Vinyl stands the test of time . . .

Michael Apichella ANL-151123-125029001
Michael Apichella ANL-151123-125029001
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During the 1960s, music was like oxygen to me. On the radio, DJs not only played Elvis, Rick Nelson, Bobby Vee, Roy Orbison, Simon and Garfunkel and the Beach Boys, but they introduced the British Invasion. That included the Stones, the Beatles, Pet Clark, Gerry & the Pacemakers, Manfred Mann and countless others, including Herman’s Hermits, Freddy and the Dreamers and the Yardbirds, to name a few.

They sang love songs the likes of which we seldom hear today. Back then, romance hit you like flu, and boy, when you caught it, you never wanted to recover. Bury businessman Robert Todd still appreciates the old sounds. “Principally it’s the memories of youth it evokes! I bought my first record in 1968, For Once In My Life, by Stevie Wonder. It cost six shillings and eight pence (33p) if I remember correctly.” Robert slyly adds: “When I hear that music today, it reminds me of the end of my clubbing days and the slide into normality.”

Todd’s not the only local vintage-music aficionado. The Rev Robert Green, pastor of Garland Street Baptist Church, and no mean guitar picker in his own right, adds this: “Part of the appeal of vintage music is the use of relatively crude technology. This exposes the musicianship of a performer or band. You hear what they are really playing! I think much has been lost in the loss of packaging of music. Back in the day, as you played your new LP for the first time, you pawed over the sleeve, admired the artwork and read the notes. It all added to the enjoyment and appreciation of the music and was always something to talk about with friends.

“My first LP was Fireball by Deep Purple. I had a Saturday job shelf-stacking at Tesco (the pickles) and spent my first pay-packet on music. I once swapped a ticket to see Genesis at High Wycombe town hall for a Jethro Tull album. The next day the lad came to school saying that his mum demanded that the deal was reversed (it wasn’t a fair swap!) I got my ticket for Genesis back and wasn’t disappointed!”

Because that music came to us recorded on vinyl discs, I was delighted one afternoon while shopping in the market to hear the Who’s Laughing on vinyl. Drawn to the sound like a hungry crow to an unguarded packet of chips, I discovered the man behind the music. He’s Chris Manning, proprietor of Mistymountain Music and purveyor of CDs and vinyl records. I asked him who buys his wares. “Oh, a very diverse range of buyers ranging from teenagers experiencing vinyl for the first time to older folks rebuilding their collections that they got rid of way back.”

Chris agrees with Robert Green. Vinyl outclasses digital. “Mostly it’s the full analogue sound of vinyl recordings as opposed to the compressed digital format used in CDs and downloadable recordings. Vinyl gives a richness and depth not matched in digital sound.

“Then there’s the ‘collectability’ factor which has always been there and the feeling of ‘getting more for your money’. Classic artists are constantly being rediscovered and that stands the test of time.”

With respect, Chris feels today’s music is not enduring and has no longevity.

“Here today gone tomorrow, whereas albums from bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, and many others, are still as popular as ever.”

Music aside, Chris adds he thinks the variety of Bury’s market is tops. “The market is an important service to many long-standing customers who in my experience are very loyal and pleasant to deal with.”

-- Popular speaker and lecturer Michael Apichella is an award-winning writer and an artist. Visit his website at www.michaelapichella.com, contact him at apichellaspeaker@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter, @MApichellaPhD