As a fairly avid Radiohead fan, while most people were downloading In Rainbows for a few pence, I bought the £40 discbox release. After a month’s spent listening to the MP3s, I finally got my hands on the discbox this week which contains an additional CD, lyrics, artwork and the standard In Rainbows album on vinyl.
In my teens and through university I went through a period of buying vinyl if I possibly could. My collection doesn’t extend far beyond a few DJ Krush and DJ Shadow albums and I haven’t bought anything new for several years, until the In Rainbows discbox arrived. I literally blew the dust off my Dual turntable (once I had moved our 3ft plastic Christmas tree which was sat on top), fiddled around with the phono and earth cables, found the power adapter, pulled out one of the Radiohead 45s and turned the volume up very high.
My Dual is not great and could do with a new cartridge and Thom Yorke may have been sped up a little but the sound blew me away once again. Its incredible that a needle tracking the bumps in a piece of plastic can produce such a warm and accurate recreation of the original recording. The whole album sounded larger somehow with a much wider sound stage and the beautiful finale Videotape sounded especially rich and delicate.
I’m no purist but listening to vinyl does make you realise that the digital era comes with some very significant compromises. I’m not about to ditch my AAC collection and having my whole music collection in my pocket is quite incredible but I certainly won’t be letting the dust gather so much from now on.