The Soundtrack For The Baby Boomer Generation

Step back to a time when singers were as bright as the stars in the heavens
and the music they sang was really swingin'. Stacks of wax to fit every occasion!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Paradise Lost

I've been glancing through my record collection lately, scouring it for suitable songs to post here at Music For Every Mood. And it occurred to me that I had forgotten all about how nice it was when you could buy them and hold them in your hands and smell the newness on them. Do you remember when you would get it home and you pulled it out of the sleeve for the first time? How it glistened in the light? How perfectly round and black it was? And then you played it on your record player and it sounded just like how you had heard it on the radio. I miss those days, don't you? A 45 r.p.m. record was so personal. Just two songs and they were all yours to play and enjoy any time you wanted to. You could play it ten times in a row if you wanted to. I can remember playing a few that many times when I first got them because they were so good - unlike 99% of the music released these days - but that's another story. There was this store I used to go to where I bought singles, and every now and then they'd put them on sale. Who doesn't like a bargain? One time they seemed to be involved in a price war with somebody else that sold them because every week, they'd be just a little lower in price. Finally, they got down to about .19 cents apiece and I just went crazy and bought practically the whole top 40 because they were on sale. I didn't even like all the groups, it's just that they were so nice and cheap! I mean, Vangelis? All right, I suppose, but I don't seem to play that one much these days.
Back in the day they were sold, I can remember looking through the singles shelves in stores and seeing what was in the charts at that moment. Sometimes there would be a current recording that I hadn't thought would have been charted so high, so it was a pleasant surprise to find ones like that. Other times, the particular song I wanted would be sold out for the longest time. But, I would go back when they had a new stock in and finally get my copy. And some of them had picture sleeves - so nice!
Young people just don't know the joys of being able to buy singles. Sure, they used to have cassette singles and cd singles for awhile, but that practice seems to have been all but abandoned. Record companies these days only seem interested in getting you to buy a whole cd when you only want one song. And that is highly overpriced. I mean, $18.00 for one album? Those little silver discs all look alike and they have no personality to them. Yes, youngsters of today miss out on a phenomenon that drove the industry for nearly a century and I think it's a shame. They even offer music for download, at usually $1 per song, and the kids download them to their digital players and never have anything real. What's so great about that? If your player or computer crashes, you've lost all your music! But, with records - albums and 45's - you own them for life. I have scads of singles that are over 50 years old - they're older than I am and they still look practically brand new!
So, that is why I'm glad each and every time I can post a new song here on Music For Every Mood. Not only may it be one that most people have never heard or didn't get to buy when it originally came out, it's just such a pleasure handling them and recording them for all my devoted readers here. Like I said before, there's just something quite pleasureable about 45 r.p.m. records. If you ever bought one in your life, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. One more quick story about a 45 I bought when I was young. I can remember buying it and finding out that it was actually a two-sided hit, so I got two great songs I had heard on the radio for the price of one. I was with my father while he ran some errands in the big city, so I couldn't play my new record until I got home. But, I sure took it out of the sleeve many times and fawned over it repeatedly. They were great songs - and now they were mine to play and enjoy whenever I wanted!
I think it's a shame that the days of the vinyl 45 r.p.m. record are past us. If you have fond memories of them of a particular one you might have owned or wanted to own like I do, please share your memories in the comment section for others. Maybe we won't be able to get record companies to bring them back, but perhaps we can at least keep their memory alive for others to know and learn about. I have one final memory to add to this post. Did anybody out there ever get a record, only to find out it was not black like all the rest? You know what I'm talking about - colored vinyl. Now these records were even more special because a lot of times, they were clear and you could see right through them! The world would take on the color of your record and what a glorious world it was, back then. In honor of those special moments, I'd like to share a picture of one that I got a long time ago. It's not a song I'll be posting here on Music For Every Mood, but I hope it brings back another memory or two of things past for all my readers here. Here is a Grand Funk Railroad 45 r.p.m. recording of We're An American Band - on colored, not black vinyl:

And here is a clear vinyl 45, something you don't see very often, by The Beatles:


Ravel said...

I really liked your last post; You are so right about the "material" part of it. Touch & see the record... nothing like it.
More: record stays, not Mp3. A 78 rpm almost never skips, a 45 (old ones) last almost forever...

PELEON said...

I love 45's, that's why i have my own blog devoted to them.