Here at Soundwave Art™, it’s no secret that we love technology (just take a look at our awesome app!), but sometimes, modern tech just doesn’t provide the best experience. Music has always been a large part of my life, yes, I love being able to say “Alexa shuffle my playlist”. Wireless technology and digital audio are super-convenient and the sound quality they provide is improving all the time. Plus, there’s something to be said for easily creating your own mixes and even save a few bucks by only purchasing the songs that you actually want to own.
However, as any audiophile will tell you, this doesn’t even come close to providing the sound quality of a record player.
While 8-track tapes, cassette tapes, and even CD’s proved themselves to be passing fads that faded out when new technology became available, vinyl has stood the test of time. In fact, LP sales have been on the rise. I spent a few years as a music buyer for a large chain of record stores. The bump in vinyl sales started around 2006 and as a collector, it made me super excited. Since then, sales have increased year over year for 12 straight years of growth.
Do you still need some convincing? Here are a few reasons why you should add a record player to your entertainment system, as well as a few records that everyone should have in their collection, in my opinion anyway.
Reason #1: Record Players Give Character to Your Space
Record players aren’t just useful, they also look cool and can serve as a great conversation piece. These days, you’ll find them with a sleek and modern profile right alongside those that have a classic, vintage look, letting you choose an option that’ll fit your decor. How about that artwork? Albums offer something extra, something you just won’t get with a digital file. All that space gives the artist an added way to express themselves. It also gives you a cool way to create a piece of art by framing album covers and hanging them on your wall.
Reason #2: You Can Customize Your Experience
As you’re beginning your quest to find a turntable, you’ll find entry-level turntables that are simple for casual listeners to use and high-end models that have all kinds of bells and whistles like a pitch controller slide, 78RPM speed, and built-in LED lights. Some turntables give you the option of upgrading your cartridge, the record clamp or the slip mat for better quality. In other words, setting up the turntable can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be.
Reason #3: It’s a Great Hobby
Once you dabble in the world of vinyl, you’ll likely find yourself rummaging through bins of old records at flea markets, thrift stores, garage sales, and if you’re lucky enough to still have them in your town, local record stores. Some of my fondest memories was spending a Saturday afternoon with my friends driving around St. Louis hitting all of our local record stores.
Records You Should Own
Obviously, your record collection will reflect your personal taste. However, there are a handful of records that should grace every collection, whether or not it fits your preferred genre. Here are three albums to keep an eye out for on your next trip to the music store.
The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Of course, you need to own a Beatles album. Any album by The Beatles could have a place in your collection, this album, which was named the #1 Greatest Album of All Time by Rolling Stone, is a particularly significant one. It broke the mold that the band had created for itself and became a defining soundtrack of the psychedelic era.
Jeff Buckley: Grace
Jeff Buckley is part of that horrible club of musicians lost at an early age. He was on the verge of stardom when tragedy struck and he drowned in the Mississippi. We’ll never know what could have been but I’m thankful that he graced us with this album, pun intended.
His cover of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ is breathtaking. I argue that most covers of this song are actually artists covering Jeff’s version because it is that good.
David Bowie picked it as one of the albums he would take to a deserted island! Need I say more?
Miles Davis: Kind Of Blue
Arguably the most influential jazz album and frequently cited as the greatest jazz album of all time. I don’t know about you but I enjoy listening to music while I cook dinner. This is by far the album I play the most. Listing to Miles and having a drink while cooking just puts me in a good mood.
If you’ve ever wanted to get into jazz, this is the album most start with.
Maybe these albums wouldn’t be first on your list, and that’s okay. These are just a few albums that I feel would make a great addition to anyone’s collection and a great start for those just getting into vinyl.
Because we love music so much, we created a full collection of music art, with music soundwaves featuring everyone from Adel to Wu-Tang Clan and we’re adding more every week. It’s a cool gift for the music lover in your life.
By Mike LaTour | Owner Soundwave Art™
I spent 17 years in the music industry and have always had a love of art. Combining music, sound, and art was a perfect fit. I’d like to thank you for visiting us and invite you to have a look around. Express your creativity and record a sentiment that will last for generations!