Saying good-bye to old LPs

If you saw my record collection, you’d probably think it was pretty big, and by today’s standards you’d be right. Most people got rid of their records a long time ago. Me, I never bought a CD player. I did finally acquire one through marriage. You may recall that my husband is somewhat younger than I am. He had CDs, I had records. Oh, he brought a few albums with him (which is how we ended up with two of the Beatles White album), but not enough that we would ever refer to it is our record collection. They were mine.

They were especially mine when he wanted to get rid of them. They took up space, the stereo cart was old and ugly, and besides, he complained, did I ever actually listen to them? He had me there. One birthday he got me a record player with a built-in USB, and a gadget that would let me play music from the computer upstairs, in the living room downstairs. All we had to do was digitize my records. That was a few years ago and we never got further than the letter C, at which point the magnitude of the project overwhelmed both of us.

I’ve finally started to wean myself from my records. When I’m in the mood, I comb through the collection and pull out a few more I’m ready to part with. In the beginning, I did it grudgingly, but recently I’ve been picking up steam. I loved the Alan Parsons Project, but I could only sing the songs from Eve, so did I really need the others? Wasn’t it time to admit I’d outgrown T. Rex? Actually, the answer to that is no. I put it back on the shelf.

Now what? I could drive all the way to Norwood to sell them to Newbury Comics for fifty cents a piece (“No Eagles, please,” as if I’d ever sell my Eagles records!), but I didn’t need the money badly enough to schlep down there. I just wanted to find someone who would give them a good home. It turns out that there is a woman in my town who has a real collection, somewhere in the vicinity of 10,000 albums. She collects, and trades, and, here’s the corker, listens to her records. When she left with a box of LPs culled from my collection, she said, “If you ever just want to listen to one of your records, bring it over and I’ll play it for you.” If I’m too lazy to lift the arm of the turntable, I’m probably not going to go over to her house to listen to music, but that’s the kind of person I was looking for.

Slowly but surely I’ll whittle away at my collection until I’ve got it down to records I could never, ever part with; Bonnie Raitt’s Home Plate, Supertramp’s Breakfast in America, Livingston Taylor’s eponymous first album. Once I’ve done that, I’ll go buy them on iTunes so maybe I’ll actually listen to them. How about that, I never did need a CD player.


9 responses to “Saying good-bye to old LPs

  1. I still have all of my old LPs. And acquired my brother’s when he went to CDs. Geez, I probably still have some Beatles 45s somewhere. Never use them anymore. Have started to “recollect” some of them on iTunes.

  2. Very enjoyable post… I am stuck with a few old albums that weren’t on itunes until recently (Donovan! Don’t tell anyone). I can’t part with them because I love the IMAGES on the covers. The memories of flipping through them as a kid. The hunky picture of Cat Stevens… Sigh… Also, I love hearing about your younger man husband through these posts. Ha, ha!

  3. Would that kind lady in your town be wiling to take and give visiting rights to really ancient classical records on 78, 45 and maybe even a few old cylinders? In fact, might she be willing to take some much loved but rarely used pots and pans, china and Burberry raincoats, a steamer trunk- why even the contents of my whole attic that I find so difficult to part with?

  4. You’re too modest. Sure, I brought a White Album into our marriage. But yours is the cool, white vinyl edition.

  5. I thought I was the only one who loved Livingston Taylor. I wore his album out and saw him at two county colleges!

    • That is such exciting news! It’s lonely thinking you’re the only fan of a particular artist, much less album. I feel so good now, I think I’ll have a Carolina Day!

  6. I got rid of all my records in the 1980s. Sometimes I wish I held onto them along with my record player. Now I’m an iPod girl with a Bose speaker and I download my songs off iTunes (A couple of Alan Parson Project songs recently). I don’t even buy CDs anymore.

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