Dropping the needle on a record gave iconic storyteller Stuart McLean a sense of confidence like no other.

"There is something about vinyl," McLean told CBC Daybreak Alberta's Russell Bowers back in 2012 while visiting an independent Marda Loop record store in Calgary.

"I like the physicality of it. I was never an athlete. I am not physically adept with things.I am a little bit clumsy. I break things and I drop things. But with an album I can slide that record out of the album cover like no one else. I can spin it around on my hand between side one and side two with elegance and lay it down on the turntable and then get the needle over and drop it right at whatever cut I want to drop it on."

McLean died Wednesday at age 68 after a battle with melanoma.

While the Inner Sleeve record store closed in 2015, McLean noted three years earlier a renewed thirst for vinyl at the time.

"It is interesting lately, but records have become a little more expense than they were," he explained.

"There was a period when nobody wanted vinyl and you could wander into a record store and pick up just about anything for $2 to $3. It was exactly the same music that was on the CDs going for $20 or $25 so you could afford to experiment. You could buy stuff that you had never heard of before."

McLean said record albums are a different experience from other musical formats.

"One of the delights of vinyl is that you get to participate with the artist in the record. You get to contribute with the scratches and clicks that you put on it," McLean described.

He said the overall experience of playing an album on a turntable made him feel good.

"Every time I do that, I feel a physical competence which I don't experience very often in my life. If you are good at it, it just gives you aura of competence and confidence that I don't get in the rest of my life," he said.

"That is really why I like vinyl."


With files from Daybreak Alberta