heard on the wire

A love that lasts all time

Today I went into a record shop and scanned the rack of leftovers from Record Store Day. Therein I briefly considered spending £27.99 on a remastered version of a record I already own in its original version.

Concluding that nobody really needs two vinyl copies of Leftism, brilliant as it is, and that the new remixes could be procured significantly more cheaply in a digital format, I declined.

Thus I contemplated the recent surge in vinyl’s popularity, which has seen the value of slices of grooved plastic exceed record companies’ simultaneous revenues from downloads (Though both are far eclipsed by streaming, that hasn’t made for such good headlines).

  • The people who are excited by the surge in vinyl sales are the same people who are buying vinyl. The numbers are still tiny compared to the millions consuming on Spotify.

  • Those people are almost exclusively middle-aged, middle class men. If you don’t believe me look at the pictures of the queues on Record Store Day (aka, Buy Overpriced Reissues Day).

  • The middle-aged middle-class are the only people who can afford to buy quantities of vinyl at £20-plus a go.

  • Having spent the last 30 years dragging my records across the UK and Europe and steadfastly refusing to spend an unnecessary fortune replacing all that music with CDs, I feel incredibly smug; and for once, if only transiently, I am cool.

  • There are only so many remastered, heavyweight-vinyl reissues of “classic albums” that people will want to buy; bubbles burst.

  • People who call records “vinyls” should be forced to attend English language classes where the nature of mass nouns is discussed in lengthy detail.

I’ve not posted here in a while. If you come in search of the hottest new tunes, and a few still-warm numbers from yesteryear, you’ll find me loitering over on Tumblr. It helps to release the pressure.

Leftfield // Release the Pressure


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