The Wild Heart’s existence is officially justified! I’m not going to name names of who thinks we should not exist, but now I have proof that vinyl is superior in sound to both cds, Zunes, and iPods.

As I am writing this, I am listening to one of my latest purchases from the record store, Pat Benatar’s 1984 release Tropico. I own about 2/5ths of the album in other formats: iTunes and her Greatest hits on CD. As I am listening to Painted Desert, one thing that I can clearly hear is her husband, guitarist Neil Giraldo’s beautiful guitar playing as well as some bongos in the background. This cannot be heard on the version that I have on iTunes.

Let’s face it, the days of the CD are numbered. It will become like the 8track: history. Vinyl will once again be king and mp3’s will be at where cassettes were in the 80’s and 90’s – mixtape madness. That is, if people are smart enough.

I say this because the current bestselling artist worldwide, Lady GaGa, has released her latest album Born This Way on vinyl. Other current artists such as Green Day, Adele, and even Nine Inch Nails. Furthermore, other great classic rock artists like Fleetwood Mac, who re-released their landmark Rumours album on vinyl last April, the Police, Guns & Roses, Stevie Nicks, and the late Michael Jackson – who saw a huge resurgence of record sales in 2009 after his death, are re-releasing some of their greatest albums on vinyl.

Now let’s compare some of the qualities of that vinyl has over cds or even iTunes using the current album I am playing: Tropico by Pat Benatar along with a few others from the immaculate collection of the Wild Heart.

Cost: Since we are in a recession we’re fighting high gas prices, cost is everything right now. For my latest purchase, Pat Benatar’s Tropico was $6 used at Black Dog Records in Houston, TX – a place specializing in near-mint condition vinyl. On iTunes, to download this entire album, its $10. Now since apparently this album as a stand-alone is out of print (they re-released it as a dual-CD with Seven The Hard Way) so if you want a stand-alone copy of this album you will end up paying a whopping $10.95 for a used copy of this Pat Benatar classic. However, new vinyl is rather costly – look to spend at least $25 or more.

Sound: Did you know that you hear in analogue? You do. CD’s are recorded in digital, which is why they have an artificial sound. The sounds on a CD or even an mp3 are digital sounds, meaning the sound is more processed and less organic. It doesn’t sound as rich as it should. Take for example Stevie Nicks’ song Sister Honey from her 1985 album Rock A Little. On this track, you can clearly hear the disco-style bass line as well as the high parts where Nicks nearly screams “and she’ll go fast like a jet plane and then fast like a star stream.” As one that likes to listen to this album at work on Grooveshark as well as owns the actual album, the LP version is superior not only due to the sound quality, but the song sequence is messed up on Grooveshark. (I don’t have time to put it in its rightful order) With any artist, there’s a reason the songs are in a certain order. This could be due to the fact the album maybe a live recording, a concept album, or the artist – such as is the case with Nicks – who’s known for being picky about the song sequence on her albums. Also one major downside to vinyl is the fact that it gets scratched after repeated usage – thus affecting the sound quality.

However, we should not knock mp3’s. They are great for sharing music (in the legal way!) and, if you have a smartphone like an iPhone or Android, you can play music for your friends wherever and whenever.

  1. whatsaysyou says:

    So, the vinyl is not as dead as many people assume to be.

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