The Forgotten Art Of Buying Albums
Recently, I walked into a busy record store and was stunned at how many people were looking at vinyl. I had remembered the forgotten art of buying albums. Browsing through some of my favorite albums, found myself drawn to the artwork and design of the album. I was reminded of the ritual of buying an album. The design and art always set the tone and mood of the album. The album art is what sometimes exposed new artists to me and many other people. Sometimes it’s the cover art that makes someone pick up an album.
*And to be clear, when I reference “artist(s),” I’m implying the musicians and bands, not the actual author of the cover art/photography. That’s a whole blog post for another day.
“Album art adds a secondary visual element to the sound- giving it more dynamics and life. A complement to the music and more than a story- the album takes you on a journey.”
Remember the local record shop?
I remember saving up once a month and heading to the local music shop to browse for a new album. I would take it home and play it endlessly front to back for months. Until I knew every word, every note, or off time thingy that sounded awesome. The artwork design would tell the initial story and give insight to expectations as to their motivation. I would read the track listings and who played on each song-who wrote it. Often surprised by who happened to be credited on a track. A rock legend played that solo on track 4. Who knew?
The song lyrics would read like poetry, as I would always read them before listening to the album. Sometimes reading the lyrics on paper and seeing them can add clarity to a story. I would wonder why the order of the songs were picked in that specific way. It has a ritualistic experience.