August 12th was Vinyl Record Day, marked by the date Edison invented the phonograph in 1877, so it’s become a day to celebrate the old time traditions of sonic yesteryear, and spin your favorite tunes on those old 33 1/3, 45, and 78 sized spherical objects made out of wax called “records.” And I’m here to give you my Top 12 favorite vinyl records of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, along with a bunch of honorable mentions, but before we get to that, let’s talk a little bit about this thing called “vinyl.”
Up until the mid 1980s, when CDs started to become the musical norm in how one listened to their music proper, records were the norm of the people; not just a communally popular way to hear songs, but it became a giant subculture of the fabric of life, a hobby, a key element in creating parties, in creating gatherings and get-togethers, a source of fun competition in who would have more records than whom and who would have the rare cool records, in essence, vinyl hoarding was a collector’s and layman’s dream for decades upon decades.
With its outer cardboard casings known as “sleeves,” bands and musicians of all musical genres were able to express themselves not only in the music they created, but by the art that was presented on the front and back covers, which spawned an entire new artistic medium in a sense. In a way, every day should still be a Vinyl Record Day in some regard, and as the way music is bought and downloaded these days, in binary coded “bitted and byted” digital forms, not only has the way of the vinyl passed in essence, but also all the visual accoutrements that came with it. It has become a relic of the past like a rotary telephone or a CB radio, a dinosaur’s regime, which ultimately is hence even a more urgent reason to preserve the memory and image of the record alive in the 21st century.
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