The husband Bill has recently got enthusiastic about playing albums through an old school turntable into old school speakers. I must confess initial feelings of skepticism that any of that would sound any better than iPod stuff.
Mark it on your calendars…Bill was right, I was wrong.
Thought I wouldn't be able to tell a difference, but with some of the stuff in particular, it sounded gorgeous and warm. You feel the music like a good hug. (We still do need to hide the speaker wire better though, which is such a wife thing to say).
As I wanted to get more ideas of great albums to listen to on turntables and just a discussion of vinyl, I decided to turn to the folks at Houston's Cactus Music (@cactus_music) to share some of their suggestions. It's easy to get into music ruts, and I figured this would be a great opportunity to get some inspiration for us all:
Cactus Music Employees Talk Vinyl Records.
Quinn, Store Owner: Music can change your life. More specifically, records can change change your life. At record shops across the universe, the most recurring question posed by patrons has been "What are you listening to?" Stay tuned to this blog to read enthusiastic testimonials from the esteemed staff of Cactus Music about their favorite albums and singles. Musical efforts that have whacked them upside the head or crept up on them like a train in the distance to become their most beloved recordings. This is what we are listening to. Enjoy. -Quinn
Chris @Topherwise At the risk of being overly sentimental in a time where "vinyls" are very kitschy and dollar records are sought after, I'm somewhat hesitant in playing along with the overall romanticizing a rather impractical form of technology.
However, there's a reason it's still around. And it's a fact not lost on people who have managed to nurture a level of patience that is quickly drifting. I find that patience in Will Oldham's music and all of it's forms (IE. Bonnie Prince Billy, Palace Music/Brothers etc). Some of my favorite musical moments come from listening to his music, as they're extremely dense, layered reflections. I specifically remember listening to 'No Bad News' in my room and the end kind of stopped me cold in my tracks. The line 'hey little bird, thank you for not letting go of me as I let go of you' is a little simple and overly relatable but at that specific time it hit me really hard, and it hit me in a way that I know would not be possible in my car. It wouldn't be possible while it plays over the speakers at work, or any other way outside of me sitting down and consuming a record with my undivided attention. That's what at risk of being lost and hopefully a reason vinyl is coming back.
Listen to Bonnie "Prince" Billy's album 'The Letting Go' in a setting that lends it's self to the way the format is intended and hopefully you'll find something there. That's just me though, so whatever.
Shawna @Shawzilla Let me see that Jelly Roll…
What can I say, I really just started buying records. I don’t have a real collection, it’s kind of odds and ends that my husband has picked up for me over the years. However, since I have begun to work at Cactus Music, it’s on. I have fallen in love with records.
My first record that I picked up a month ago is a double LP by Jelly Roll Morton. I believe that everyone should have a Jelly Roll Morton record in their collection. I mean he is the inventor of jazz and all. Originally from New Orleans and lived in Houston at one time, Jelly Roll Morton is a brilliant pianist and composer. he hollow sound, the subtle scratch and the nice melodies of this old-timey music are oh so charming and truly enhanced on the richness of a vinyl record. Not only have I grown to appreciate Morton, but it has taught me to respect the music of this time period and how music was recorded and released back in the day.
Adriana @lahondaj For me, it's the debut album from The Velvet Underground, The Velvet Underground & Nico. Although my copy is a bit old & worn it still sounds more vibrant than if I were to listen to it digitally. Besides this brilliant album, the experience is enhanced because listening to vinyl is an "event." You don't skip over songs, you play the entire record and you REALLY listen to it. In a world of instant gratification and convenience, vinyl is the antithesis. Sunday mornings with this record and a pot of coffee is the perfect way for me to start a day. The crackle of the record on my turntable, Nico's haunting voice & John Cale's amazing viola, what could be better than that?
Deanna @Deanofbigrips There has been much discussion and debate recently as to why a person should buy vinyl or enjoy the convenience of a digital download. As a pure lover of music not just for the obvious reasons of why anyone enjoys a good tune but for the fulfillment it brings to me sonically and mentally. Because of this, i much prefer using vinyl as my choice of medium for various reasons. One cannot really say that there are certain albums that sound better on vinyl than an mp3 as typically almost all music sounds better from a vinyl record.
Vinyl recordings give a much warmer, cleaner sound than something that has a change of sound depending on your Internet connection and speed of download and having to hear it through tiny computer box speakers (unless you are a nerd like me and have even your computer wired through an almost unnecessary but necessary sound system). Therefore, my recommendations I shall give are of albums I have either listened to for the first time through vinyl or have heard when my brain was given to the birds and made such a wonderful impact. My only hope is that people begin to truly understand and most importantly, appreciate a beautiful record.
1.) Beach Boys- Pet Sounds.
2.) The Velvet Underground- The Velvet Underground & Nico.
3.) Leonard Cohen- The Best Of.
4.) Nilsson- Nilsson Sings Newman.
5.) Funkadelic- Maggot Brain.
6.) Propagandhi- Less Talk, More Rock.
7.) Spacemen 3- The Perfect Prescription.
8.) Ride- Nowhere.
9.) Brainticket- Celestial Ocean.
10.) Sun Ra- Atlantis.
11.) Sly & The Family Stone- Stand!
12.) Hawkwind- Doremi Fasol Latido.
13.) The Supremes- Where Did Our Love Go.
14.) Yume Bitsu- Golden Vessyl Of Sound.
and last but not least, the very first vinyl record I ever heard as a child which probably ultimately got me into music-
15.) Michael Jackson- Thriller.
John Baldwin I began playing records when I was 13. CD's were the standard, but even at a young age I understood how "cool" records were. Not only was some of the most interesting music released exclusively on vinyl, it was cheaper. I remember going to a record shop and seeing a brand new CD for $10 and the LP was only $8. I obviously went with the cheaper option and my record purchasing only continued.
When someone asks which records you "MUST" hear "on vinyl" I always respond in the same way because ALL RECORDS sound better on vinyl. A nice record player, a nice needle, a quality amp, and a good set of speakers will ALWAYS sound tops because it is. Though, if you asked me what my favorite records were that you simply MUST hear on vinyl this would be my list.
The Clash – London Calling
Kate Bush – Hounds Of Love
Chumbawumba – Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records….
Thanks to the folks at Cactus Music for Their Thoughts.
If you like music, I suggest checking out Cactus Music's website. They often have live, free music at their store which is a cool thing and you should support local cool things so they stay and stay cool.
As for Bill and I, the album we both very much like in album form is the jazz album called The Sidewinder by Lee Morgan.
Do you have any whole album suggestions you would like to add?