Every year, the proportion of music that I own in a solely digital format grows a little more.
And yet, every year, so too does my vinyl collection.
Recently, yet another music-loving friend took the decision to go digital. Another kid came along, and he needed the space. And sure, I can see the appeal: even I, when we moved into the house, relegated the CDs to an upstairs cupboard where they look so neat lined up on the remains of an IKEA Billy bookcase that barely survived the move. The vinyl, however, takes pride of place in the living room.
I do most of my music listening on the go these days; or at work on headphones; or on shuffle on my laptop while I’m working at home. I’m not supposed to say this, but compressed mp3s don’t really bother me: a couple of decades of solid gig-going under my belt, and it’s a miracle I hear anything at all. But what I will always love is stuff: artwork, liner notes and, I guess, physical artefacts of my awesome taste that you’re more than welcome to flip through if you come over for dinner.
Tim Stanger is somebody who gets it. Owner and founder of Vinyl Clocks, a Shropshire-based business that makes, well, clocks from old vinyl records, his entire business model is based around preserving the music that you love “in time”. It’s a wee bit cheesy, but the sentiment is a sound one (if you’ll pardon the pun): taking the music that you love and turning it into a beautiful object that can take pride of place in your home, even if you’re a little short on shelf space.
When my beautiful Vinyl Clock arrived for review I was thrilled to see that Tim had gone for the obvious choice: some classic Bruce, in the form of the “Dancing in the Dark” 7″ single. The clock arrived beautifully packaged in a custom box to keep it safe on its journey, and even came packaged with an AA battery – meaning it could be hung straight away.
(The pink logo, if you’re wondering, is a tribute to one of Tim’s favourite ever singles: “Cool For Cats” by Squeeze.)
The clocks use a modern EZ Quartz sweeping mechanism, meaning that you’re spared the dreaded “tick tock”. To be honest, I’ve always found that to be a comforting noise – and yet, the other week while Stringer was away, I ended up ripping out the battery from my alarm clock in the middle of the night because it was doing my head in. As I’ve hung my clock in the living room, it’s probably just as well it’s nearly silent in operation.
T-shirt by the wonderful Lola Polooza Designs.
With over 10,000 7″ singles in stock as well as 10″ singles, LPs and picture discs, Vinyl Clocks is almost certain to have something for the music lover in your life this Christmas (and if Tim doesn’t have the record that you’re looking for, you can always make a request and he’ll see what he can do – probably not until the new year though). You can shop by band or decade – or, for a really special gift, browse Tim’s list of birthday Number One singles and then search the site. Although personally, I’d go for Springsteen over Madness any day.
Prices start from £14.95 for a 7″ clock, although vary with the rareness of the record. What song would you hang on your wall?
I was gifted a clock for review purposes, but all views are my own and unbiased.