Why are Vinyl Records Coming Back?

Without a doubt- the sale of Vinyl LPs ( LP short for Long Play- FYI ) is coming back! Most recently-Sony has reported that they are reopening pressing and production of Vinyl LPs after a three-decade break. But Why are Vinyl Records Coming Back?

Nostalgia perhaps?

What could be more nostalgic than the vinyl LP? Could this trend have a nostalgic motivation? Most likely not the only reason however there is something to be said about going back to the future-Old Skool as it were. Not to mention the digital world of recording can leave things a little too pristine perhaps.

I recently watched a DVD movie about Tower Records- “All Things Must Pass”- which I highly recommend renting if you have any interest in the era of Vinyl records. The movie is entertaining as well as educational and depicts a true phenomenon with their business model -actually allowing employees to run the show- mostly. They created an atmosphere of music and socializing that is truly a gaping hole in modern-day supposed “social media”- which is anything but up close and personal. Visiting a Tower Records Store was a social event- not just a place to buy records-maybe the tide is shifting back to the experience of the Vinyl Record Shop? Personally, I even miss the BlockBuster experience -except for the late fee concept- which was always the case for me. Again-Rent the movie!- “All Things Must Pass” – available on Amazon Prime movies.

Is it the Sound of Vinyl?

Of course, digital technology continues to advance-expand dimensionally and refine the listening experience. I know a case certainly can be made that digital sounds superior in terms of specs and distortion. But what do our ears tell us? I recently visited with a friend that still had a decent turntable- speakers and quite a record collection. He put on some old classic records – don’t remember which, unfortunately- but I do recall it having a certain smooth quality to it that was just pleasant on my ears-that is just my experience and maybe I am fooling myself- it certainly could be argued.

So not only am I a musician but also a mix engineer of sorts. I record my own tracks for my original music and to use live for backing tracks. I mix “In The Box” ITB-for short- were everything is mixed within the computer. To get a mix sounding “warmer” like analog circuitry ( gear that is non-digital- made of real wires- resistors- capacitors etc)- there has to be some distortion introduced back into a mix to get it sounding warmer-like Vinyl. Most every Digital Audio WorkStation (Recording Software-or DAW for short) has many ways of adding this back to a mix to achieve what the analog or vinyl recordings inherently possessed as a result of being a non-digital format. Its crazy in a way- we have made all this advancement in digital audio for cleaner more pristine sound-just to add noise or distortion back so it is pleasing to the ears!

How About the Album Cover?

Certainly, the album cover contributes to the allure of owning a vinyl record- and it’s a great conversation starter! Viewing album credits and talking about album art concepts was a huge part of the fun of getting new records. Hanging out listening with friends- talking about the cover- music and doing other stuff we shouldn’t be doing – molded my teen years for sure.

One of my personal favorites was Brain Salad Surgery- by Emerson Lake and Palmer- man what a radical title and artwork- Gothic structure and bordered on the macabre – and fit the music so well. Look it Up!

I have a book just on album covers and, as I looked thru each cover, I relished those days when a new album was released- just to see what the cover was going to be as much as the music. We have lost that pretty much with streaming music although it does still exist in the digital domain. I guess- like a newspaper- there is just something to having a tangible to handle and peruse in 3D that still has a tactile irresistibility about it all. Wax on!

So Who’s Buying Vinyl?Vinyl records

It is reported that sales of Vinyl records are mostly to the under 25 crowds with the genre mainly being Rock and Pop. This is a group that probably grew up only hearing about albums but never really experienced hearing or seeing a vinyl LP- except maybe for Dads old record collection- if he still has one or even a turntable anymore. This is not to say this is the only reason I look forward and welcome feedback on this subject for sure.

The return is quirky and of course that may be in part why it is returning- the younger crowd likes to do the unexpected- to go against the grain-it’s what we did – didn’t we? Not to say it’s not a good move but it’s like what is old is new again -as it were. Personally, I like to see┬áthe subculture of young retro audiophiles as well as the resurgence of the album cover- let’s give our artists -album cover designers and models etc their job back! And a whole side for album credits that we can actually read.

