Vinyl was thought to be dead. While it once was the standard, and every household owned a record player, it soon gave way in the 1970’s to the more compact and portable cassette tape. This in turn diminished with the rise of the next alternative, the Compact Disc. Now once again physical copies have been replaced by MP3 downloads as the standard for buying music (if it is to be bought at all…) in the 2000’s.
There were always those record collectors who scorned the compact disc and MP3 format, arguing that the CD’s digital code did not live up to the warmth of the analog grooves of the LP. But there is now a whole new generation of vinyl lovers emerging. A generation that was born after CD’s were introduced in the 1980’s, who love vintage feel filters on Instagram, polaroids and who exclusively shop at op shops (or at least look like they do- even if it cost them over $100).
In 2012 there was a 17.7% increase in vinyl sales compared to 2011. This figure isn’t including second hand sales from those of us who head to the markets on a weekend and dig through crate after crate of pre-loved records. Vinyl sales have gone beyond ‘indie cool’ into legitimate moneymakers for the music industry once more (albeit a small percentage). These days, every major label and many smaller ones are releasing vinyl, and most major new releases have a vinyl version. Daft Punk recently released their latest album “Random Access Memories” and 6% of its first week sales were on vinyl. Bands like The Killers, Coldplay and even lesser known bands such as Grizzly Bear and The National are releasing their new albums on vinyl alongside their CD and MP3 releases. A growing number of classic albums that would be an extraordinary market find have been reissued once more on vinyl, for example the complete Beatles collection and early Rolling Stones classics.
So vinyl is definitely not dead in the water. Maybe the glory days are gone but there is a strong resurgence of those who love the warm sound, the gentle hum and crackle of the record player and the incredible album artwork of vinyl. Maybe it’s time to invest in a turntable?