(Post by John Allan, from Bridgetown, Western Australia – March 2021)
The LP (from “long playing” or “long play”) is an analog sound storage medium, a phonograph record format characterised by: a speed of 33 and a third rpm, a 12 or 10-inch (30- or 25-cm) diameter; use of the “microgroove” groove specification; and a vinyl composition disk. Introduced by Columbia in 1948, it was soon adopted as a new standard by the entire record industry. Apart from a few relatively minor refinements and the important later addition of stereophonic sound, it remained the standard format for record albums until its gradual replacement from the 1980s to the early 2000s.
……………………….and it was the currency of cool in the 1970s.
What follows is a handy guide for the true devotee :-
- Always store LPs in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight, preferably on display in alphabetical order on a dedicated shelving unit.
- All LPs covers must be read on all sides including inner sleeves if applicable before or at least during first listening.
- On removing LP from inner sleeve, album must be in the horizontal position. Gently tilt to no more than 30 degrees and allow vinyl to slowly slide towards dominant hand, thumb raised palm upward. Cradle with thumb on circumference, second and third finger on centre sticker arching the palm while bringing non dominant palm directly across the diameter. Manoeuvre dominant hand to mirror other hand. Carefully proceed to turntable in a stately manner, LP held at chest height between both palms.
- WARNING: to not attempt to play disc unless an anti-static felt duster is within easy reach.
- Place LP on spindle. Gently blow on stylus to: a) clear any dust or debris b) show respect.
- When finished, reverse the steps of 3rd bullet point and return album to inner sleeve. Turn inner sleeve a full 90 degrees and return to album cover proper. Stand down.
- Deny the existence of ‘The heLP’.
- Kill all known DJs within your area.
- No family or friends must be present during first listening.
- Never let anyone else touch a) the LP b) the turntable c) you.
- NEVER be tempted to lay an unsheathed record on the shag pile carpet even for one nanosecond.
- Never lend an album to anyone else unless a member of ‘The heLP’ and you’ve personally visualised their initiation scars.
- Never leave an LP on the back seat of your mate Gavin’s Cortina on a hot summers day unless requiring a cool looking ash tray, even if he is ‘Grand Wizard’ of ‘The heLP’.
So folks, keep those discs a spinning. – Are you a DJ ?