“Hardcore vinyl lovers gave into cassettes and an oversupply of pencils. Then before they knew it, we were all late adopters of the CD and the frustratingly difficult to find anti-skip players. By the turn of the century the rest of the world (bar Japan, who were there years ago) had finally caught up to the fact that minidisc (despite being released in 1992) was far superior to all of the above; but it was too late… The MP3 player was popularised by The-Fruit-That-Must-Not-Be-Named and the rest they say is history… or so I thought.
I grew up on Saturday night TV watching Blind Date and more importantly Stars in their Eyes. Being a typically morbid child I would always ask my parents “are they dead?” and by whom I mean the artists being portrayed by your pre-X Factor public. Soon my younger sister began the unhealthy habit of “Girl Power” and I found myself sat in front of the TV watching Top of the Pops every Friday night in 1996.
I can recall three dates which have invariably influenced my passion for music; in May 1997 when my morbid little mind became fascinated with the death of the legendary Jeff Buckley, whose album Grace I would not even begin to appreciate until 10 years later; in September 1998, I found myself tongue twisted, trying to sing along with the Bare Naked Ladies’ infectious hit “One Week,” and June 2000, and the day I discovered vinyl… and rock.
The significance of discovering vinyl has stayed with me to this day. A month had passed since Mission Impossible 2 was released and I had just bought the soundtrack on CD. My mind was blown by the time I reached track 2 and Metallica’s “I Disappear” melted every facet of pop from my veins. My dad heard the belting guitar riffs, immediately came into my room and said, “So you like rock now?” “Hell, yes,” my possessed little mind mustered followed by, “What’s Rock?”
What transpired next could only be described as a surreal rite of passage, as my Dad raced into the loft, pulled down a crate and opened it in a similar fashion to Marsellus Wallace’s briefcase in Pulp Fiction. Before my eyes laid countless vinyl; maturing quietly like a fine wine. My dad handed me a mucky brown cover saying, “You’ll love this.” It was Led Zeppelin II, and from then on my life as I knew it had changed.
If it can be said that life has its soundtrack, then mine was certainly played on vinyl. From the blistering bluesy riffs of Led Zeppelin’s “Heartbreaker,” to the groovy, sexy saxophone progressiveness of Pink Floyd’s “Money,” I have not been able to find a better way to listen to music than on a record player.
My CDs scratch far too quickly, my MP3 player holds too much music that I don’t appreciate every track, and listening through a laptop is too distracting; however vinyl is just right! From the raw sound, the occasional pop, or an album cover that transcends the musical experience, vinyl draws you into the world of the artist! Not only this, but you inevitably end up listening to the album from start the finish; a fantastic way to live a moment in the artist’s shoes!
And so began my journey into vinyl as well as musical discovery thanks primarily to my dad! Little had I known that he used to be a gig photographer during his studies and has snaps of bands such as Yes, Mountain, and The Grateful Dead! My influence in music has come significantly from the artists that I’ve discovered in my dad’s crate of vinyl, from Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s Déjà Vu to James Taylor’s Sweet Baby James, and even Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, and one of my all-time favourites, Francoise Hardy’s eponymously named 1962 debut album.”
Daniel Inouwa released his debut EP, “Firelight” on 14th November 2012.