I’m all for nostalgia. We look back on certain periods of our life with fondness because everything seemed so much simpler before we were burdened with 100 responsibilities a week and the frailty of increasing old age.
I’m a child of the ’60s, so I certainly had my share of records. While I love music, I never loved the actual records. They damaged easily, they got scratched, they skipped. If you loved a particular song, you could wear them out after a few hundred plays (yes, I have listened to certain songs hundreds of times). I was quite happy when cassettes came along. Hell, I don’t even remember minding 8-Tracks all that much.
However, as you have probably seen, records are making a comeback. No, these are not new and improved records: they are still the same easily damaged and worn out vinyl Frisbees of olden times. Enthusiasts insist that the analog sound from records is richer and more involving. I’ll take their word for it because I don’t hear that much of a difference and whatever improvement there is gets tempered by all of those scratches, bumps, and hiss.
Fans also like to spend time with the record covers and the written inserts. Yes, these can be nice, but chances are I can also find them easily online.
People also like to have something tangible. A record definitely provides that and it is not something that can be taken away from you, like a digital file. However, if you don’t have a lot of space, you don’t really want a lot of tangible things making your life even more crowded.
There is also the thrill and distraction that comes from shopping for albums in record stores (yup, still around), flea markets, etc. I enjoy that, too, but as I age, I’m opting more for convenience. Records are a lot of things, but they are not convenient.