Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

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Do You Remember Your First Record Album?

There is such an eclectic bunch of music going on in my head these days. I have been reflecting back on those days when I got my first “record player” and then again when I got my first stereo record player.

Favoite Music

When I was a kid, I resorted to using my parent’s HI-fi console, complete with cloth covered speakers and walnut finish…and a spindle turntable with a drop down function that would allow you to play  a number of 33 rpm vinyl records or with the adapter it would accept 45 rpm singles too. The sound was just incredible for its day (nothing like now of course). Once the tubes warmed, up it was a great way to blast the 15 watts of power I’d guess it had.

So I remember firsts with albums based on what it was played on.

On my parents console;  “Introducing the Beatles” on Vee Jay records got worn out by the needle before I got a new copy. It was just the greatest album I had ever heard. Even remember begging my dad to loan me the money (under $4) to buy it at the local department store.

My first record player was all plastic, all in one portable player with 2 speakers ( but mono I think). When I got it I was certainly special to me. I shudder to think that anything would last long with the wear and tear the turntable would have likely induced. “The Monkees” first LP was introduced to my new portable plastic dream!

My first stereo was actually a hand-me down from my brother, but certainly welcomed as it was very “stereophonic” set, entrenched in my own room. A Zenith brand all in one system with separate speakers that fired upward with a cone-shaped thing above them to distribute the sound. The important thing with that was that was also the first time I owned “headphones” (take that Beats). The White Album by the Beatles became a favorite that Christmas season and I fondly remember the headphones making  semi-permanent marks in my skull.

When I finally had a job of my own I invested in my first “real” stereo system, after shopping carefully and deciding I was never going to be able to actually afford the McIntosh equipment I fell in love with at the Hi-Fi Fo Fum, I did get my JVC amplifier and tuner and a great turntable from Technics (I wish I had- it was totally manual with a weighted platter- just what the DJ’s use today). The EPI bass reflex speakers helped to make “Pink Floyd” Dark Side of the Moon one of the frequent players. That system ended up fueling many house parties in the future before its retirement.

So I do remember my first record album, but I also recall the equipment that made it such.

Technically my first album I owned was probably a Perry Como album. But later in life, with 1000’s of LPs later, I fondly remember the music and the times.

What is your first recollection?

The Dark Side of the Moon: 40 Years Later

Pink Floyd40 years ago I spent my $8.99 and purchased an LP record called “Dark Side of the Moon“. It was by Pink Floyd. I was an  owner of Pink Floyd albums prior to that, but nothing had prepared me for this.

This was before CD”s, but the deep rich sound of the LP was beyond just about anything I had heard until then. It was like the day I had bought Sgt. Peppers by the Beatles; there was anticipation for every sound and every song. There was so much in the tapestry of the music that it deserved many listening’s just to be sure there wasn’t any thing I was missing in the multi-layers of music and sound.

In those days even holding the “album” was an experience. And the cover was a unique, the words were there to consume and examine. There was the experience of putting the needle down on the platter, knowing that there was a 2nd side. Scanning through things was next to impossible…so you listened. But this album was too short. The entire album is under 43 minutes long.  Once you heard it you wanted to find your headphones and listen again.

It’s one of the best-selling albums of all times. It is complete. At that time an albums-worth of music was appreciated for the span of the music provided. Today’s idea of downloading a single song when you like was very far down the road. Even the singles of the time (45 rpm discs with 2 songs) were delegated to sugary pop songs at that time. This is something to appreciate. If you own it, go ahead and put it on and listen for 43 minutes – maybe even with headphones. Just get into it like it was a work of art. It is.

Perhaps others feel that way about their album experiences (not the song-but the album itself). You tell me. What was the album that changed your idea of music as you knew it?


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