Much has been said and written recently about the vinyl renaissance. Apparently sales of newly pressed records are at an all-time high for recent years as people eschew the digital revolution for something a bit more tangible.
Being of the age when vinyl was still the format of choice and CDs were just something that Kieran Prendeville spread jam over on Tomorrow’s World, collecting vinyl again doesn’t really interest me. However, in recent months I’ve started to amass a pretty decent collection of shellac. Yes as dead formats go they don’t come much deader than the 78 rpm gramophone record, and here in lies the thrill for this collector.
As with many things in my life this latest obsession started with a bored whim purchase of a picnic gramophone from eBay. My husband looked pretty nonplussed when I told him of this latest moment of purchasing insanity and to be honest, he was probably right to be wary. Still it was too late to dissuade me as by the time I told him, the seller had already confirmed dispatch.
Now as with many eBay purchases looks and descriptions can be misleading. I was sold this gramophone as being in ‘working order’, it also came with a selection of the latest hits (circa 1948) for me to try. I eagerly got the hand crank out, wound up, placed the disc on the turntable and dropped the arm on the record expecting to be duly transported to another time and place as the voices of the past were unleashed once more. However gramophone lesson number 1 was about to be learnt.