The first Vinyl Connection post was on 10 May 2013. Six years later, forty-odd posts shy of 500, we’re still going.
From a personal perspective, 2019 has thrown up challenges to posting regularly. I’m not complaining, mind you. To grizzle about having paid writing work would be disingenuous and just plain wrong. But I do feel regret that I have neglected the very thing that lead to the freelance work for Discrepancy Records. There is disappointment, too, that I just don’t get much reading time these days. I miss ‘doing the rounds’ and feel a bit guilty about neglecting the offerings of others. I’m noticing that my listening habits have changed too. Less discretionary time means that listening time is sometimes—often?—guided by commercial writing. Sometimes that is great; last week I spent a lovely few days with Herbie Hancock’s Blue Note recordings. Still, I have noticed that the ‘Not Played’ rack is starting to bulge. But this is about celebration, not whinging. Vinyl Connection is 6!
So to mark the anniversary there’s a batch of new material coming to Vinyl Connection that reflects the blog’s history and is also a thank-you to those who have followed VC’s musical meanderings over the years. You know who you are and I hope you know how grateful I am. But the blog has also accumulated a lot of newer readers over its lifetime (if Followers are indeed readers; who really knows?) so the anniversary special is for those folk too. Please consider leaving your mark (it’s nice to see who has visited) or join in the commentary—new voices are always welcome.
When I started Vinyl Connection one of its intentions was to write music pieces intertwined with memoir, the reasoning being that there are any number of album review sites, but few focusing on the personal connection. The latter is, after all, as aspect of music that nourishes, sustains and sometimes (perhaps) entertains others. Several of early memoir stories I recall with pleasure. (If you are interested, this is one. And here, another. Ah, what the hell; what’s a birthday without a bit of self-indulgence? Here’s a third).
Of course the reservoir of personal stories was always going to eventually run low, perhaps not just due to evaporating memory but also the sad yet inescapable fact that music is not so entwined with daily life these last fifteen or so years; more an absorbing hobby than a waking obsession. (No, I’ve never dreamed about records. Well, not dreams I’m willing to admit to, anyway).
One of the features of Vinyl Connection has been the tendency to run themes, such as this cover art one from the early days. More often than not, these peter out due to enthusiasm fading well before the material has been exhausted. Nevertheless, I decided this May series had to have a theme.
We’ll feature sixth albums. Six studio LPs indicates staying power.*
Showing my age?
Unavoidable. So let’s pick a sixth album from each decade, beginning in the 60s.
And then we’ll feature the sixth track.
That last one was the boy’s suggestion. Since becoming a teenager he has become remarkably adept at taking the piss in amusing ways. Ms Connection, as you might imagine, simply rolled her eyes. ‘Good that you’re keeping it simple,’ she said.
So six sixth albums; one each from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, and 10s. Some of them will be memoir posts, too. I’m planning to put together a couple of cover art posts as well, those having been a feature of the blog since its inception.
Finally—so that this introductory post has at least a soupçon of actual content—here is a teaser: a collage of edits from the covers of all six featured albums. Anyone who identifies all six will definitely be offered a prize.**
* No live albums, EPs, compilations etc. I’ve used the country of origin for the album order.
** In fact, the highest tally (artist and album, thank you) will get a little electronic something. To enter, LIKE the Vinyl Connection facebook page and send me a FB message with your answers. (Those who have my email are welcome to use that). The quiz will close when the first album article is posted.