Geek Out: Buying a tangible CD

BY DI ARTS STAFF | AUGUST 24, 2009 7:05 AM

I have a confession to make: I still buy CDs.

In an age where most people I know buy all of their music online, I still take satisfaction in going to a store and buying a hard copy of an album. Old-fashioned, I know, but that’s the way I prefer it.

Because I’m a sucker for tangibility, I’m also a huge fan of vinyl.

I started collecting in 2007, when my aunt gave me her records, complete with a Radio Shack player from the ’70s that somehow still works. She gave me such rock classics as The White Album and Led Zeppelin IV and blues and jazz legends such as Muddy Waters and Miles Davis, all of which I’ve loved since first playing them. In beginning with my aunt’s unwanted collection, I started to collect records in a way different from most other people.

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My collection is based almost entirely on used vinyl. I have a few newer records that are in top condition, but most of them are used, and it shows. I like it this way. It’s obviously cheaper to get a scratched album than one in pristine condition, but I also prefer them that way because of the character. An album that has some scratches or has a torn cover shows that people have actually played it. It’s apparent that they’ve enjoyed it. And that, after all, is why we listen to music.

To me, few better things exist in the vinyl world than putting a record on and hearing that familiar scratch preceding the needle picking up the track. It’s a connection to the past, knowledge that someone has enjoyed this particular pop culture artifact, satisfaction that I’m continuing the chain.

If I ever decide that my collection needs to go, I think I’ll follow in my aunt’s footsteps and give it away. I cherish it, but I hope that someone else will, too, someday.

—Tommy Morgan Jr.

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