Turntables & Vinyl #8 – The CD Edition

CD Edition??  What the hell???  This is a series about my journey rediscovering Vinyl. Why would I discuss CDs??

Well, let me tell you why.  Before I started re-collecting vinyl, I use to have a pretty extensive CD collection.  After we had kids and the digital age, I burned all my CDs to digital and then started selling them off (made pretty good money on some).  When we moved from Georgia to North Carolina, I gave my neighbor the final box of CDs as I didn’t want to move them and I was going to have no where to store them (I regret that decision to this day).

Lo and behold, one of my neighbors inherited a collection of CDs he had no desire for keeping.  He had a bunch of scratched up, banged up CDs that probably didn’t even work and he was going to try and sell the rest.  I let him try and make a little money on the others (which he was able to sell about 100) and if there was any left, I told him I would be interested in whatever he had left.

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Turntables & Vinyl #7 – Record Store Day – April 22, 2017

Today is the 10th Anniversary of Record Store Day.  My daughter and I didn’t get up too early to head down to our local record stores, but it was early for us on a Saturday.  We left the house around 8am to get to Lunchbox Records which was to open at 9am.  We knew it would be crowded, but we had NO IDEA!!!!

We arrived around 8:40am and the place was absolutely PACKED!!  The  line stretched around another building and turned and started going down the street.  There had to be over 200 people in line.  I am not a patient man, so this didn’t sit well with me.  I decided to head over to Repo Records as they would normally open at 10am and I would see what their line looked like.  Luckily it was just down the street about 5-8 minutes.

We arrived around 8:45-50 (I don’t remember exactly and it is really not key to the story).  The line was really good.  It had only about 40 people, so we figured we would wait it out.  It turns out they had just opened and were only letting a few people in at a time so we timed it perfectly.

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Turntables & Vinyl #6 – “Re-Spin” Led Zeppelin & Van Halen

Ever since I started the whole resurgence in my vinyl collection which started from nothing just 10 months ago, I have been trying to put together “The List” of all the albums that are a must have for my collection.  The list is long and it is going to be expensive to put together.

For me, albums from the 70’s must be in vinyl as that was the medium of choice at the time.  That means that I need to have Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, early AC/DC, Queen and of course KISS, just to name a few.  I am off to a good start with KISS thanks to the box of records I mentioned back in the first Turntables & Vinyl post.

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The 80’s is the decade I grew up in and fell in love with music so there has to be a ton of vinyl from those years as well.  Def Leppard, Van Halen, more AC/DC, Motley Crue, Whitesnake, Ratt and any other rock band from that era.  The collection is growing, but the list doesn’t seem to get smaller.

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Turntables & Vinyl #5 – The Needtobreathe Collection

For Christmas, I really only wanted one thing…well, it was actually 6 things.  I wanted the entire Needtobreathe album collection in Vinyl.  They have 6 studio albums and I am glad to say, Santa was good to me as I now have all their studio albums in Vinyl.  And what a collection it is.

I became a fan back off their first album “Daylight” which came out in 2006.  They have been labeled a Christian band, but they are really so much more than that label.  They are folk, southern rock, country, pop, rock and Christian all at the same time.  Their songwriting is exceptional with great stories and positive messages.  Bear Rinehart’s voice is amazing and carries so much emotion and he draws you into each song and takes you on a wonderful journey.

The band consists of the following:

  • Bear Rinehart – lead vocals
  • Bo Rinehart – lead guitar
  • Seth Bolt – bass
  • Josh Lovelace – keyboards/organ

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Turntables & Vinyl #4 – The 80’s Are Back!

I have been going to records stores way too often as I continue my obsession on buying vinyl.  On the flip side of that, I also don’t feel like I have gone enough.  Confusing I know. I actually enjoy just browsing through the store and seeing what is there.  It is rare I go into the store and I don’t buy anything, but lately I am picking up 5 or 6 at a time and I am loving it.

Most everything I am picking up is of course from the 70’s or 80’s since vinyl died out in the 90’s.  The new releases that are out now are too expensive to make it a habit so I focus on the used record.  There are no shortages of those, but what I want is seldom available on my visits.  It is hit or miss.

Lately, it has been more hit than miss.  And it has mostly been 80’s records so I guess the 80’s are back.  Yes, I am buying records for albums I had already purchased back in the 80’s whether on cassette or CD, but I don’t have any of those anymore so I actually only have the one physical copy of the album.  The other copy is now digital and you can’t really hold that in your hand.

So, what I have been picking up on my adventures you might ask that is from the 80’s?  Well, you probably aren’t asking but I am going to tell you anyway.

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Turntables & Vinyl #3 – Mother Lode

I hit the mother lode last weekend while I was visiting family in Atlanta.  The conversation somehow ended up on Vinyl records and my sister-in-law mentioned she had some old albums laying around.  My brother found the box and in it were 4 albums on my wish list…Def Leppard’s ‘Pyromania’ and ‘Hysteria’; Whitesnake’s self-titled album and Bon Jovi’s ‘Slippery When Wet’.  I couldn’t believe my luck.  Of course, when I left their house, for some reason I left the Bon Jovi album there.  I will make sure to grab it next time I am down.  BTW, they were in phenomenal shape.

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Turntables & Vinyl – Part 2

I thought I would do a follow-up to the Turntables & Vinyl post from a couple weeks ago since the turntable we bought was crap. We returned the first turntable we bought since it could not maintain the appropriate speed.  I did some research and found that the audio-technica AT-LP60 was getting really good reviews for a reasonably priced turntable (only $99).  I still didn’t want to spend too much as I still wasn’t sure how much I would listen to it.

