Music: "Older Than Dirt Making a Comeback"
Barry Artiste, Now Public Contributor
LP's (Long Playing Records) have been around for a Hundred years, and only remembered by us who are older than dirt. So it's nice to know LP's are now making a slow comeback. LP's were thin black polycarbon discs which came in two sizes and speeds 12 inches played at 33 RPM and 6 inches played at 45 rpm. The beauty was music was recorded on both sides of the 12 inch LP so you could play both sides of the LP, which had around 12 songs in total, with the smaller 45 LP with only 2 songs on it, most likely used for one hit wonder bands of the day.
Rock and Roll LPs of the 1950s -1970s
LP's started to decline when the 8-tracks made an appearance in the mid 70s. Again, 8-track tape is mostly remembered by us older than dirt. 8-track tapes the precursor to cassette tapes were ungainly plastic boxes the size of todays video cassettes and the cars 8-track slot in the 8-track machine looked resembled the slot in a toaster.
In the late 70's cassette tapes came into being, more compact than their 8-track bretheren, these cassette tapes came in various formats from metal tape cassettes for the true audiophile to the bargain bin iron oxide coated cassettes. These cassettes were not without problems, the tapes be razor thin and sometimes would unravel inside your car or home cassette player, thus ruining the entire cassette, and you spending an afternoon taking out your cars cassette deck to retrieve those annoying bits of tape.
Then in the mid 1980 some Rocket Scientist invented the DAT (Digital Audio Tape) micro cassette and DAT player, a micro tape cassette was the size of a matchbook. The Dat was touted as the best playing Music tape in the world and the DAT player was pricey, about $1,000.00. Stereo magazines and Rolling Stone magazine devoted entire magazine articles to the DAT Revolution, people everywhere scrambled to buy this new technology.
A year or so after DATS release, someone invented CD's (Compact Discs) which was the Kiss of Death for the DAT revolution. Leaving many DAT Machines as pricey Doorstops.
In the late 1980s LP production by then was pretty much Dead or in it's final Death Throes by then as Compact Discs remained King until the early Millenia when Mini Compact Discs started to appear.
Mini Compact Discs were the size of Pocket Change and some believed could hold the entire contents of the Library of Congress. Certainly convienient for those who subscribed to smaller is better.
Soon after in the mid 2000s Internet Mpeg downloads and Ipods came into being, which pretty much killed every form of recording medium invented in the world.
Now coming "Full Circle" it is refreshing for those of us older than Dirt who still maintain a Death Like Grip on our Pristine LP's collected since Christ was a Child to see "Old is now New again" in the resurgence of LP's in the marketplace.
For those who wish for that orginal nostalgic sound, we can start buying LP's again.
For those who want to start an LP collection and get all "Retro" you will need to buy not only a quality record player (Turntable) but the following items for it to work, such as a pre amp, 1,000 Watt amplifier, graphic equalizer, quadraphonic AM/FM stereo tuner, honkin big tower speakers and 12-16 gauge wires, and a few plastic milk crates to hold your records in.
Lastly you will need a stereo cabinet in which to stack all this equipment in, these cabinets are the size of a Fridge, or for the do it on the cheap, some wood planks and a couple of cinder blocks from Home Depot will suffice for that Rustic look.
All this equipment will set you back for a basic cheapo system of around $1,000 or like me who still has all his "Older Than Dirt" original 1970s setup and crates of beatle and rolling stones LPs now called "Vintage" by true audiophile resellers, you're looking at around $6,000.00.
Being a PackRat does have it's advantages.
Two final footnotes:
Perhaps one reason why LPs will find favour with Musicians is it is impossible to make a pirated copy of a 12" inch black Polycarbonate disc with grooves in it. Even the Chinese, adept at making counterfeits of everything under the sun will certainly shy away from this business enterprise.
For people who will shop for stereo systems for their LPs, stay away from those "all in one stereo components" built in cheapo stereo systems, as they are all total crap, if one piece or component fails, they all fail.
My Final Thoughts
As they say 50 is the new 30, and older is better, unless your closet is full of Disco leisure suits, again, only those "Older than Dirt" know what a "Disco Polyester Leisure Suit" is and Fashionista Steve Austin who made it Fashionable to wear them. (6-Million Dollar man)
As for a comeback of the Polyester Disco Leisure Suit? "Let us never speak of it again" !!
AUSTIN, Texas. -- Remember the LP?
It's OK if you don't. Even in the media we hardly use the term for long-playing vinyl record, anymore. We hardly mention records, for that matter.
This could all be subject to change if the information presented at a South by Southwest session titled Vinyl Revival is anything to go by.
In the United Kingdom, where the CD single is basically dead, there is such a resurgence in vinyl that retailers can't keep up with capacity. In the U.S., figures as high as 22 per cent are being floated about the growth in vinyl record sales.