Vinyl records back in the spotlight
Jessica Pellegrino – General Assignment Reporter
Some trends regain popularity slowly. One minute, they are a thing of the past, then over time, they regain their place in the spotlight. The vinyl record did come back into popularity slowly, and it came back with a vengeance.
Vinyl records were a staple in any household in the 1950s. It was a way for music lovers to listen to their favorite music, without having to wait for the radio to play it. It was a radio station in their living rooms. The bulky record playing devices were displayed with pride.
The music dynamic shifted with the introduction of the CD, which allowed listeners to carry their music with them in their pocket. It also allowed them to skip tracks, which was hard and dangerous to do on a record player. But it seems like that trend is going in reverse and the novelty of the vinyl record is making its way back into American homes.
According to Digital Music News, “4.0 million LPs have been sold this year in the US alone, according to stats shared by Nielsen Soundscan. That’s a 40.4 percent increase over the same period last year, when sales reached 2.9 million units. In 2013, LP sales grew 30.4 percent year-over-year.”
The exponential growth is outstanding, considering the fact that CDs and MP3s exist today.
One explanation to this growth comes in where people are buying their vinyl records from. Generally, consumers were buying their record from independent music stores. Rarely would a shopper find a record in a store like FYE.
Nowadays, shoppers are seeing a shift. While independent stores are still the spot to get records of all types, records are popping up in chain stores. Along with this, we are seeing vinyl in unconventional stores.
Stores like Urban Outfitters and Hot Topic are cashing in on the vinyl craze. These stores up the prices of already expensive records, therefore upping the sales numbers dramatically.
In recent years, the vinyl record seems to have spread its wings past the few record collectors and into the mainstream.
Famous bands and classic artists have been releasing box sets of full collections and record buyers have flocked to the collections. The novelty of having a tangible collection of the music of one’s favorite band is enticing.
Brands like “Crosley” offer extremely inexpensive sets to get new record buyers into the lifestyle without breaking the bank.
To get vintage vinyl, the method used to include hours of research, attending flea markets and digging through cardboard boxes at a vintage vinyl store. But now, stores like Urban Outfitters and Whole Foods sell these records in a section dubbed “vintage.”
In a world that is obsessed with making everything from phones to clothing as small as possible, it is hard to believe that this bulky item will draw such a crowd.
Maybe it is in the sound. Vinyl records carry with them a distinctly warm sound. The crackling and “undigital” sound of records tend to make the listener feel closer to the music. This relates back to the tangibility of records.
Collecting records is like collecting anything: one works hard to gather enough records to have a reputable collection. When you have it, you want to show it off. Music lovers get attached to their collection and display it with pride.
Photo Credit: Marc Wathieu