Music Home

I always said to myself that I wouldn't do a 'music' page, but there you go. The temptation was just too strong.

There has been a lot of discussion over the years about the difference between LP's and CD's. Having spent quite a while on the CD side of the fence I'm now back listening to (and buying, where possible) LP's. This is why:

  1. Time. One side of an LP has 4 or 5 five songs and lasts around 20 minutes. That, for me, is about all to want to hear from one band in one go. I've got some 'complete' or 'history' CD's by bands I love but they go on for 70 minutes or so (and there may be another CD to go after that). I'm bored after the 6th track, and want to listen to something different. With an LP you can listen to the first side, listen to other bands, and then come back and listen to the second side. No, a CD multi-changer is not an answer, and neither is an MP3 player.

    [ This also led to the, unique to LP, 'slow' and 'fast' sides. Among many, Rod Stewart - the old rogue - did this on 'Foot Loose & Fancy Free'. One side of the LP was for the lads and the other was for later in the evening and the some female company. Worked for him, anyway. ]

  2. Tactile. Records are objects of affection and CD's are as involving as a tax form. The whole process of cleaning and playing a record is one where you're involved in the process. You can also see what's going on when it's playing. Loading a CD multi-changer has the same excitement as changing the batteries in the smoke alarms.

  3. Size. Buying, playing or just looking at an LP is so much more enjoyable than an anonymous silver disc and its little plastic box. The artwork on an LP is to a proper scale, and there are lyric sheets you can read without Sherlock's magnifying glass.

  4. Sound. LP's sound better than CD's. I don't know why, and God knows I'm no audio engineer, but they just do sound better - warmer, less tinny, more involving. Ok, LP's end up with pops and scratches and CD's don't, but isn't that just a part of their character?

    [ I've also got this theory that audio CD's will degrade - and become unlistenable - over time. Go on then, laugh. We'll see who laughs last. ]

  5. No Extras. Especially annoying is when the record company add 'bonus' tracks to to the CD version of your favourite albums. Stop it. When a great album - say, for example, Dusty in Memphis - finishes, the last thing I want to listen to is a bunch of songs that weren't good enough to make it on the album in the first place. There is a reason why they weren't there in the first place. What was it? Oh yes, I remember. They weren't good enough.