When digital music came along and first we had CDs, then mp3s and now streaming, it all seemed so good, so much music and mostly free.
We lost a lot too though. I often think of the opening lines to Wings "Hi Hi Hi" -
Well, When I Met You At The Station
You Were Standing With A Bootleg In Your Hand.
It was things like that, that actually happened, at least to me. I'd be waiting at a bus stop or on a train or having a drink etc and I'd see someone with an album (sometimes bootleg) and before you knew it a conversation would start and you'd part having had a great talk about music.
I'd spend hours in our local record store talking about and listening to music with the owner. Doesn't work like that now though for most of us, most stores have long gone.
Similarly, I'd go visit some of my friends and take a few albums with me. How did we just sit there listening and chatting for hours, we just did, no digital distractions. You'd talk about music, pass the album sleeves around and discuss the artist, the lyics etc. Of course now we have forums like this but what we gained with that, we lost something greater.
Your record collection was sacred, your treasured asset and you only lent to your trusted friends, them likewise. A newcomer to your circle would have to prove they took care of their albums before they got those privileges. You really got to know your albums in these days because your immediate choices were limited to what you could afford, what your friends had and of course the radio.
Now we have large digital collections or just stream everything and that's fine but I can't help thinking we lost more than we gained.
I used to actually have to put on pants ....PANTS....to buy music .....what a hassle lol
And i was able to track down so many CD's via Amazon that i'm not sure i could have gotten otherwise ....
But my god i dont think i walked into a record store for 15-20 years without looking for a copy of Badfingers Straight Up..... My holy grail that was out of print. I did finally get a pretty scratchy vinyl copy, but I was pretty ecstatic when it was released on CD.
I'm 50 years old (copyright 1970)... it blows my mind thinking about how the means of delivering music has changed so much just in my lifetime.
The funny thing is, digital data being either sound or more complexly sound and vision makes intellectual sense to me. What completely amazes me and I still find hard to grasp is that grooves in black plastic can be music LOL.
I agree, something has been lost. I'm certainly glad things in the 80's were how they were... when I had to save up my pocket money to buy a single album once every six weeks or so. If I'd had a large portion of all recorded pop and rock music available to me with a few swipes of my fingers back in my teen years, I'd never have got a scrap of school work done.
I remember so clearly going into Birmingham city centre and browsing for hours in Lewis's record department. If my memory serves me correctly on one occasion myself and my two besties bought an album each, with the agreement that we swapped them between ourselves. All Motown, obviously!
I think it was a happier time when all music was not immediately available (WiFi connection permitting).
I remember a conversation elsewhere a conversation on record shops, prompted by another excellent piece of writing by Rick.
Coming from a small-ish town any visit to the big city had to entail a lengthy period browsing in the record shop.
Away games against Hearts or Hibs always meant an interruption to pre-match beers for some vinyl browsing, a few venues but most notably Bruce's in Rose Street. Any precious purchases of course had to be stashed in a left luggage locker at Waverly or Haymarket, lest it became collateral damage in a hostile encounter with Hibees or Jambos (@riverdude4 perchance? :-) )
I also recall a visit to the Reading Festival in 1980.
Returning on the Monday night an afternoon's shopping in That London loomed pre-departure.
The London record shops, predominantly in the locale of Carnaby Street as I recall, proved a fertile hunting ground for rarities and sought after records. (Strangely, at substantially cheaper prices than was available at home.)
There were three of us and the overhead racks of the bus home were stacked.
If you haven’t already read this it sounds like you need to......
Spent every Saturday from late seventies thru to mid eighties doing a circuit of Edinburgh record shops. That’s what student grants were for.
It's a lost world. I still miss going into a record store, chatting with the owner and checking for any rarities. The smell and the physical touch of the albums.