Christmas. He also surprised me with a few new vinyls to start out with. I was ecstatic!
A few weeks ago, a friend of my husband revealed that he had a large collection of vinyl and he wouldn’t mind lending me a few at a time to listen to. He had worked in a record store when he was young and since vinyl could be bought for less than $5 during that time, he ended up with quite a collection. These past few weeks have been a musical journey through time.
I will never forget listening to David Bowie’s Young Americans. David Bowie’s voice filled every room in my house. Among the albums I have been blessed to hear so far are The Fox by Elton John, Dire Straits, Face Value by Phil Collins, Flat as a Pancake by Head East, Loggins and Messina, Dr. Hook, Foghat, Foreigner, and my favorite so far – Donald Fagen’s The Nightfly. He told me Donald Fagen was a huge part of Steely Dan but I didn’t recognize any of the songs. As soon as the needle dropped, I was almost out of my seat as I.G.Y. started playing. If you are scatching your head and wondering what song that is, I almost bet if you start playing it on You Tube or Spotify you’ll say “I have heard that song!” I loved that album so much that I bought a used copy of it from Amazon.
Nothing compares to the sound of vinyl. There is a rawness and a richness that I don’t hear when I play songs from my iTunes library. Sadly, new vinyl is expensive – some albums costing over $30, however it is more worth the cost when they come with a free digital download.
Even if vinyl is not available, it is well worth it to join other people on their musical journeys as they grew up. You may be surprised to hear a song you loved growing up!