There’s a whole lot of buzz going around these days about the “resurgence of vinyl”. In fact, record sales have been on a steady increase over the past 10 years. In 2015, sales were just shy of 12 million units, a 30% increase over the prior year. That’s a far cry from the record (pun intended) 344 million units sold in 1977, according Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) but given the myriad of formats for music delivery available these days, impressive growth nonetheless.
So what’s fueling this phenomenon? Is it performance?
The debate over sound quality between analog and digital rages on among audiophiles, making the 100 Years’ War look like a schoolyard skirmish. I submit it’s a battle that can’t be won by either side. In a true display of bipartisanship, our household has embraced both technologies, which coexist in perfect harmony (pun intended again) throughout the house. We own music on vinyl that we simply cannot get digitally, and we own music (on CD) that was never produced on a vinyl disc. And we enjoy both.
Some attribute the increased popularity of vinyl records to Millennials - the largest and most educated generation in western history, and their yen for things that are cool, hip, funky and especially retro. My 19 year old daughter has been collecting LPs since she was 16, and owns a record playback system quite a bit nicer than those of most girls her age. But then again she and her sister grew up around gear like this, and she has a “friend in the business”.
Maybe this generation is discovering a whole new dimension to enjoying music, once you crawl out from underneath the earbuds plugged into your phone. There’s an experience around listening to music on vinyl - there’s a tactile component to placing the record on the turntable, cleaning it and manually cuing the tonearm onto a track. If you think about it, it’s really a ritual. Then there’s the jacket, the cover art, the liner notes; some current artists are even having records pressed on multi-colored or clear vinyl! We’re talking a multi-media presentation here!
There are those of us who grew up listening to records who have since packed up whole collections and schlepped them down to the local Goodwill donation center or church-run thrift shop. Others, unable to simply discard the fabulous music and decades of memories stored in those grooves, have relegated them to some dark corner of the basement or attic. You’re the ones I want to speak to. No, this isn’t a call to arms against the 1s and 0s of the digital dark side. And even though it may seem like just an invitation to stroll down memory lane, it’s a suggestion that you can really, really enjoy your priceless music collection more easily than you may think.
If you want to know more, call us or come visit; we’ve dedicated a couple of comfortable spaces in our showroom for this purpose!
I strip away the old debris that hides a shining car
A brilliant Red Barchetta from a better vanished time
I fire up the willing engine responding with a roar
Tires spitting gravel I commit my weekly crime