Local vintage and new vinyl albums shop attract students

Joe BulwidasContributor

Students flock to Elm City Sounds for the store’s availability of both vintage and new vinyl albums, more commonly known as records.

“I’ve seen a general rise in interest in records in the last five years,” said owner Chris Della-Ragione. Della-Ragione’s store front has been in operation for the past year, but he has been selling vintage records for the past 15 years. He has seen a rise in record sales within the past five years, which prompted him to open the store front, which is located near campus at 24 Fountain St. in New Haven.

“I buy them for a few reasons, but mostly because they make great conversation pieces,” said journalism major Austin Elliot, a sophomore.

“I like the medium; you can look at the sleeve and cover and admire it. Which you can’t with an MP3 or FLAC file.” Elliot is a regular customer at Elm City Sounds and often comes weekly to the store to browse what DellaRagione has in stock.

Elliot has about 190 records in his collection. He said he feels the best album within his collection is a copy of “Introducing the Beatles,” which he found for only $5. When Della-Ragione first opened the store, he had about 20 thousand records in stock ready to sell. His clientele varies from 10 to 70 years old.

Just recently he sold a turntable and full record set to a 70-year-old grandmother who wanted to relive her glory days with a copy of The Doors, “Morrison Hotel” album. According to the Recording Industry Association of America midyear report for 2019, “Vinyl records grew 13 percent to 224 million, but still only accounted for four percent of total revenues in 1H [first half] 2019.”

Currently at Elm City Sounds, the most popular band that Della-Ragione has been selling is the band Queen. The rise in sales of this band is due to the new “Bohemian Rhapsody” movie release by 20th Century Fox in 2018.

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