Listening To Music Through The Years
I remember the first time I bought a vinyl record. I complained that something was wrong with it because it was flexible. The clerk explained this was the new thing, and if you dropped it, it would not break. COOL!
We used to go to the record store (that was a store that only sold records for you young folks), and we could test play the latest 45’s before we decided to make that big seventy-five cent investment to purchase one. There were two sides to each 45, and except for a very few occasions, the flip side was never played more than once. It was always horrible. The 45’s were great, you could pile them on the player and play songs in any order you wanted.
Sometime in the sixties LP’s became the thing. Groups recorded multiple songs on one large record. On some albums all the songs were great, always with a Beatle album, some were like the old 45’s, one big hit and twelve crap recordings that no one ever listened to.
In college my junior year, Don Chasen brought his new Mustang to school. The car was cool, but the excitement was playing The Beatles “Sergeant Pepper” on this thing called an eight track tape. A way to play the latest albums in a car! Amazing! I seem to remember having to flip the thing over a lot to hear the whole album.
The eight track didn’t last long; it was replaced by a newer smaller "Cassette"tape, more compact and less flipping. I thought I was cool when I got a tape player and my records became obsolete. About a year after I made the switch from records to cassette, I saw my first Compact Disc player. It played one CD at a time, but you could choose any track with a remote, no more skipping through a tape.
By the time I bought my first CD player, they were selling units that could load five CD’s and play songs randomly if you chose. A few years later I bought a car that could load five CD’s at a time…amazing!
Then my son told me about this thing called an I-Pod that could hold hundreds of songs and could be played through your car’s auxiliary plug. He now has a feature on his phone that can play anything ever recorded.
Musicians complain that too many people now get their recordings for free and they are being ripped off. I guess that makes up for all the extra sales they made when everyone switched from vinyl to eight track, to cassrette, to CD.
I still just have my five disc player in my car. I love technology, but I just can’t keep up with it. To me Pandora is still a box I don’t want to open. When my son visits he has a speaker in the shower that plays songs from his telephone which is in another room. How the speaker works without wires I’ll never figure out.
I recently heard that the latest thing is high quality record players and vinyl records. Seems some aficionados claim that CD’s and digital audio files are too clean. They prefer the hiss and pop of the old vinyl.
I think even Edison would be confused.