Special Issue: The History of Vinyl

<em>American History Now</em> presents a curated experiment in a collaborative history of vinyl records.




<<< Show Posts/ Page >>>

The Work of Vinyl in the Age of Digital Reproduction

n.b. from the Editors: The original presentation of this piece contained pop-up annotations by the authors throughout the text. Those annotations have been converted to footnotes for the purpose of this reproduction. n.b. from Ted: I posed my responses in the form of interleaved paraphrasings of what Njoroge and Rich wrote. ConsiderRead More…

A Thousand Years of Audio Recording: Patrick Feaster’s Pictures of Sound

On March 27, 2008, a story ran on the front page of The New York Times that a group of researchers were playing sound recordings older than those of Thomas Edison. This seemed impossible—nonsensical—for Edison, everyone knows, was the father of the phonograph, having invented the machine in 1877. YetRead More…

Let the Music Play

My first experience with vinyl records was entirely mediated. I didn’t touch or even see the record. I chose it with a keypad, punching in the two numbers that would direct the jukebox to the correct 45rpm disc. Unlike some older jukeboxes, this 1978 Seeburg Celestia doesn’t show its innerRead More…

A Surprising Advantage of Vinyl

I am emphatically not an audiophile. My home contains neither $500 ethernet cables nor “acoustic isolation platforms.” I am absolutely not here to convince you that vinyl recordings sound inherently better than the same data on CD. But: there is one absolutely irrefutable advantage to many modern vinyl releases, andRead More…

Piazzolla’s Record Collection

The legendary Argentine composer and bandoneonist Astor Piazzolla misremembered a key event in his own musical formation.  Piazzolla produced his great innovation, the avant-garde musical genre known as the New Tango, by applying some of the hip aesthetic practices of cool jazz to the tango, a dance music that heRead More…

Vinyl is the real deal. I've always felt like, until you buy the vinyl record, you don't really own the album. And it's not just me or a little pet thing or some kind of retro romantic thing from the past. It is still alive. ----- Jack White