A vinyl record is a disc made of polyvinyl chloride plastic, engraved on both sides with a single concentric spiral groove in which a sapphire or diamond needle, stylus, runs from the outside edge towards the center. It was most commonly used for mass-produced recordings of music between the 1950’s and the 1990’s, according to the Record Collectors Guild website.
The vinyl record has almost been completely replaced by the digital soundtrack played on either CD or Mp3 formats. I admit that I have fallen prey to the digital age as I have all my music stored on my IPhone. Though, I remember, fondly, my collection of vinyl albums and 45’s that I would listen to on my Kenwood stereo system back in my high school and college years. I sometimes had to tape a penny to the top of the stylus to prevent some of my records from skipping.
I loved listening to the Beatles and Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run.
There was something special about taking an album out of the jacket and flipping it between both hands to the desired side and then placing it on the turntable. Lifting the stylus and gently setting it down on the spinning disk, a low scratchy static-like sound was prelude to the warm full-bodied music that would fill the room. I remember sitting back, as the music played, reading the album jacket like the back of a cereal box at the breakfast table.
It seems nostalgic to me now but I remember the experience as a moment of clarity when the world could be put on hold as I listened to George Harrison’s guitar as it gently wept.
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