It’s weird to think of the idea of “used” music these days. In this age of infinitely replicable digital media files, why would someone move an .mp3 to your device when it can just be copied?
Ninety percent of the music that I own on vinyl was acquired second-hand. There’s a multitude of good artists from years past that not only are still worthy of a listen, but were popular enough that their physical music releases are still easy to find. The fact that many used vinyl records can be bought for as little as one or two dollars at a thrift store means the barrier to entry, and trying a new artist, is very low. Sure, many of the more popular albums will get snatched up by someone reselling them for $10, but it doesn’t hurt to check the vinyl rack at the thrift store on a regular basis and see what they have.
I wouldn’t really call myself a “hipster” (and not just because it’s not a very well-defined term), but something I do have in common with “hipsters” is my enjoyment of vinyl records. There’s many things about vinyl that make it interesting to listen to. The “atmosphere” that the extra sounds create, the fact you’re forced to pay somewhat more attention to the music so you can flip the record over, and those times when (concept) albums are written to fit right in with the time constraints are just some of the reasons.
Here’s my top four vinyl releases that I acquired second-hand, currently:
Nothing Like the Sun – Sting
This is currently my toddler’s No. 1 pick when I pull out a couple records and let her choose. I think she just likes his picture. I personally like the range of moods and the transitions between them throughout the record. I got this one at a thrift store because I enjoy a few Sting tracks.
A Love Supreme – John Coltrane
This is some weird jazz. I only listen to this when I’m in the right mood for it, as it really takes some effort to enjoy. That being said, it’s rather enjoyable when the conditions are right. I bought this at a garage sale while wanting to expand what little jazz music I had.
No Jacket Required – Phil Collins
I enjoy 80’s British pop rock, but I didn’t really realize this until my cousin bought this for me.
Glass Houses – Billy Joel
My cousin (the same one) also got this one for me. I think he’s trying to influence my musical tastes – not that it’s a bad thing: I really enjoy this one! Billy Joel is an artist that has an interesting range of talents and styles, and this is no exception.
The only downside to physical media, and vinyl records in particular, at least for me, is that we don’t have a turntable at the office, so I only get to enjoy vinyl in the evening and on weekends.