Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Colored Vinyl: Resistance is Futile

As you can see, there's no music in this post. In an effort to expand my blog-writing horizons, this time I'm going to ramble about something other than a specific record or band. That something is my inability to resist colored vinyl.

There are a lot of factors I can cite as reasons why vinyl, in most cases, has become my preferred music format - the unique sound, the big artwork, the fact that you can now get fantastic albums for dirt cheap because most people consider vinyl an obsolete format...

These all speak to the allure of vinyl, but I hold a special place for one very important superpower that vinyl can use to trump the almighty compact disc: multicolored awesomeness.

Sure, you can pretty much put any color or design on the top of a CD, but it's just not the same. I mean, when was the last time you experienced the thrill of finding a see-thru, ocean blue CD?

Maybe I'm (way) too easily amused, but I find colored vinyl incredibly cool...seriously, really cool. Probably to an extent that some might not consider humanly healthy. There's something about great music coming from a large, brightly-colored circle that makes it even more enjoyable than when it's coming from a bland black circle or a smaller shiny circle.

In fact, I'm always tempted to buy any colored vinyl I come across regardless of the band.

Case in point: I've never collected music by the Beatles, but I was surfing eBay the other day and saw a sizable lot of Beatles singles, each in the form of a vibrantly-colored 45, and was seriously tempted to bid. Not that it would have been such a bad thing. I hear a few people think they're a pretty good band.

Still, those singles weren't as cool as the colored vinyl centerpiece of my collection - my Bruiseology LP by The Waitresses on swirled purple vinyl (pictured above on the left). This special edition of the LP was only pressed for DJ promo copies and is somewhat scarce, so even though I already had a copy of the album in basic black, I had to have the purple-ish wax when I saw it. Granted, I don't pull it out and stare at it on a daily basis, but somehow knowing it's in my collection makes me happy.

It seems that translucent green is a popular choice for colored 45s. I've already got three of those after less than a year of devoted vinyl collecting.

Sometimes the color of a colored vinyl perfectly matches the music. There's no better example than the Josie Cotton 7" He Could Be the One b/w Systematic Way on bubblegum pink vinyl. I just tracked down a copy, and somehow Josie's summery, carefree, girl-group inspired power pop sounds even better coming from it.

The only downside to bright colors is that sometimes they make it hard to gauge the condition of a record. This is mainly because scratches don't show up as well as on black, but you also might find yourself too busy being awed by the wonders of colored wax to even notice or care.

That aside, colored vinyl is a prime example of how vinyl simply provides more of a music listening experience than any other format. I admit, some CDs sound excellent, but as a whole they just can't compete (although they do beat digital music. You can't even see that).

If I ever join a band and record an album you can bet it's gonna be on vinyl. And it's gonna be colored.


todd said...

"Baby Blue" by Badfinger sounds best on Windex-colored vinyl. Good post.

Franko6677 said...

That one came out on blue vinyl?? Must get it!

todd said...

Baby Blue
Beatles Jukebox 45s

Anonymous said...

I share your weakness for colored vinyl as well as 10" records. I f!@#ing hate picture discs though.

Uncle E said...

How did I miss this post? I also have a place in my music geek heart for colored vinyl, don't know what it is about it that draws me to it, though. I have a bunch in the closet, and when (if?) we upgrade to a bigger house they'll go on the wall in my "music den".

walknthabass said...

Oh yeah! Me too!




Picture discs too!



walknthabass said...

Oops! Missed one!


Bryzo said...

Yeah, coloured vinyl IS cool! The sound quality has improved over the years too - my first few coloured vinyl singles had more snap, crackle and pop than Rice Crispies!

Franko6677 said...

Very cool stuff, walknthabass!

Wolfie! said...

If you go to youtube and look me up "wolfiestorr" you'll see my coloured vinyl, I love it too. :)