The Vinyl Revival (TM) continues apace, sucking up the cash of Millennials faster than a pop up craft-beer-and-smashed-avocado stall at a box park.
With new LPs often costing £20 or more, vinyl-loving Millennials are reportedly struggling to save for a deposit on a flat. Some find it tricky enough to save for a deposit on a flat white.
So now the sockless beardies of East London are forced to swarm like famished locusts to the charity shops of Hoxton in an attempt to save money by buying “thrift store” vinyl (let’s use those Americanisms: if we’re all going to live in penniless gig-economy squalor we might as well pretend we’re on the set of Girls). The thrill of finding a record for as little as the cost of a gourmet halloumi wrap from a streetfood stall sadly lasting only as long as it takes to discover Jim Reeves was not, in fact, any good. And neither were those old Top of the Pops albums…
As everyone agrees, except people who look at facts, the reason Millennials are unable to buy property is because they are squandering all their money on smashed avocado brunches, negronis, man-buns and moustache wax. With their apparently insatiable appetite for avocados forming an insurmountable barrier to saving a 10% deposit on a studio flat in a part of town even Bear Grylls wouldn’t survive a night walking through, Millennials must find other ways to save money. Avocados are non-negotiable by all accounts, so the answer must be to find cheaper records. But how to find such records that are actually any good? Charity shops selling decent records for a pound died out at roughly the same time as the Dodo, or at least the release of the debut CD by Dido, whichever of those two ancient events happened most recently. CDs are boring, and void of hipster-cred, even if they are wonderfully cheap in charity shops. If you like Hard-fi, JLS and B*Witched.
But there is an answer.
Happily, the sound made by some of the most popular bands of the indie loving fraternity is distinctly familiar. The War On Drugs have clearly been listening to their parents’ Dire Straits, Springsteen and John Waite LPs, and Father John Misty might be unfairly described as a chorus-free babbling stream of consciousness trying to find a decent Elton John song.
So the answer to those trying to scrape together the impossible dream of a house deposit while hooked on vinyl?
Save Father John Misty for your Spotify account. Listen to Elton John on Vinyl.
Why? Because Elton is your saviour.
He was a record collector himself. He gets vinyl. His early records – before the cocaine kicked in – are fun, and interesting. They are stuffed full of inserts, photos, lyrics, posters and even comic strips. There are loads of them. Although Elton is known for his hits, they are also loaded with good album tracks you may not have heard on the radio. Not only that, but Elton actually sounds better on vinyl. Those early recordings were beautifully produced and orchestrated. The instruments have room to breathe on vinyl, something lost slightly on MP3.
And, most importantly, because they sold in their millions, they’re cheap!
At least, original copies are. Elton is not an artist to pick up cheaply at HMV, as a recent visit proved to me…
You can buy a five or more original Elton Johns for the price of a single Father John. Granted, you won’t find wry non-sequiturs about existentialism and the irony of modern day love and life on Elton’s records, but on the plus side, you won’t have to listen to wry non-sequiturs about existentialism and the irony of modern day love and life.
Swings and roundabouts.
In the next week or so, we’ll look at Elton John’s records. It’s been a glittering rise, from answering an NME advert and covertly sneaking into recording studios at midnight, to worldwide stardom and dancing with Miss Piggy. It doesn’t get any better than performing with the muppets. Ask the Scissor Sisters.
Elton’s albums aren’t all five star successes (Caribou has more than its fair share of complacency-driven stinkers, including a song called “Stinker” and an ode to Grimsby of all places called “Grimsby”), but none are complete disasters either (Caribou still has five-star classic “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”), so we’ll look at the highlights, point you towards what to buy, (and reveal how much picking up these used copies over the last few weeks set me back). Some even have secret colourful properties in the vinyl. For those of you who did spend a pound in a charity shop on an old Top of the Pops compilation we’ll also learn which ones Elton actually sang on in his early days.
Perhaps we will build up an alternative best-of, and hopefully still leave you with enough change for your smashed avocado on toast, and 50p to put aside in your piggy bank. Only 137 years to go and you’ll have that deposit…