Vinyl records faded into oblivion when compact discs (CDs) flooded the market in the ‘90s, but music connoisseurs and audiophiles held on to their precious 12″ believing that their analog babies will make their sweet comeback eventually. And return they did as vinyl albums outsell digital downloads for the first time. A more recent report even noted that sales of vinyl records in 2016 reached their highest level in 25 years.
What a remarkable feat indeed for a format that was deemed “dead” by many folks as CDs and eventually digital music captivated music fans all over the world. They can’t be blamed really. With digital music, especially, you can grow your album collection by leaps and bounds with just a few clicks and swipes. You can even conveniently carry your entire music library with you anywhere.
But as collectors of vinyls can attest, digital music doesn’t hold a candle to its analog counterpart. The sound from vinyl records is better, warmer. Even the occasional hissing or crackling sound vinyls are known for adds to the “authenticity” of the record. Plus, the listening experience is more active with vinyl. Fans can literally hug, hold, and admire their favorite singles and albums something that is impossible to do with a digitally curated playlist. Plus, have you seen those refurbished turntables? How cool will that look in your living room, right?
So, it is not surprising to see 50 and 60-year olds music enthusiasts combing through vintage shops and independent record stores for The Beatles’ debut LP “Please Please Me” or Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours.” Or their millennial counterparts searching for The White Stripes’ “Elephant” or Weezer’s “The Blue Album.” Call it nostalgia. Call it a trend. I just hear beautiful music.