Fleetwood Mac, Rumours (1977)
Here's a bit from Flight of the Conchords:
Murray: When you're in a band, you don't get with your bandmate's girlfriend - past or present.
Jemaine: Yes, well thanks for that.
Murray: You get a love triangle - you know? Fleetwood Mac situation... Well, there were four of them, so more of a love square. But you know, no one gets on.
Jemaine: Okay, I see.
Murray: Mind you, they did make some of their best music back then.
Murray: No, that's all true.
Anyway, I'm here to talk about vinyl.
A friend recently found some old records while preparing a move and thoughtfully handed them off to me (this one included).
I used to have a pretty large vinyl collection, but my folks threw it out. (Long story. I don't like to think about it.) I haven't had my turntable installed for maybe 25 years, and gave it to my son awhile back. But I reclaimed it from him and hooked it up, kinda curious what it would be like to relive my vinyl youth.
I know the vinyl purists will enthusiastically and pedantically assure us that vinyl sounds better than digital, it has warmth you can't hear on a CD or digital file, yadda yadda yadda.
Sorry, no. Just no. The static, the pops, the occasional skips. I don't miss that at all. And even a pristine, virgin album, before time takes its inevitable toll, doesn't sound any better to me than a CD. If you're playing them on a decent system (mine is pretty mid-line, but I did spring for some good speakers), unless you're a sound engineer or Neil Young, I just don't think the human ear is registering anything different. Maybe you like the electrical hum of the phonograph, but I'm convinced the sound coming out of the speakers is essentially identical.
And given the ease of use and the durability of digital, I'm sticking with my CD's (all now burned to a hard drive and played through my home network).
Now, that said, I do miss the ritual of vinyl. As a kid in the 70s and 80s, there was something special about coming home with a new album -- the first needle drop; the need to treat it with care, almost reverence, to prevent damage; sitting back and taking in the cover art, the liner notes; the commitment to spend the next 42 minutes with one particular record (more for a double album). Digital is never going to provide the same emotional experience.
But given my ability to push a couple buttons and instantly pull up 200,000 songs from my hard drive, in perfect quality, no static or skips, I don't see returning to vinyl just to recapture the emotional aspects of the experience. That said, on a lazy Sunday afternoon, when I've got some time, yeah, vinyl seems fun. My kid ain't getting the turntable back.
(BTW, the Fleetwood Mac album is in pretty good shape and sounds terrific. I'm strictly a Lindsay Buckingham guy, I can do without the Nicks/McVie tracks, but, again, with vinyl you can't skip around and it's nice being compelled to listen through the entire thing as the band intended.)