Analog is the new mid-life crisis, a year later

[Shelfie: Record collection, 2013]

It’s been more than a year since I embarked on expanding my vinyl collection, and, naturally, the scope of the effort has changed a lot in that time.

At first, I concentrated on titles I would have bought before I moved away from vinyl. That meant examining the CD and digital collections and plugging holes in the corresponding spots in the vinyl collection.

By the end of 2013, I caught most of the low-hanging fruit, but a restlessness had set in — I wanted the care and attention required of vinyl to extend to recent releases, reissues and missed curiosities. So my wish list grew.

A year ago, I felt ambivalent about buying newer titles on vinyl. Back in June 2014, I downloaded the self-titled debut of Inventions, a side project of Eluvium and Explosions in the Sky. When I decided to get the album in a physical form, I chose vinyl over CD.

A year ago, I balked at the idea of paying more the $20 for a title I would have bought for less than $10 in my youth. On a visit to Austin in October 2013, I dropped $30 on an original pressing of No Depression by Uncle Tupelo. Pedro the Lion’s Control is priced at $15, and I consider that a bargain.

My vinyl collection has tripled in size as a result of these changing attitudes. Oddly enough, it’s increased my CD collection as well.

The price point for catalog CDs is dropping to the point where sometimes, it’s more economical to choose a CD over a download. For example, I had pretty much all the Eurythmics albums on vinyl but few in any digital form. Silver Platters priced those titles competitively enough that I opted to get CDs.

Immersing myself into so much catalog also made me curious about music I should have explored but never did. I hadn’t owned any albums by Neneh Cherry, Peter Gabriel, the Police, De La Soul or Public Enemy — till now.

The original targets of this vinyl renaissance have whittled down to some specialized titles that would require a goodly chunk of change to acquire. So now I’m diving the crates looking for anything that strikes my fancy.

Lately, it’s been modern classical music, especially titles on Nonesuch, CRI or New World. Duran Duran rarities are guaranteed to make me behave irrationally with my wallet. And there was no way I could pass up a beat-up copy of Vicious Rumours: The Album by Timex Social Club.

Next goal: A trip to San Francisco to dig through the stacks of Amoeba Records.