I have to say it plays so much better than the original one we bought on a whim at the trendy clothes store that sales vinyl (I don’t want to advertise for them since their clothes are so overpriced).  This turntable will automatically place the needle on the album for you which is good as my daughter was really nervous about doing it on the other turntable. I don’t think she wanted to scratch her new James Bay album (a picture disc at that).

Now that the we have a very good working turntable, we had to find some local record stores that sell vinyl.  We have found 4 places so far in Charlotte and I am proud to say, we have been to all 4.  We actually visited 3 of them on Saturday since they were all in close proximity to each other.   The other one we went to last weekend.

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Turntables & Vinyl

Turntables & Vinyl.  Did you ever think they would come back in style?  I guess I must have thought so because I found a box  in a closet that was full of vinyl albums from the 70’s & 80’s.  However, I don’t own a turntable anymore.  What do I do?

Well, I went out and bought a turntable. My oldest daughter has been wanting a turntable as that is the new fad for kids her age, I guess.  That got me to thinking maybe I should get a turntable.  I didn’t want to spend too much as I didn’t know how much it would get used by her or by me.

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We were at the mall and I found this turntable at some trendy clothes store for young people (I was the oldest person in the store).  Don’t know if it is any good and honestly, don’t care.  It will be a fun experience I can share with my daughter and maybe teach her what real music sounds like.

We started shopping for albums afterwards and the first thing I noticed was…THE PRICE!!! HOLY CRAP!!  When did albums become so expensive.  $25, $35 and up to $50 for a freakin’ album.  Well, I guess my daughter won’t be getting one anytime soon.  She will have to listen to mine until I can take a 2nd mortgage out on the house to buy a new album. Luckily, the store had a limited selection so there was nothing either of us had to have right then.

We get back home and I run upstairs to grab the box of records.  We take it into my office along with the turntable.  I get the turntable plugged into the wall and into my stereo system and found the setup to be extremely easy.  Thank goodness as I wanted to put on some music.

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Next, I grabbed the box and opened it like I was a kid on Christmas.  I couldn’t wait to go through and see what all I had.  I knew what a lot of the albums were in the box, but not everything. What I did know for sure is that the first album to be played on the turntable was going to be Van Halen’s self titled debut from 1978.  I remembered that album was in the box along with several Kiss albums.

The Van Halen album sounded amazing!! And now as I am typing this post up, I am listening to Kiss Alive! and I have it cranked! (No one is home right now) Not a bad way to spend my afternoon.  Here is a list of albums that were in my box that I will definitely be putting on heavy rotation.

  • Van Halen – Van Halen
  • Kiss – Alive!
  • Kiss – The Originals (Special Edition with the first 3 albums)
  • Boston – Boston
  • Boston – Don’t Look Back
  • Eagles – Hotel California
  • Eagles – Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975
  • The Beatles – The Beatles / 1967-1970
  • Mother’s Finest – Mother’s Finest Live
  • ZZ Top – Tres Hombres
  • Billy Joel – Glass Houses
  • Black Sabbath – Mob Rules
  • Kiss – Unmasked
  • Kiss – Hotter than Hell
  • Billy Idol – Billy Idol
  • Loverboy – Lovin’ Every Minute of It
  • Pat Benatar – Crimes of Passion
  • Styx – Caught in the Act Live
  • Def Leppard – On Through the Night
  • Grease – Soundtrack
  • Star Wars – Soundtrack

The biggest surprise included in the box was the first vinyl album I ever bought.  If you have read the “About” section of my blog, you know what that album was.  My mom ordered it for me off the TV from a commercial during the TBS reruns of “The Monkees” back in the 70’s.  It was simply called “The Monkees”.  I almost teared up (actually I teared up from all the dust in the box as it flared up my allergies).

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A lot of these albums I am sure were my brothers’ albums and I somehow ended up with them. I hope they aren’t too disappointed that they are not getting them back.  That is not true, they can have them back.  They just need to come to North Carolina from Georgia and pry them from my cold, dead hands.

Also discovered in the box were some of my wife’s childhood albums.  There were some old Disney albums (and I mean old) and then some from a few of her favorite teen idols.  There was Andy Gibb, Leif Garrett and her personal love, Shaun Cassidy.  When she looked at the album, I hadn’t seen that look in her eyes since WE first met.  I think I should be jealous.  I have a feeling she will be listening to those while I “Da Doo Ron Ron” off to work.

The next day, my daughter and I found a great little record store in Charlotte and we went and picked up a couple albums.  They had those expensive albums like what I mentioned above, but they also had used albums that were a lot cheaper.  Since I had the first two Boston albums on vinyl, I went ahead and picked up Boston’s Third Stage ($10) and my daughter picked up James Bay’s latest album for only $20 (which I still think is too much).

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I need to make a list of what albums I want because I walked around that store for almost an hour and couldn’t decide on anything but the Boston album.  Too many to choose!!!  My daughter, who takes hours to pick out a shirt had her album picked in 5 minutes.

When we got home and put the James Bay album on, the cheap record player we bought the day before wasn’t working properly.  It can’t seem to keep the appropriate speed and the song tends to slow down.  All the excitement from the first day fizzled out fast. I knew I should have just waited and bought a decent player right out of the gate. Sometimes I am too cheap.   So, I guess I do care if the record player is any good.

Well, I am researching a decent player now and can’t wait to get one.  Any recommendations?  I am anxious to listen to the whole set of albums from the box.