Vinyl is Coming Back! You Can Believe That

For whatever reason – Vinyl is making its way back into culture and record sales have seen an almost consistent increase of about 50% per year for the last several years.

I look forward to producing other articles on the site to make suggestions, and gathering feedback from other experienced Vinyl Affectionados, about minimal decent hardware requirements- such as turntables and record “needles”-(or rather “Stylus” to be proper)- and possibly speakers – for those looking to get back into the retro experience.

Also finding LPs is not that difficult but I hope to have resources listed on this site as well for those looking to find LPs for sale.

Back To The Future!!

9 Comments

  1. If I had to guess, Vinyl is making a comeback for one of the reasons you stated in the article; kids these days (okay, fine, I’m in that crowd, too) have grown up in the digital age and are impressed by some of the old school ways. Perhaps they may’ve played a parent’s old Vinyl LPs and were impressed by the sound? I believe they’re impressed due to the sound of Vinyl and therefore, with such kids growing into their 20s, have embarked on increased demand for the product. Personally, I’m old school in just about anything. I’d even workout with a Walkman rather than listening to music on YouTube if I could fit one in my pocket! 

  2. This would be and is the greatest comeback for music lovers and those who love great music that comes out-out of vinyly. I used to listen to one many years back and I know you will agree with me its an experience like no other. And with all the latest advancement in technology, you can only get the best.

  3. Great topic! Did not know Vinyl sales were on the rise, nice to know. i for one, still  have my collection of Vinyls from when I was a teenager and cannot get rid of it. my turn table is getting old and I would love to read article from you on the subject.The post is very interesting and I would love to find more about the subject in the future.

  4. Although I was born in the 80s, there is just something very appealing about these Vinyl Records. I can’t imagine the return of CDs or cassette tapes, but Vinyl Records certainly. I think it’s really the feel and aesthetics about these large black discs and their covers. I collect a few vinyl records to decorate on my wall. I think other people love them because they do give a romantic feel when playing on a record player. I’m also into things made in the 40s-80s from toys to cars because they way they look and the use of colors on prints are so interesting to me, and I’m sure there are many people who have the same interest. Definitely unique for its time.

  5. That is truly good news to hear!  I grew up listening to LPs and those included Iolanthe, Pirates Of Penzance, Classical Favourites, 1812 Overture, Winnie The Pooh, Hymns For Children, Pat Boone, Cliff Richard, Nat King Cole, Beach Boys and the list goes on and on and on.  That seems like another lifetime ago!  Things were very different than they are now.  We didn’t have computers back then, they were only coming into being when I was in High School.  So Vinyls have a certain bit of nostalgia for me and it means that the ones I still have are thankfully not obsolete!Thank you for sharing this most welcome news!

    1. Author

      Thx for your comment- yeah I think a lot of people are pleasantly surprised to hear that vinyl is coming back-hope you stay tuned for more articles on my site!

  6. Hi there, I want to believe many people might not even be aware of this vinly coming back after whole Lot of about 3 decades break, let me say personally I really don’t believe it myself until after reading this post from you, well I looked forward to seen them embedded with latest new technology in music. I will also be looking forward to read more articles from you

    1. Author

      Appreciate your thoughts and hope you do stop back by- have a lot more fun and interesting articles coming about the return of Vinyl! Hope you check back in on my site from time to time Thx again

  7. I remember the first and unfortunately, the last vinyl album I had I was about 8-years old and it was the soundtrack to Star Wars no singing just music. I loved that opening sound of the movie so much so that the day my uncle took me to Rasputin Music in Berkley, CA will be a day I never forget and was so proud of owning that record. My mom may still have it I need to ask. Wow now I feel old, but your right music now is not like it was back in the day and now that I think about what you said it’s that distortion and the crackling of that needle is the something that is missing now. Hmm, maybe I’ll end up buying one of those new record players that doubles as a radio and mp3 player. Thanks for the article and the throwback to memory lane, much appreciated. 

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