Passion and Warfare – Steve Vai

Steve Vai? He’s a metal guitarist isn’t he? I’m pretty sure he played with Whitesnake and then some others. I should get this album. I think that was my thought process a long time ago when I bought this album on music cassette.

By Source, Fair use, Link

This album had problems with the record on the music cassette. I liked it, even though it was instrumental all the way, but the tape had some problems. When I finally got this on download or CD the sound was so much better. I didn’t take the tape to be replaced at the shop because that would require human interaction and I don’t enjoy that at all. This album and Back In Black both had problems which I never resolved.

I’d definitely recommend streaming this album. I know I’ve enjoyed it but I think the mood has to be correct. Give it a go yourself.

I grew up in the cross over age between analogue and digital recordings. My early memories of music was either vinyl or music cassette. At home there was a record player and I have owned two in my time. There was also a small “portable” music cassette player which was my mum’s and she had ABBA albums mostly to play on that. I do remember my dad having Oxygene by Jean Michele Jarre on tape but I don’t ever really remember them playing and enjoying the music. Strange that.

My first album was bought on vinyl. It was a big decision and my mum was quite insistent that I really wanted that album. The Ghostbusters OST is still considered a classic by those who grew up in the 80s. I don’t recall what my first music cassette was, it’s been a long time. I do know that the “purist” in me preferred vinyl to cassette and I would buy on vinyl and then self record the music to cassette for portability.

By ThegreenjOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Both vinyl and cassette have issues with reproduction of sound. When Phillips and Sony announced the standards for the Compact Disk it seemed an exciting world. To me it seemed strange that we would soon have to adopt new music systems and spend more money. I think I often fall into the trap of thinking that the current life we lead should be static and things shouldn’t change, but change they do. Music reproduction had been improving for all the time music had existed and the five-track had been and died, the phonograph was being improved, digital was on the way.

There were digital tapes and mini-disks but the CD has proven to be true to time and works well. I can remember watching Tomorrow’s World when they described a CD and played one in the studio. I can remember thinking that the sound quality wouldn’t work over the analogue broadcast just before the presenter said that us at home wouldn’t be able to tell the difference because of the analogue transmission system.

Television is now digital and 5.1 sound is transmitted on many channels. Sound quality is improving all the time. New standards are developed and the march forwards continues. I doubt the file sizes can get any smaller because there’s a lower limit on compression of information but I do think that we are now heading the other way and some people will start moaning that all music should be stored at a lossless CD quality.

When I was a teenager my pocket device carried ninety minutes of music. My current device carries over six thousand songs and I’m not even halfway full of the capacity. It’s quite remarkable.