I Love the Sound of Vinyl in the Morning

In addition to the 1500 or so CDs I own, and try to play regularly, I still have about 1200 LPs. And I haven’t played them much, because last time I moved them into the house, they were in such a state of disarray that I couldn’t find anything. Whereas my CDs are anally organized by artist and chronologically within artist, e.g.

Well, after answering Eddie’s question recently about how much music was too much, and having the unique opportunity to actually work on my own project – Carol took Lydia to see Grandma and Grandpa last weekend – I pulled out all of my vinyl, and put it in broad alphabetical order. by that, I mean all the A’s are together, all the B’s are together. O.K., that’s not technically true either: there are A’s on the first floor and on the third floor, likewise B’s and C’s. But on each floor, they are in rough alpha order.

What I had discovered that there are certain artists where most of my music of theirs is on vinyl: the solo Beatles, especially John (IS there a CD version of The Wedding Album? And, if so, do I WANT it?); Joan Armatrading; Joe Jackson; the Supremes; the Temptations; XTC; pre-1971 Stevie Wonder. Then there are the artists who I have ONLY on vinyl: Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass; the MC5; Don McLean; Moby Grape; Peter, Paul, and Mary; solo Todd Rundgren; Gil Scott-Heron; X. I must admit that I didn’t know I had any Bobby Vinton at all, but there it was Melodies of Love, featuring that big hit, “My Melody of Love”.

It finally hit me, because I had frankly forgotten: there were people who just GAVE me their LPs when they moved or were just going digital. I can tell, because some of their names are still on many of the album covers.

While working on the project, I listened to CDs on the boombox while I was on the third floor, but while this task was going on on the first floor, why not listen to some vinyl? Well, because the turntable is a bit funky. I turned it on, the arm automatically went to the beginning of a 12″ album, then stopped; I had to manually get the turntable going before it would run on its own. Then when it got to the end of a side, the arm just sat in the inner groove until I hit the stop button two or three times.

What to listen to? No, it wasn’t Bobby Vinton, though being from Binghamton, with its large Slavic population, I have an admitted affection for the first track. No, I started with Smile, a bootleg of the Beach Boys’ album that Brian Wilson finally put out 37 years after he started. It was not unfamiliar to me; between the legit Beach Boys albums, the outtakes from the Beach Boys box set and Brian’s SMiLE album, it all sounded a bit familiar. Except for some cacophonous saxophone piece, which, fortunately, I don’t think survived.

I should talk about bootlegs. I don’t have many, maybe 10, mostly Beatles, and with few exceptions, they are disappointing sonically. In retrospect, they are dubious to own morally, I suppose.

The next thing I played was Side One of Daryl Hall’s first solo album, Sacred Songs, produced by Robert Fripp. My favorite song is the second, “Something in 4/4 Time”. Lefty once asked if I liked vocal choruses, and I do, this song being the epitome of this. In the middle, it gets kind of Fripp-like, with a bunch of triplets, but never loses the beat. One of my favorite songs ever.

Anyway, at some point, I will have to cull this collection. One group that will definitely stay are the Warner/Reprise Loss Leaders, all of which I own except Zapped, the two Peaches collections and the more recent Loss Leaders Revisited. I suspect they’ll be the albums I’ll play next.
Speaking of vinyl, Mark Evanier has posted that YouTube of WKRP’s Johnny Fever and his compatriots listening to Les Nessman describe the station’s turkey drop (5:40).

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