The Big Vinyl Con..

Vinyl is making a comeback. This is bad news for all sorts of reasons.

Don't get me wrong; I like Vinyl, a lot. The bottom of my huge book cabinet is stuffed with it.

Good vinyl played on a decent sound system is sonically unbeatable. That beautiful, ineffable experience of a direct analogue link from artist to listener is definitely something worth paying for; at least for old albums.

But for anything recorded after the mid-80s (and a few albums before that, a couple way before that); which is to say; albums which were recorded digitally, it makes very little sense. From an environmental standpoint, it makes zero sense at all. We are supposed to be beyond all this packaging nonsense; at least for music, which can now be transferred digitally.

Recording digitally, the analogue link is already broken and nothing you can do with a fancy turntable can ever get it back. Whatever your sound system is doing could be done with audio processing. This simple fact is overlooked by those wishing to promote the intangible qualities of Vinyl; i.e. Record companies.

You can pirate a bit-perfect copy of any CD, not so with Vinyl. Record companies love that shit. They want to sell you the idea that no matter how many bits or Hz you throw at it, there's always that ineffable "something" that "only vinyl" can produce; ergo; you'll need to buy that, sonny. HiFi companies do the same; selling you a £5 cable for £50, or even £500.

Sure, 12" artwork is lovely, especially King Crimson double albums. But do we really need a dozen different versions of the exact same Taylor Swift album, or even one? I thought that malarky was a crazy side-effect of the mentally-excessive 80s, but it's like Frankie Goes To Hollywood all over again. What is happening? Profit; that's what. But not for us earthlings.

Like big art? Get a 2K or 4K monitor and be done with it. You will be able to enjoy all sorts of other artwork on it, too. And all while taking up NO PHYSICAL SPACE. Or hell, buy some art! That's what walls are for.

OKAY, I admit, there is one reason to buy modern Vinyl: it will age. Dust and wear will take their toll and over time the track will change, ever so slightly, becoming unique. Then again; some might not even see this as a good thing.

But while pops and crackles are nice; stacked up against the immense waste and environmental cost of mass-producing Vinyl, I think crackle-free music is a small price to pay.

After all, if you want this experience, there are thousands of old albums you can buy second-hand. Most of which sound amazingly crackly.

But please, stop feeding the monster.

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