|Safe behind a pane of glass|
Even though I did not possess a record player, I wanted the album and I was going to get it no matter what! My mother and her husband, (who, thank the spirits, was not my father!), were not benevolent when it came to giving pocket money, so there was nothing left but for me to: 1. beg, 2. steal, 3. borrow, all of which I did till I had the £3 odd that an LP cost back then. As soon as I could I took the short bus ride that brought me to Kensington High Street, and to my then palace of dreams, a record shop! In those days record shops were usually small, but to my unaccustomed eyes the one I was in seemed huge, most of the albums in the store would be worth a small fortune today; Long Plays from the Beatles, the Animals, The Temptations, Dusty Springfield, Manfred Mann and many other artists of the day filled the racks; but no Rolling Stones! “Did you pre-order?” was the answer I got when I asked where the record was; in those days many fans used to pre-order their albums before they were even released. Obviously, I hadn’t reserved a copy and the LP had sold out! Disappointed I paid a deposit and reserved a copy with the next delivery, which was due the following Friday.
Friday couldn’t come soon enough. When it did, I sneaked off as fast as I could to collect my long awaited album. Holding the album for the first time was exhilarating. Giving me the moon couldn’t have taken me higher! Here it was, mine, a flat 12 inch vinyl circle, that could turn at 33⅓ revolutions per minute, and give 40 minutes of music pleasure! I have bought thousands of LPs, tapes and CDs since then, but that first album is the only one that has accompanied me through the valleys and hills of my life. It now lays framed behind a pane of glass, hanging prominently on my sitting room wall; reminding me, as always, of the good and the bad times that have come and gone.
The Rolling Stones first album was recorded in five days! No mucking about in those days; get in, one cut and get out. Perfectionists today are still taking the album apart, too much of this, too little of that, out of tune here, a missed chord there-who cares; it was raw, down to the earth music vulgarity and we liked it! Besides a Jagger/Richard's early composition, “Tell Me” the 12 tracks were mostly covers of American R&B numbers. The striking album cover photo was taken by Nicholas Wright; who I had the pleasure of meeting years later, an amazing artist in his own right. The album bore no title, only the photo, which made the album stand out even more.
Downloads and streaming are some of the modern day ways of obtaining your favourite songs. It seems that even CDs are on their last play; but no matter what new idea progress brings in, nothing will ever replace the musical soul of a vinyl LP.