Kindled Meme

– exploring the purpose of connection

The Spin at the heart of Brand

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Do you remember the way ’45’ is written on the middle of a motown single. I love the brand connection with record labels (literally the label in the middle of the black disc)

Columbia, Decca (the Stones), Polydor (Slade), Vertigo all recognizable. They changed from being paper labels to plastic and then back to paper again. Remember the ones that needed that little fiddly bit of plastic in there – to fill the inch hole in the middle of the disc to adapt it to a normal spindle?

And then they went white label and became for the uber cool. And I bought CD’s. And then discovered torrents. And now its just data.

As a kid records were every where – but they had to be treated with some care (my dad had been a mobile DJ in the sixties – literally suitcases of music under beds in the house) – I would handle with care – the one-finger balance to protect the grooves – and watch them spin – trying to read what was on track 2 from the small writing in the middle whilst it went around. I used to listen to Wet Dream by Max Romeo – my dad said it was rude. But it was just a good song for an 8 year old. Puppet on a string by Sandy Shaw was awesome (maybe it still is – we just have to accept it).

A few weeks ago I saw a copy of Coda by Led Zepplin on a stall at Gloucester Green and I know that the label was of a swan-man in the middle without even opening the jacket. (I also know its a crap album – a waste of £3.95 in 1985)

There is no visual link today with the MP3 rip-offs I have on my phone. The only product I buy today is Bjork stuff – its visually stimulating and feels unique and I *want to own*. And even she is winning innovation awards for moving to ipad.

I still have my record collection but I dont need it. Id like to see the back of it. Just gathers dust. The memories are enough and the best tunes are all on Spotify.

My dads vinyl collection though? Thats priceless. Every scratch must have a story.

The first record I ever bought was Black Sabbath Paranoid in 1979 – it was a 7 inch 45 with a man holding a sabre in the middle. On the way out of the shop my dad dropped it and it has a chip in the rim and I always had to place the arm on the disc manually.

What was YOUR first record? (bet it was Wham!)


Author: jameslramsay

Practice director at the ShelfLife project - digital by day, campfire by night

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