A couple of weeks ago Roger Federer, probably the greatest tennis player of all time, announced his retirement following the 2022 Laver Cup tournament in London. I was very sad about the news, as I’m sure were all his devoted fans all over the world; we are talking about a champion on and off the court, someone who made the history of tennis not only for the titles he won, but also for the elegance and precision of his game.
I first saw him play when I was a teenager and I was captured by his ability and gracefulness on the court. The first tennis match I ever watched involved a very young Novak Djokovic, another great champion, but I went on to see other matches and what kept me glued to the television was Roger Federer. Djokovic is why I approached tennis as a sport, but Federer is why I stayed.
I spent August 2014 at my uncle David’s house in Paris with my cousin Benny. She had just graduated high school, so traveling to France was basically her graduation present.
My uncle David is an architect who’s been living in Paris since the early 90s, and his house is a reflection of what he does for a living. My cousin and I felt incredibly blessed to be able to stay in his apartment while he was working in Normandy, because it was like having our own place in the city.
His one-bedroom apartment is located in Saint Paul, in the heart of Le Marais, one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Paris. It is like a village made of medieval arches and secret passageways.
I took this picture on a sunny afternoon because I found that his architecture books, all lined up against the wall, were adding a very stylish touch to the room. Most of the books were in French, a language I am fluent in, so I enjoyed perusing them while my cousin prepared lunch.
It is difficult to describe what being in Paris meant to us. I had already been there with my parents five years prior to that summer, but exploring the streets on foot was like discovering the city for the very first time in all its beauty and elegance.
When I buy music on vinyl, I usually go for movie soundtracks; I have always been a cinephile, since my grandfather was very passionate about cinema and used to own a massive collection of movies, both on VHS and DVD. His music tastes verged more towards classical composers (Beethoven, Mozart, etc.), but I will talk more about this in a post dedicated to classic music.
Today I wish to make a top-five list about my favorite movie soundtracks on vinyl. It’s been hard to decide which ones to pick because my soundtrack collection has become pretty big over the years, so I think I will write more than one article about it. This is going to be Part I, and I may also write a post on CDs, too.
The soundtrack is one of the essential components of what makes a good movie; moreover, there are certain songs that you hear and they immediately make you think about the movie in which you first discovered them.
The records I’m going to list (in no particular order) are beautiful editions of popular movie soundtracks that I fell in love with and consequentially decided to own in the vinyl format.
1) The Godfather OST: the soundtrack to one of the most famous and beloved movie trilogies produced by Paramount Pictures. The music of the film was composed by Nino Rota and the vinyl record label is Universal Music. This movie score has become one of the most iconic and recognizable of all time; Love Theme from the Godfather is its most famous track and I love to put this record on during a hot summer afternoon, as it creates a perfect atmosphere. I love the Godfather trilogy (it might seem weird because I’m a woman, but I have always been a fan of gangster movies and 007) and I will probably review it on the blog in the not-too-distant future. I bought the vinyl off Amazon; it seemed discontinued at first but then it came back in stock and I was lucky to find a copy. It is a must-have if you collect movie soundtracks!
I have been a vinyl records collector since I was about eighteen. This passion for vinyls probably comes from my maternal grandfather, who was very passionate about classical music; he had a big collection of Decca and Deutsche Grammophon discs that he passed on to my mother. Those are lavish editions, curated in every single detail, and some of them have even a velvet case, so they deserve their own post, which is going to be an homage to my grandpa.
Vinyl records used to be pretty popular when my parents were growing up (we are talking about the 70s and 80s), but they had a decline with the advent of compact discs in the late 80s and in the 1990s decade they lost popularity due to mp3 players entering the market.
Anyway, LPs have always been present at flea markets, which kept selling used records over the years, even though the majority of people were turning to walkman cassette players and CDs. Only in the 2010s did they start a renaissance, when many records from legendary music icons like David Bowie and Elton John were remastered and reissued on the market in vinyl format. This brought many teenagers like myself to be interested in vinyl records, and portable turntables were among the best-selling items, especially online. I have always played records on my parents’ Kenwood stereo, which dates back to the early 90s; it combines a vinyl player, a CD player, radio and cassette players, so I consider it one of my favorite vintage gems.
My collection consists of mainly remastered vinyl pressings, a series of Christmas records and original soundtracks, which are probably the ones I listen to the most.
Today I will focus on my five favorite vinyl records in general; while an original soundtrack and a Christmas vinyl record are included in this list, I will publish articles related to Christmas music and original soundtracks later on. Here is my top five records collection (in no particular order, as I love them all equally!):
1) Songs in the Key of Life – Stevie Wonder (Motown Records, 1976): when I was in my early teens I used to listen to a lot of Stevie Wonder on mp3. I first set my eyes on “Songs in the Key of Life” while watching the Scandal TV show, as in one of the episodes the main character plays it on vinyl. The original LP was probably discontinued when I was searching for it, as I came across used copies only (and they were all very expensive!), so I found it by chance on Amazon a couple of years later, when it was remastered with a standard retail price.
The cover is the same as the original 70s version, the sound quality is exceptional and I love playing it in the summertime, while sipping a glass of wine in the evenings (this is so reminiscent of Scandal’s Olivia Pope, for those who watched the show).
My favorite songs are “Love’s In Need Of Love Today”, “Sir Duke”, “Knocks Me Off My Feet”, “Summer Soft” (Side A) and “Isn’t She Lovely”, “If It’s Magic” and “As” (Side B).
Songs in the Key of Life won Album of the Year at the Grammys in 1977 and in my opinion it is the album that represents Stevie Wonder’s music at its best. This edition includes also a 45 rpm bonus record.
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