From being a medium for music, vinyl records simply became a collector’s piece- a representation of a great decade of music. Many people still love it but it was just too bulky. In the 90s, vinyl was a thing of the past as it was overpowered by the trendy (now tacky) cassette tapes. Everyone was mesmerized by the tapes since it was small and they can carry them around (remember walkmans?). Cassette tapes were in, vinyls were out. People put their vinyls in their shelves, plaster them on their walls as decors, and some of them even gave them away (my father did!).
And then there were CDs, then digitals…and soon enough, vinyls became a thing of the past. Only the oldies, the hippies, and the collectors owned vinyls. The young ones did not even know how vinyls were played.
But now..decades later…vinyls are so back! It seems like everyone is bored with simply downloading music online. Maybe they miss the experience of actually touching and inserting something in their players. One vinyl record lover said: “Web browsing still has nothing on the tactile pleasures of “binning,” that is, spending one’s off-hours flipping through albums in milk crates and bins”.
Maybe many people thought “urgh. Music is too available online. One click of a mouse and I have any kind of music I want from any artist. Everyone is doing it. I want to be unique. I want to experience music again” And thus, vinyl manufacturing made a comeback in the mid 2000s.
For sales year 2008, Nielsen Soundscan shows more than 1.88 million vinyl records were purchased in that year. In fact, the 1.88 million sales for 2008, was the largest amount of sales of vinyl records in any one year since Soundscan began tracking record sales over 20 years ago. This year, Vinyl record sales have increased 55% in the UK.
Now, in 2011, we see many indie bands release special edition albums in vinyls. Almost all the prominent ones have vinyl albums. Heck, even the Obama campaign released a special edition vinyl. As a result, lots of stores are now selling vinyl records. Mass retailers like Urban Outfitters have taken note of the resurgence of vinyl and now sell vinyl records and record players in their stores.“ The Gagosian Gallery caught on to the burgeoning market and has added vinyl records with covers designed by artists to the offerings at its Gagosian shop on the Upper East Side.
The rebirth of vinyl is driven by a bit of nostalgia, some people’s love for packaging and the arts, the boredom of the digital format, and a belief that the format has better sound quality than the rest.
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