Born nine years after the CD, twenty-nine years after the cassette, and 102 years after the record, most people expect I have a jam packed Ipod when I talk to the music collectors at my place of work, Orange Connecticut’s Merle’s Record Rack. However when I say, “Oh I have this,” in reference to the obscure score they’ve picked up that day the conversation changes. Usually, “Yea Vinyl just sounds better, warmer…” I can’t help but agree.
My generation grew up after the death of the cassette, all of us remember our first CD, where we bought it and the first boombox and/or walkman we put it into. We didn’t grow up with the excitement of going out to the record store to get the next week’s hit album; we lived without putting the needle to fresh cut plastic, flipping it over and doing it again. Some of us will never do it. The biggest surprise is when somebody my father’s age tells me they’ve never heard an album, my jaw drops like someone my age who has never heard of…. a computer. But putting one on for them makes us both smile.
The die-hard music fan will argue that, “it must me vinyl,” or that “the Japanese import sounds way cleaner.” But for me, someone who has pressed play too many thousands of times, you have to hear it for yourself. A record store holds exactly what your ears want. Behind the register I see that the same way each person has their personal preference in genre, they have a preference for the format the music is printed on. The best sounding format is the best one for you. As for cassette tapes, they do fit in your pocket….?
By Jeffrey Chamiec
Merle’s Employee and Music fan.