Olivier Libaux,
The TVD First Date

“Vinyl is the main thing.”

“I am 55 now, I discovered music when I was six-years-old (in 1970), on my parents’ turntable, thanks to my older brother who was crazy about music.

The first record that amazed me was Tommy by The Who. I was really young, I didn’t know about the movie directed by Ken Russel, but I was fascinated by this record. I was playing it all the time, holding the cover in my hands. This music was telling me stories, my imagination was transported each time. I couldn’t understand the lyrics (I am French), but these songs were talking to me. “See me, Feel me, Touch me, Heal me.” I was asking my brother what it was about, he was saying, “That’s the story of a boy who becomes deaf, dumb and blind.” I was asking, “Who is Uncle Ernie ?,” etc etc.

Tommy was my friend.

At this time, my brother’s vinyl collection was going from The Rolling Stones to Yes (Tales of Topographic Oceans). I was stuck between rock music and progressive rock.

From the age of 6 to 12, I was spending my free time in the family living room, sitting in front of the turntable, playing vinyl, side A, side B, side A again, side B again.

These vinyl were my friends, I loved them.

Then came the time to go on my own to a record store (in a small town located in the North of France) and buy my first vinyl album. This one happened to be Made In Japan by Deep Purple. This record was on fire (it still is)!

This record became my best friend.

My best (human) friend at this time (he still is, hello Christophe !) was a fan too, but our problem was money (we were 12), so we decided to buy our next vinyl together saying, “We will share it, you will keep it one month, and I will keep it the other month.” This record happened to be Mike Oldfield’s Ommadawn (we were fans of Tubular Bells). I still love these early Mike Oldfield albums.

The problem was money, but the goal (and the passion) was to get vinyl records.

At school, we reunited with other kids (Christophe included) and we decided to organize ourselves: when someone is grabbing a vinyl album, he must copy it for others on cassettes!

That worked, but problems happened with tastes (ahahah).

News was that Alain, or Arnaud, would buy a Camel album for example (Camel was an English prog-rock band), and the others would say, “No way, that’s not good, we need to get The New York Dolls or The Ramones albums!”

Punk and new wave movements were happening, so the troop split (like a band) between the “old school” kids, who were into Genesis and hard rock, and the “new wave(s),” who were into what was happening: Sex Pistols, The Ramones, The Cure, Clash, The Stranglers, The Damned, Wire, etc etc.

I was in the second category, of course.

Everything was about VINYL (and cassettes who were spreading after).

When I was 13 or 14, I was lucky enough to spend one month in Plymouth, England, so I visited some more connected (compared to France) record stores. I bought the first Motorhead album, Rattus Norvegicus by the Stranglers, The Skids, and even a Queen album!

When I came back home, I was spending hours in the family living room, playing my vinyl (side A, side B, side A again, side B again)—which were all my best friends.

I still thank my parents who never complained about the volume (which was loud).

I was anyway encouraged to buy my own hi-fi system, so I would listen to records in my bedroom—I actually bought this system soon after a summer job.

My vinyl collection became consequent, and it was my best friend.

In the eighties, something unreal happened: we were not going to listen to music on vinyl anymore, but on CDs.

This news was coming from an outer world, spread by people who were deciding…

We all slowly went to CDs with big debates: “CDs are sounding better, and look, the package is smaller.” “No way, vinyl is the real thing! It’s a commercial move, look, the cover is in the right size in vinyl!”

All in all, CDs happened, and we got used to them—as soon as there was a booklet and that music was sounding good, it was okay!

Now.

I see artists posting on social media: “My new album is out today!”

(In digital.)

How can I know who produced the record, who played the drums, bass, guitar, keyboards… when the album was recorded, who did the mastering, who did the artwork?

Where can I READ THE LYRICS?

The cover has the size of a thumbnail.

How can this digital stuff become my best friend?”
Olivier Libaux

“Uncovered Queens of the Stone Age – The Lost EP,” the new release from Nouvelle Vague’s Oliver Libaux is in stores now—on vinyl.

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PHOTO: FRANCOIS SERENT

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