I feel a bit like a broken record saying that there’s a warmth and depth to the sound in Women’s vinyl groove that you can’t get otherwise.
No, you don’t get that the way we usually hear music today. Oddly enough, it seems like we’re getting rid of the CD, too, thanks to the double-click. But I do the same thing as well; I download music. I’m okay with that. I have to admit sometimes I’m just glad to be hearing the music at all.
Is there a great-sounding record you’d recommend people check out on vinyl?
Any of them! [laughs] At one point, I was way into it &emdash; that it mattered what year the vinyl was released as to whether I’d buy it or not. I’d listen to a jazz record or a Simon and Garfunkel record from the “correct” year, which was like going from a 2D movie to 3D. But the one I'd recommend the most is a Decca version of the Who’s My Generation. When I A/B’d it with the CD, the CD actually made my head hurt. It’s not that I didn’t appreciate the sound; it’s just that I realized there was something completely different going on with the vinyl. One format is massively enjoyable, and one is just actually painful. Vinyl is becoming more important and is more successful. And when you get a taste of it, it opens up a whole new world.
Sometimes it’s like viewing an old photograph: You have a particular taste and you respond to it. You put that old vinyl on, the right kind of vinyl from the right year, and the way it sounds is a revelation. I remember in the ’80s when they got us to re-buy all of our music on CD &emdash; we didn’t really realize back then how shitty that sound quality was going to be.
Part of the appeal was that we were the portable generation. We were able to take music wherever we went. We'd play it in the car, and not have to worry about skips and pops.
And they told us the CD was indestructible. [chuckles] It seemed like a neat invention, but the world had the wool pulled over its eyes. Everything dissipated then. The quality of the music did, and the artwork became uninteresting and not valuable anymore.
Speaking of quality music, I find Women + Country to be a cohesive work that I like listening to from beginning to end. In this day and age, a lot of people just don’t do that, but I’m all for the integrity of the album. As the album's creator, do you feel that listening to it in its running order is important?
Yeah, for sure. I hear music that way, and one piece complements another. The concept of how you put your first song followed by your second song got lost. I’m not hung up on it, but I think it was more enjoyable and made more sense to listen to albums that way. I am frustrated with people who won’t do it anymore because the album has “gone away,” yet they don’t want to write “just” songs that are downloaded one at a time. They can’t wrap their head around that.
I don’t make a big noise about it either way. I have my preference, but I think, on a basic level, one song affects the next song. And if you only listen to them one at a time in a bubble, all sorts of opportunities are missed out.
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