I always loved vinyl records. My first years of music collecting were during the late 1970s and early 1980s, and it was all about records and the occasional cassette. When I was in college, I was a DJ on Boston College’s amazing radio station (WZBC 90.3 FM) and in a nightclub across the Charles River at Man Ray in Central Square near Cambridge. While CDs and CD mixers were certainly in full swing at the time, my favorite format was still vinyl, hands down.
Spatial and financial constraints have prevented me from nurturing a vinyl collection today, and I’ve surrendered to the full digital/streaming experience with Spotify, iTunes, internet radio, etc. I digitized my entire CD collection and gave away all my records to a DJ friend of mine years ago. But I totally get the vinyl thing.
My friend Steve Lippman is a filmmaker who’s built an incredible body of work around music (I posted about his stunning collaboration with David Bowie back in January), and his love of music is manifested in his sick collection of vinyl, one of his pet passions.
A few weeks ago, Steve showed me photos he had taken of some of the records he had acquired from dollar bins in shops and flea markets over the years. The images showed really interesting pieces of cover art, revealing traces of previous owners from things like handwritten notations, cataloging “property of” stickers from radio stations, promotional “not for sale” stamps from record labels and things like that. The pictures inspired romantic notions and wonderings of where these records had been, who played them, what they meant to previous owners.
Steve wanted my suggestion on how and where to put the images online. I immediately thought of Tumblr. After tinkering with a theme he had bought, I worked with him to create a worthy online showcase for these wonderful pictures of the “DNA” of vinyl records.
One of his old records came from an imprint of United Artists, which was primarily known for releasing movies. On the label, United Artists Records had one of the greatest taglines I’ve ever seen: “Recorded for the talented listener.” With that, the name of Steve’s Tumblr blog was born. Enjoy (and follow) The Talented Listener.