British writer and broadcaster Jamie Dyer writes about his week in consuming and discovering vintage related media.
Hello and welcome to another edition of my blog on Old Time Review. As things edge ever closer to the Christmas season, I can feel the access to vintage nostalgia starting to increase. As the sound of Bing, Frank and Cliff fill the speakers of consumers across the nation, television schedules become pre-occupied with reruns of treats from yesteryear. I won’t be hanging up the stocking just yet, this site will be a Christmas free zone until the first of December.
Renewing my interest in vinyl
Unusually for my generation, I began collecting vinyl records in a time when they were uncool. About fifteen years ago, I bought a second-hand Hi-Fi, a turntable and a collection of five singles for around £5 at a car boot sale. Picking up used vinyl albums at charity shops for as little as 50p each, I amassed a large collection of a range of different music. All the things that people originally loved about vinyl appealed to me. It was the large artwork, lyric sheet, gatefold and the warm sound of the format that made its mark, as it had done on generations before. Holding the record in your hands before placing it and dropping the needle is a pleasure unheard of in this digital age. My interest began to decrease once the masses took to the format again, as it ceased to be a cheap way to hear new music in physical form.
A few years later, I tried to get into the format again. I, alongside many others, invested in one of those briefcase turntables as an easy way back, but I regard them as something of a novelty. The combination of a £25 vinyl supposedly pumping through a tinny phone speaker did not appeal to me. Opting to take it a bit more seriously, I have taken a few basic steps forward My trusty decade-old direct drive turntable is looking and sounding a bit tired, so am saving up for a brand new one. I have also lightened a load of my vast collection to sellers and charity shops; keeping only the records I knew I would listen to. I have also vowed to maintain and look after the vinyl I keep, regularly cleaning them before playback. Since making all these changes; I am enjoying the world of vinyl more and hoping to continue into the next decade.
My Interest in Bill Haley & His Comets
I have written previously of my love of Bill Haley, and always feel keen to revisit his music. This week, I jumped at the chance to review a 10″ vinyl reissue from Bear Family Records. Although I have many of his tracks on CD, it always feels fresh to experience the music on the format it was intended for. The recording quality may not be the cleanest, but the raw energy always stands out. I must play the other albums I own, now I have had a reminder of his unique style.
Thank you for reading this edition of the Old Time Review blog! If you want to get in contact, please email Jamie@OldTimeReview.co.uk.