I have never counted them but I must have over 100 Long Players and about the same number of what we called singles. Through the beneficence of HM Revenues and Customs I have a Bang & Olufson Century music system.
To explain that last sentence when I was working in Parliament the Fees Office took too much tax off me through the PAYE system. I didn’t notice. Its not that I earnt too much to notice but who checks their payslip to see whether the amount of tax or other stoppages are correct? When I started having to complete an assessment every year this came to light and I got a rebate. It was a very effective way to save and shows that the Fees Office was not always seeking to let people fritter away taxpayers money, well not for staff anyway. At the time I had an old music system I had received when an uncle died. The father of a friend had a B & O system and I had admired the beauty of the system as well as the sound it made when visiting her house. The lump sum I received from the taxman allowed me to fulfill the desire to own such a beautiful music system – something I don’t think I’d have got around to if it wasn’t for the compulsory saving.
It’s a beautiful system with a cover that automatically moves aside if movement is detected near it and has a great CD player, cassette player (remember them?) and radio with great sound and its even better that it can be mounted on the wall. It has nothing for playing what I called records, but I see are now known as vinyl, though. I did connect the record player from my old system via a pre-amp to the B & O system but it’s not a satisfactory solution. So the vinyl has sat in a unit next to the TV without being played.
Before moving to France I bought an ion TTUSB turntable, which their website describes as a High-performance LP Conversion System, to make MP3 files out of vinyl records. In the almost four years it has been here in France I tried to use it once but was dissatisfied with the results, in particular the inability of the system to differentiate between tracks so that I had one, something like 44 minute, track when I tried to add Kate Bush’s ‘Hounds of Love’ to my MP3 collection. Recently I downloaded the software to convert tracks onto our newish iMac and discovered that there was now a button on the interface to press when a new track started. So, over the last week I have been converting my vinyl collection into digital tracks.
As the picture of my 20 year-old self in my room in a shared house in Birkenhead whilst a student at Liverpool University shows I was, like any late teen boy, in love with the doors. A beautiful poet who dies a mysterious death in Paris after years of substance consumption. It could have been invented by a scriptwriter as the perfect story to interest late teen boys. For no reason other than I had to start somewhere the doors were amongst the first albums I converted to digital. What struck me was how great the whole ‘Morrison Hotel/Hard Rock Cafe’ album is.(The only time from me you’ll get great and Hard Rock Cafe in the same sentence.) Rocking and funky I enjoyed listening to it whilst converting it and will be listening to it again. Lady’s and Gentlemen once again, the doors (And I know it’s not from the Morirson Hotel album but its a great song and a good video.):