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Classic Album Sundays Sets the Record

As the reach of Classic Album Sundays expands further, I finally got it together and created a Classic Album Sundays Facebook Page which will have all the latest news and events.

I believe the reason CAS has had such gravitas is because it has brought together a few different ideas and questions:

* Have we sacrificed sound quality with digital formats and is that why vinyl is having such a renaissance?

* Do some albums deserve to be heard beginning to end?

* Are most of our listening experiences confined to isolated instances such as listening on headphones to our iPods?

* In our busy lives, have we lost the actual art of listening?

With our communal and audiophile listening events, Classic Album Sundays has addressed these issues and the response has been overwhelming. It has been fantastic! The press has also taken note and this month there is a full page feature in the UK edition of Elle magazine. It is amazing that a woman’s magazine has featured this and I am thankful as it shows that CAS is not just an anorak geek-fest but appeals to a huge audience.

However, with nearly all interviews, there usually is something to clear up. I don’t mean to gripe as the piece as a whole has hit the nail on the head, but the first sentence of the article is misleading where it refers to me talking about my DJ-ing. I am a DJ but for CAS I only bring one turntable as it is a non-DJ event and I want to keep it that way and let the music speak for itself. I have pasted the actual interview below as I sent it by e-mail so I have a copy.

Here is the actual transcript with the questions from Elle in bold and my answers below:

1) What’s been the most popular album at Classic Album Sundays so far?
The most popular one so far has been Stevie Wonder’s “Innervisions” as that album appeals to many different generations and types of people and also because it was the first session after the media interest.
2) Why has the event been such a hit? What’s the most common, positive
comment you get from people? I think the reason it has become such a hit is because it has helped to resurrect a few different ways of listening to music: listening to entire albums usually on vinyl and with other people. This is something I used to do all the time when I was a kid but today we mainly listen to single MP3s on iPods. There is nothing wrong with this as there is not a wrong way to listen to music, but CAS just offers another alternative listening experience which is an old concept offered to today’s generation. Listening to entire classic albums on a great sound system with a group of people can be a very moving experience and so far, everybody who has attended has wanted to come back. Because of the audiophile nature of the sound system, people can hear “deeper” and they often say they have heard things they have never heard before. Many people have been moved to tears as they have emotionally engaged with the music in a way in which they have never had the opportunity to do before.
3) Any evidence there’s a generation who were born ‘after vinyl’
who’re now discovering the format, and loving it? Absolutely. As a DJ I have met a lot of younger DJs who are only playing vinyl which is interesting. They enjoy the rituals of finding the records and playing them along with the tangibility of holding an actual record with it’s artwork as opposed to the insubstantial, ethereal nature of a MP3 download. Most have discovered that a clean piece of vinyl on the right sound system can sound much better than music on a digital platform. Some are also finding it is cheaper to buy a used vinyl copy of an old album rather than downloading all the MP3s from the same album.
4) Do you own an iPod? I do but I rarely use it! I do think they serve their own purpose so I have nothing directly against iPods as a platform and they can be very useful when you are traveling, etc. However, for me it is not the ultimate way to listen to music as the music files are usually very low resolution so that as many tunes as possible can be crammed in so that quantity is championed over quality. Low res music files versus hi res music files is a situation where size does matter. 😉

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