I do actually agree with everything you said here. In September 1987 when I first trundled home with my shiny new copy of Actually on LP, the first 30 mins in my bedroom was spent drooling over the glossy inner sleeve, reading all the credits, looking at the label, trying to imagine what the songs were going to be about from just reading the song titles, holding the vinyl in my hands, placing it on the turntable and lifting the arm across and waiting for the first sounds of One More Chance.....oooooh, that snare....the sleigh bells.....Drico One wrote: ↑Wed 23 Jan 2019, 3:54 pmThis is an interesting discussion. I am all for digital ownership. However, there is a tactility issue with that for many people. You can’t touch the “file” or pore over its artwork, read its sleevenotes, or generally wallow in the artefact itself in the way you would a vinyl record, CD, or DVD. As much as I find digital technology marvelous, we should admit as much. And, let’s be honest here, when you introduce hard drives and cloud storage and other concepts to people of a certain age, you are slowly watching a sizeable chunk of the public glaze over and lose the will to live.
I maintain for all the technological convenience of digital products, we are losing something in our rush to bin physical media. Sure, the “market” will decide, but that doesn’t mean it is always right as its selection of VHS over Betamax proved. And that last sentence shows just why I am the dinosaur I clearly am.
But of course I was 15 then and that’s all I knew. That’s all there was. And I do miss that...to an extent. It was an exciting time to get into pop music and discover this other world. But for me (like you, a relic from the past, lol) I’m aware that those days, for me at least are behind me. There’s only so many times you can ‘pore over’ a CD booklet or a DVD case or look at a 12” cover. Unfortunately I’m at the age (47) where I really only care about the content, not the cover. I stopped buying PSB CD singles years ago, mostly because I couldn’t be bothered to go to the shops to try and find them - it became impossible in the end and with iTunes being so readily available it was far easier to just ‘download’ them. Electric became my first PSB album that I didn’t buy on CD. But from a tactile POV I still buy Annually and all their book releases etc but other than that it’s all digital - but I really do miss those days. One of my most favourite days ever was going into HMV to buy Alternative on double CD in that beautiful packaging with the hologram image and that exquisite book...and then as I was walking around the store I happened to notice their Top 40 video chart, a new entry at 17...PSB Discovery Live in Rio. WTF!!! No announcement in the NME, nothing in Literally, nothing on the premium rate telephone number, nothing....it just came out of nowhere but there it was, on the shelf in all its glory waiting for it to be purchased. I grabbed it quickly, bought it and took it home quickly in case it was a mistake and shouldn’t have been released lol. Getting home from work on that day was just the best ever. What first? Alternative or Discovery? But I confess, part of that whole enjoyment was the packaging, the book with Alternative, the sleeve of Discovery etc.
But times have changed or maybe I have because that’s just not important to me anymore like it was then. In the 90’s I loved lining up all my PSB VHS tapes - I think I had 12 commercial releases at one point. But now? Well, I have digitised all their VHS releases, Television, Showbusiness, ICHH, Discovery etc, scanned all the artworks and now they are stored forever digitally in my library. Never to deteriorate or fade away, artwork never to tear or crease. And I concede to some degree that it’ll never be as good as the magic of those original physical releases...but now I’m just not bothered anymore like I was when I was 15 in 1987. All I care about now is if I can access the music, film and videos. And having all those old tapes digitised forever means I’ll always be able to watch Television or Discovery whenever I want, wherever I am! It’s marvellous having the likes of all their old VHS releases as digital files with the artwork and even having them on my phone, getting up on a Sunday morning when everyone else is still in bed, earphones on, iPhone in hand, select ‘Promotion’ and enjoy 33 minutes of pure bliss!