Tagged: vinyl

Are we forced to steal music now?

What happened to buying music? When Google Play Music closed down, the possibility to buy and download a digital album disappeared. I loved going there buying all sorts of things. One day it would be some old eighties-one-hit-wonder like Falco and another day it would be Paul McCartney or hair-bands like Shotgun Messiah or whatever. Anything would be available for easy purchase. PayPal-bam! And bam! Within seconds it was yours forever.

I live in Sweden and I’ve realized only a few weeks ago, that if I want a new album I only have two choices if I actually want to OWN the album (not RENT it, which streaming is).

I can either go back in time and start buying CDs again (I thought we had left those behind in favor of mp3s, you know, non-physical music?) or collectors colored vinyls that I will never listen to because…well, they are COLLECTOR’s items that people usually buy because they want to brag about having them, or because they figure they might be worth something on eBay someday. And some just because it’s an addiction.

It’s even cool to buy a CASSETTE nowadays. But you can’t find a digital album for SALE anywhere unless you live in the States, apparently.

The second option is, frankly, stealing? Right? How else do you get an album that you can download and listen to anywhere, even when you don’t have a Wi-Fi connection?

It’s the second time I’m wasting my time trying to buy a downloadable album. Artists are complaining about not being paid by Spotify, yet that seems to be the only option for people to listen to their music these days? They don’t make it available to buy anymore.

When AC/DC released their latest album, I wasn’t even aware of the problem. I was sitting here one night and felt like buying the album – and listening to it right away.

Three hours later, I had browsed and Googled and tried everything to find a way to buy the damn record but to no use. It simply wasn’t available to someone who lived in my part of the world.

I tried four different Amazon sites, US, UK, Germany and Sweden. You get it “for free” (yeah, right…) with your SUBSCRIPTION which in other words means that you are renting it.

You are paying for the “privilege” of listening to it on THEIR platform, THEIR way, on THEIR terms.
And should you one day not be able to dish out that dough monthly, well – there goes the music too.

You’ve basically been paying to listen to the same album every damn month – and evenso – how long would I have to listen to that album on Amazon or Spotify before the artists actually get paid what they would have gotten if I had bought their album?

And another thing. I can’t STAND sites that think I don’t know what I like and therefore must “suggest” music that they figure I might like. One day they think I’m into Kanye or some other rap/RnB artist I’ve never heard of, or something they think is hard rock because hey – there’s a GUITAR in there? Once one of those sites suggested I should check out Kansas – because I had listened to George Harrison?!?

I’m allergic to Spotify, I’m not into paying someone else to make the rules to how I want to experience, select, and listen to my music. In other words – take your streaming sites and, pardon my French, shove it where the sun don’t shine.

I ended up getting that AC/DC album, but it may or may not have been legal, I wouldn’t know. At the end of the day, I wasn’t given the legal option I was looking for – for three sweaty, frustrating hours.

A few months ago, Paul McCartney announced the release of his new upcoming album, “McCartney III“. I bought the digital version of it right away, because the last time he released an album – “Egypt Station” – I did get it as a digital album.

Well, fellow McCartney-fans in social media started posting their pink, blue, white, yellow collector’s vinyls, the cover, the CDs… but no digital album. I had expected it to be the fastest option. I wrote to the store asking where it was.
It will probably take forever before anyone answers – thanks to Corona and Christmas. However, I noticed something when I went to his official store that I hadn’t seen when I ordered it – “US only“.

I ditched CD’s a long time ago – I thought we were over that format now. You can barely even find a decent CD-player anymore, or are we doing Walkmans too now? What’s going on?
Thank god I kept the CD-player in the car at least (I listened to my music through an FM-transmitter connected to my cellphone though….).

I’m sure it has something to do with all these ridiculous laws that have been driving us crazy the past few years. You can’t even enter a website anymore without selecting your level of “privacy” and “experience”…

I just totally missed the part that says “Thou shalt not buy music unless it’s on old formats or rented”.

Enlighten me please. What’s the deal?

Christmases past :-))

Christmas is just around the corner….

Christmases may not be what they used to be when I was little – but I have great memories from many Christmas Eve’s (which is when we celebrate here in Sweden).

I was maybe 4 years old when I got my first plastic Strat-toy guitar. It was back when toy guitars still had steel strings. Of course, you didn’t get a pick to go with the guitar, so I played that thing until my fingers bled – literally. I forgot about the other presents.


Then, Christmas 1978 – I was a big fan of the movie GREASE and the only thing I wanted for Christmas was the Grease-soundtrack. When I saw that rectangular, flat package under the tree, I just KNEW what it was! I couldn’t WAIT for that stupid dinner to be over with so that I could just rip the paper off my present! ‘

And sure enough – it WAS the Grease double-LP with pics and all, oh my GOD I was the happiest, happiest kid on the planet!! John Travolta must have been my first crush, before I even knew what the hell a crush WAS, lol! :)

[This is what it looked like when you opened that double-LP]

I was dancing around on the chairs and the table in the kitchen when my parents were at work, doing my own dance-version of “Greased lightnin‘”!

Christmas eve 1980…. I remember that very clearly as well. Back then, I only had my mother’s portable record player from the sixties in my room, and some mono-radio/tape-player that my parents didn’t use anymore, so instead of throwing it out, I got it.

But it was a piece of crap, if you tried to record something on that thing, it would do two things:
1. The volume went crazy loud if you tried to record something from the radio, and you couldn’t adjust it (earplugs please!)
2. It recorded in the wrong speed, so it would either record too slow or too fast… Worthless!

So, I wanted something to record on or listen to music on. I got my very own mono cassette-player. Geez, when I say it now I realize I’m like a hundred years old..! When I remember all those things that are just SO “out” today that kids nowadays probably don’t even know that the heck a cassette is or was. :)

Something like this… Only the buttons of the player that I got were rounded:

And best of all, I got a handful of cassettes with it too – John Lennon‘s “Double Fantasy”, ABBA‘s “Super Trouper” and Olivia Newton-John‘s “Totally Hot”.
That’s all I needed to forget about the rest of the world!

THIS song from Olivia Newton-John‘s album was my favorite – funny enough many years later I heard a version of it by british band THUNDER that was even better. Good songs are timeless! This was the only video-version I could find that had fairly OK video- and audio quality. :)

Ah, what the hell – here’s the Thunder version as well – ten years later (1990):

/Seems that they removed the only video-version there was on YouTube, now all there is is live-versions or this crappy thing… but better than nothing I guess: :)/

Every Christmas has given memories like that. It’s not about getting “stuff“… it’s really about memories, things that matter to you. Doesn’t have to be expensive, but when it’s got a thought behind it, it’s not just another thing that’s going to collect dust somewhere, it will stay in somebody’s memory forever.