What set about the LP experience was as much the sound (I'm not enough of an audiophile to get into that debate) as it was the holistic experience. Does anyone recall a night like this (or whatever your version of it was):
We were in college. My friend Wayne and I had just made some money shoveling snow off the roofs of neighborhood
houses after a huge Chicago snow storm. That night we get in the car and drive to the local music store. Since our
dollars were few at that point we spent well over an hour going slowly through the record bins trying to find the one or
two albums that would be worthy of our hard-earned cash. We study the cover art. We check out who played on that
album -- maybe even who produced it. We call each other over from our respective areas of the stores to get a
second opinion. After making our purchases We grab a six-pack and stop at the late night doughnut store. Then we
head back to the dorm, tear off the plastic rap (much easier than those blasted CD wrappers that came later) and . . .
YES! . . . a trifold album cover which meant a lot of album art, full lyrics, maybe even some well-written text from a
music critic. We invite some friends and start to listen as we eat our doughnuts and drink our beer. Wait, play that
track again. Yeah, it's a pain having to get up and reset the needle but even that required some dexterity -- trying
to get that needle in just the right space between tracks. All the while we're passing around the cover and liner
material, finding out that our favorite keyboardist played back-up on the 4th cut. The whole album might have
been about 9 good tracks. I was never convinced that the 13 or 17 tracks on a CD were a better thing.
Now, tell me again how scrolling through a list of songs, clicking on an icon -- never really "feeling" the texture of the music -- and sitting with 4 friends, each listening to their own music, is a wonder of modern technology. Nah, I'm going to go pour some bourbon (I've moved on from the six pack), go to my new turntable and put on my old, old copy of Led Zeppelin III -- track 1, "The Immigrant Song".