I never owned an extensive music collection. I like music, I listen to music daily. I have my favorite bands and singers (Stevie Nicks, Pearl Jam, U2, Jimmy Buffett), and I love to go to concerts. But, I’ve never been obsessed with my MP3, CD, tape, or in this case, record collection. Yes, I grew up in the 70s and 80s, and I remember records. I even owned a few: Saturday Night Fever, Grease, Xanadu, some Duran Duran albums, and some K-Tel albums. I listened to them over and over as an adolescent, but I honestly haven’t thought about them in years.
However, author Eric Spitznagel feels differently about his record collection. Also a child of the 70s and 80s, he accumulated a large record collection over the years, and then gradually sold them off as he moved into adulthood. Now married and a father, he realizes he misses his record collection and wants to get his records back. But not just the same records by the same artists, he wants back the ACTUAL copies that HE owned. This book chronicles his quest to find HIS records and what he learns along the way.
One of my favorite things about the book was the trip down memory lane. I grew up in the same time frame as the author and shared many of the same cultural references. I listened to the same types of music and in the same forms. I shopped at the same types of music stores. I felt a strong sense of nostalgia reading this book.
There is also a very poignant and beautifully written passage where Spitznagel explains the comfort and familiarity of listening to your own copy of record. He relates it to a restaurant he used to frequent with his family. The restaurant burned down and was rebuilt, but the experience wasn’t quite the same. This passage really touched me, and I finally got his attraction to his record collection.
Although, I did really enjoy these parts of the book, as a whole, I just didn’t click with this book. That’s not to say it isn’t worth reading for someone else. It just didn’t resonate with me, however, I don’t think I am the target audience. I believe audiophiles will enjoy the book immensely.
But will my mom like it?? Nope…this is definitely not her jam.
Book (ARC): Old Records Never Die
Author: Eric Spitznagel
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Date Published: April 12, 2016