Turntables & Vinyl #10 – The Growing Obsession

It has been a few months since I have done a post in my Turntable & Vinyl series and a lot has gone on since the last one.  Mainly, the growing obsession with getting my favorite albums in vinyl.  Everywhere I go, I am looking for a record store or thinking of an excuse to go to a store and just “look” around. It has become a growing obsession that isn’t getting any better, in fact, it is getting worse.

And thanks to a fellow blogger, I now have my collection in Discogs.  I can’t remember who it was as it has been several months and I have a terrible memory…now what was I talking about…oh yeah…Discogs.  I spent quite some time cataloging my newly started collection.  The good news, now when I am out at a record store and I can’t remember if I have that album or not, I only need to pull it up on the phone and BOOM!!, I will know if it is in my collection or not.  No more buying duplicates (I told you my memory is bad).  I actually had to use it a few weeks back so I know it was well worth the time adding everything in. Plus, it tells me what my collection is worth (ain’t much which is sad!), but it is a great tool if the collection should get stolen or burned down, I have a record of my albums for insurance purposes.  Nice!

One thing I have been wanting to do for quite a while is upgrade my shitty little stereo system I have been  using.  It was an old system with some shitty little speakers.  Did I mention it was shitty?  Well, I finally replaced it and gave the older system to my oldest daughter for her room.  She loves it because that shitty system replaced her even shittier system.  One man’s junk is another man’s (or teenager girl’s) treasure.  I didn’t get anything real fancy, I did keep it very reasonable.  I only bought a Yamaha Receiver and a couple of Polk floor speakers plus a sub-woofer (I like that bass a little).  I could have gone with a surround sound system, but I really love this set up.  it was the way I listened to the albums back in the day, plus the vinyl isn’t mastered in Surround Sound!!

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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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My One Year Blogiversary!!

Wow!!  I can not believe it has been one year already.  The time has definitely flown by and has been an absolute blast.  I never thought I would last very long and so it is hard to believe I am still writing weekly and still enjoying even more now then when I started.

I have met so many interesting people through the blog world and have found some amazing sites.  I do wish there was more time in the day to visit every site that is following me and that I am following, but have found that task to be impossible.  Please know I do try my best to at visit as often as I am able.

The year has been a roller coaster of a ride.  Where the blog has been a blessing and some of the high points, life has dealt me a few blows this year with the passing of my Mom back in August and my Dad just two weeks ago.  The loss of them has been difficult, but the blog has been my way of escaping the harsh realities of life.

One person I need to thank for the blog is my lovely wife, Angie!!  She talked me into doing a blog and without her support, I wouldn’t be doing this still.  She has put up with the time it takes away from her and the girls, the loud music and my constant blabbering about the site and other sites I have visited.  She is definitely my Rock!!

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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 #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.