Now or Then?

Ok, so you can download all the music you would ever want and then some, but, have we lost something in the process?

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Sure the quality of the product we listen to is undoubtedly superb but……………there is a case for saying that the music produced in any era, let’s use the 60’s as the example, was created by technicians for the playback equipment that was available to the general public at the time. In the 60’s, probably a Dansette, and if you don’t know what one is, Google it…they are superb.
Most vocals recorded then were slightly distorted for a number of reasons, recording technique, the fact that a lot of recordings were done in one take and what was done was done etc. For whatever reason, the recording benefited from it.
Now we can record with absolute clarity, but so what? The human ear can only discern so much, certainly a great deal less than the quality produced now, and if yer go to a gig the ambient noise is all part of the experience.
Are you listening to the music or the quality of the music?

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And while you whack yer earphones in and pump up the volume to listen to yer latest thang, you’re now missing out on the tactile.
Vinyl meant vast chunks of cardboard adorned with photos, designs, logos, whatever….but it was exciting to open a gate sleeve ( I assume you know what that is ) and see yer fav bands latest artwork.

When CD’s came along they were a poor substitute, but still had sleeves you could pull out look at and read while the album did its merry thing on yer CD player….even if the lyrics were printed so small you needed a frigging magnifying glass to read ’em…..
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As with all things you gain on one hand and lose on the other…..
We are fundamentally tactile beings and as generations toddle along no longer used to experiencing anything other than a download it seems a shame they will never get to hold an album cover by their favourite artist, and the argument that you an view it all online is a disappointing one. One computer crash, server fail or a power cut and that option is fucked………

Old isn’t always good, but neither is the new. Replacing one format with another is the record industry making more profit,,,, and ironically it isn’t as if they reinvest the money into new acts speculatively like they used to…..

Don’t get me wrong where we are now is fab, but equally where we were was fab too, just don’t be fooled into thinking now is the ultimate….cos it aint.

Choose yer words wisely,

Abe & the Elum

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