When I was first given this writing assignment, I was going to write about helping the novice start a vinyl collection. Not sure if you know this or not, but vinyl record sales are increasing rapidly, and people are buying up LPs and turntables because of the warm, layered sound that emanates from playing the twelve-inchers.
So I started researching online about how to successfully start a vinyl collection and realized I have no business telling beginners how to start a vinyl collection – I’m still a beginner myself! The experts have already written better articles than I have, so why just regurgitate someone else’s brilliance?
So last night I was sitting in my Vinyl Lounge – the room my wife and I have devoted to our turntables and our vinyl collection – with my headphones on, jamming out to Pearl Jam’s TenLP, trying to think of ways that I might give a different perspective on vinyl. I was somewhere in the middle of listening to Vedder’s golden voice sing “Jeremy” when I was slapped with an epiphany; I might not be a vinyl expert yet, but my vinyl collection has turned me into somewhat of an air guitar expert.
I’m a lucky dude. No seriously. Not only did I marry a beautiful woman, but her father, Tim, is a serious music lover. So when we stated that we were going to start a music collection, Tim offered to give us his Denon turntable and a couple of huge stacks of vinyl goodness. I fell in love immediately, totally engulfed by the melodies making their way from the needle to my emotions. When you listen to vinyl, you really sit and enjoy an entire album front to back and become part of the story that the artist was trying to tell with that entire LP. Sure, I still love my iTunes and love finding new music on Spotify and Pandora, but if you want to truly hear an entire album, get immersed in vinyl, start bin diving at local record stores, turn off your cell phone, be quiet, and listen.
As time moved and our vinyl collection grew, I spent more and more time in the Vinyl Lounge. I went from sitting and listening, to cranking up the volume and really jamming out. It was then that I realized that air guitar might be the secret to a stress-free life. What? Don’t believe me? When was the last time you slapped on some headphones, cranked up the decibels, and jammed out like you were on stage with the entire world cheering on your every movement? It has probably been a long time, because we usually get self-conscious about it after we pass the age of 5. But I’ll tell you this: the 5 year olds and I have been rocking our living rooms like we are on stage at Woodstock, leaving behind our cares and jamming out the way music was intended to be listened to – freely.
So I think you should give it a try. I’ve even constructed a playlist of awesome LPs, and I’m hoping that you’ll stop giving everyone on the freeway dirty looks and start de-stressing by rocking your air guitars to my favorite songs on these albums.
5 Amazing Air Guitar LPs (in no particular order)
Disraeli Gears by Cream. There is a reason that this was on the charts at #4 in 1968, and that reason is because it is awesome. Eric Clapton plays lead guitar, so when you pick up your air guitar to jam to songs like “Sunshine Of Your Love,” you will be playing along with one of rock’s greatest.
Brothers by The Black Keys. Most likely, you won’t be able to find this 2010 album by bin diving at your local second hand record store. If you do get your hands on this LP, I should warn you that you and your air guitar may get a bit out of control when jamming to songs like “Sinister Kid.” I came off of the couch with an epic move that I believe almost gave my wife’s cat a heart attack, which is good enough reason to do it again.
After the Rain by Muddy Waters. You don’t always need hard rock to use your air guitar. Sometimes, listening to the blues and just kicking back in your favorite chair is the key to a relaxing life. Muddy Waters makes you feel every song, and even if it isn’t the After the RainLP, it is my belief that every great vinyl collection needs to be a bit Muddy.
Cage the Elephant by Cage the Elephant. You’ve had a long day at work, and you need to really cut loose. Spin this album and just let it play. Songs like “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked,” and “Back Against the Wall” will have you feeling free in no time.
At Fillmore East By The Allman Brothers. This album is truly epic, and ranks in at #49 onRolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list. If you think your air guitar talents are up for it, rip loose and play along with Duane Allman and Dickey Betts as they give one of the greatest all-time live performances, a 23-minute rendition of “Whipping Post,” that will leave you both stress-free and amped up.
Vinyl is most likely the first and last physical medium for music. If you are a music lover, I promise you that you won’t regret your decision to dump the digital and acquire some analog. Be brave, pick up your air guitar, and as our AMLI slogan reminds us, “Live Life. Love Life.”