Vinyl is making a comeback - by Lee Wilkinson

Vinyl is making a comeback, or is it that just that it never really left?

I have spent a lot of my life, as many of us do, trying to keep up with the times. What clothes are in fashion, what car is a cool one to drive, what music do I listen to, that sort of thing. What I have done however is two things that I now realize have been to the detriment of my failed attempt to keep in step with the times.

I have sacrificed, in part, the quality that came with trading out many of the things I loved for efficiency and convenience and, I have traded away a little part of who I am.

I hear that the new 60 is the old 40 and my generation is doing things our parents would never have tried or been open to. We are living longer and looking younger (despite a diet off the McDonalds’ deal menu) but that does not guarantee that all of the advancements mean that we take along the quality that we previously had. It was a technological breakthrough to put 1,000 songs on to a pocket-sized MP3 player, but the price we paid was the quality of the music and one thing I have discovered is that quantity in no way takes the place of quality. In fairness, the quality has got much better over the years since Steve Jobs first presented the iPod, but there is little in my mind to replace an LP.

Music has always been a very important part of my life; it brings back memories of times and places and events. As I write this I am listening to James Taylor, which takes me back to the Eighties. My entry into acting was through musical theatre and in times of joy and sadness it has always been there to comfort me. It brings emotion to births, weddings, and funerals and it's the link between words and pictures in films. There is nothing quite like seeing and hearing live music, everything after that is always second best.

Vinyl records have always been available on places like 'e bay' and in retro shops but suddenly my daughters’ generation has rediscovered how cool it is all over again. Interestingly it is also the artists of that Vinyl generation that are in the forefront of the revival. I was in HMV recently and noticed that it was James Taylor, Fleetwood Mac and the Ramones who were leading the charge and not the music of the present time. Suddenly there was a common link that I had with a young woman who had pink hair and piercings, is was the music and in this case the Vinyl. It was a bridge that has spanned several generations and has allowed us to experience this common bond.

The thing I have learned throughout is that we all need a little quality in our lives. Quality of music, quality of books, films, clothes or whatever it is for you and most importantly, quality in our relationships. Convenience is great and it is needed in this time we live in, but we can always use quality. It will outlast everything.

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