It’s happening. Vinyl is experiencing the biggest resurgence since CDs supposedly made this music-playing method obsolete back in the nineties, with sales increasing by 66% since 2016. A newfound sense of respect has emerged for any DJ with the skills to spin, and people boasting a collection of vinyls are suddenly finding their cherished records in high demand. Once again, platters matter – it’s a vinyl revival.
Turn! Turn! Turn!
Back in 2007, few expected the inaugural Record Store Day to be a success, but the April-based celebration has grown over the past decade to attract attention from all around the world. In 2015, the Official Charts Company acknowledged the renewed interest in gramophone record sales, launching an Official Vinyl Albums Chart (pop-punk quartet, All Time Low had the honour of claiming the first ever number one slot, with their single “Future Hearts”). The OCC aren’t the only ones appreciating the vinyl movement either. Even Sony have started making records again.
Put the needle on the record
So why have music listeners suddenly decided to dodge digital in favour of vinyl? What is it that’s quite so appealing about this analogue sound storage system that keeps people coming back for more? As is the case with all kinds of trends or what some might call a resurgence; there appears to be a few different factors in play. Some are buying vinyl again because they prefer a physical object, whereas others are listening to their musical heroes who are preaching about the superiority of gramophone records, and the importance of paying money to support the artist. A return to the unique sound that can only be heard when playing vinyl, and an admiration and a respect for the artistic creativity involved in producing album covers, helps create a new music experience, particularly amongst those of us who have grown up with digital downloads as our main source of acquiring music. Others, frankly, are collecting vinyl records simply for the sake of it. Right now it’s cool to have 12” record sleeves plastered across your bedroom wall or stored neatly in a transparent cabinet.
Fashion: turn to the left
Contemporary vinyl sales are mostly heritage acts, which has prompted some to deliberate over whether the vinyl revival can actually be sustained. Nonetheless, sales suggest a consistent, steady ascent for gramophone records in the coming months, and most agree that that’s a good thing – especially traditional record stores, who thought their days were well and truly numbered when digital music became so readily available in the noughties. Either way, vinyl sales mean more money in the pocket of genuine music lovers. And that’s certainly not to be sniffed at.