Today is VINYL RECORD DAY, marking the 131st anniversary of the the invention of the phonograph. There have been quite a few wonderful posts about records and why we love them out there. (It’s also my mom’s birthday – Happy Birthday.) The Hits Just Keep On Coming has an index of many articles written especially for Vinyl Day. I myself didn’t grow up listening to vinyl, searching through racks of 45’s and LP’s and coming home with singles. As I was growing up my parents had an old stack of records, but I didn’t get into it much. And while my eldest sister had a record player, her “stereo” also had an 8-track player, which was what she mainly used – and in turn what I would go listen to when she wasn’t around. Although she had quite diverse tastes in High School, I wasn’t exposed the the more rocking of her collection. The 8-tracks I remember were Barry Manilow and Air Supply. Growing up with three older sisters, I heard more than my share of the easy listening classics. There’s nothing wrong with the Carpenters, I happen to enjoy them, quite a bit actually, but nothing that hard was played at home. I can still trace my enjoyment of 70’s rock, such as the Little River Band, to my oldest sister and her 8-tracks. She has since purchased one of those old credenza style record player/radio units they have an abundance of in the thrift stores into which she plugs her iPod. I really started getting into music when I got a few cassettes for Christmas when I was around six. Billy Joel “Glass Houses”, Kenny Rogers “Greatest Hits” and some old “Lone Ranger” radio shows. Then another one of my sisters and I decided to join Columbia House together and split the cassettes. Mix-tapes and Columbia House (or BMG) – that’s what I had during my formidable years. I have the four LP’s pictured above on my wall, they’re more art than they are music to me. I mean they represent music, but if I want to listen to “Pet Sounds” it’s either on my iPod, my computer or I break out the old CD, which doesn’t add anything by doing so. There’s no warm fuzzy humming and popping associated with the CD or the Cassette, so I don’t even listen to full albums much anymore. Just throw that new song I heard into the mix on my iPod and be happy when it turns up. There’s not much of the “album” around to speak of any longer – aside from the occasional concept album, but those too are seemingly falling by the wayside. Kids these days don’t even want to listen to an entire album. (I can’t believe I just typed “Kids these days” – sheesh.) They “buy” the one song they heard on MTV and throw it on their iPod. I do it myself, but it’s sad. “Abbey Road” wouldn’t be Abbey Road without ‘Her Majesty’ at the end, or the way it seamlessly weaves through songs and thoughts connecting one to another and afterwards we’re left with a whole, not individual units. Maybe it’s just a big cycle and we’re back to the 45’s stage and we’re coming back around to the albums, hopefully. Maybe I need to go listen to “Glass Houses” again, without skipping any songs.