Who's the Daddy: In celebration of worse sound

You know you’re getting older when the mound of junk you bought in your youth suddenly has value.

Saturday, 28th August 2021, 12:30 pm
Who is the Daddy

Replica football shirts from the 1980s which go on eBay for more than you spent on your first car and old LPs you haven’t played since the early 1990s which sell for a decent sized mortgage payment.

Those who say nostalgia isn’t what it was are so wrong. The past isn’t just a foreign country where they do things differently, if you land your pick axe in the right spot it’s also a gold mine. The funny thing is though, what old nonsense from our children’s youth will sell for a small fortune in 30 years on whatever’s replaced eBay?

It certainly won’t be musical, because if your kids are anything like ours they haven’t played a physical format of music in 10 years – just about everything they’ve listened to since primary school has been downloaded or streamed. You can hear it, you can see it, but you can’t touch it. Sorry, MC Hammer.

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Daughter #1 had a very brief go at vinyl with a Bastille album a few years ago, but was appalled by its sound quality on her little retro record player “is it broken?” Especially compared to the lush “whumph” of the bassline through her Bluetooth speaker where, thanks to Spotify, she can listen to every song ever made. When she was about 12 she asked me to talk her through playing a Florence + The Machine album on my old Systemdek turntable, to change the speed from 45 to 33 you have to lift off the glass platter and move the rubber band up a cog, then flick a switch to get the turntable twirling and lift the arm across yourself. And then take it off again when it’s finished.

NASA sent men to the Moon and back with less faff, fewer questions and about a tenth of the stress.

“What, you have to do ALL that EVERY time you listen to music? AND it doesn’t even sound as good as my speaker.”

That’s the thing nobody tells kids today about vinyl, it’s the most expensive and inconvenient way of listening to music. It isn’t particularly portable and is incredibly fragile. But for old bores like me it’s magical. So there.