Vinyl records are making a comeback. In fact, over 14 million were sold in 2017 and that is continuing to rise every year. For me personally, it is about the touch and feel of holding a classic album in my hands and being transported to a time and place in the past.
My first album, Pink Floyd's The Wall was my first album and thanks to the lyrics being provided on the back of the cover, my friend Tanya and I played that album and sang along non-stop for about a week until her parents begged for mercy. I still remember every word to that whole album - I guess my neurons were more spongy back then because I can barely remember what I ate for dinner yesterday now.
What I most enjoy about vinyl record albums is the album art. If you want to have some fun, go to a flea market or album store and flip through records of your preferred genre (mine is classic rock). With just a single image, you will go back in time. Candy O's fun loving girl at the wheel, Loverboy's tight red leather pants, Dire Straits' floating guitar and dozens of others are forever ingrained in my mind.
Album art makes great wall decor for a theater room, man cave, or game room. Check out these modern floating acrylic frames made especially for record albums available here.
According to Ted Goslin at Yamaha Consumer Audio group, here are five possible reasons why vinyl is making a comeback:
1. Tangibles. Sure, subscription streaming services provide unprecedented access and convenience, but something is lost too: ownership. When you play streamed digital files through an app, you don’t own that music. On the other hand, vinyl records are physical items that you can collect, hold in your hands, purchase in person and discuss endlessly with record store clerks and fellow music lovers. Vinyl also offers other tangibles, such as album artwork and liner notes; if these things are even offered by streaming services, you better know where to click.
2. The Cool Factor. Nearly half of all current vinyl record buyers are under the age of 25, according to record industry research site MusicWatch, and with every new generation comes a new outlook on the past, present and future. Some millennials have made an art of taking dated concepts like fedoras and ponytails and making them relevant and cool again. If you doubt this, visit your local record store. Chances are you’ll spot a man bun, a flannel shirt or some other identifiable accoutrement of this popular sub-culture. Clearly, repackaging old albums and calling them retro makes them attractive to trend setters and trend chasers alike.
3. Vinyl Collectors. Serious record collectors are helping drive the rebirth of the medium: There’s something to be said for the thrill of finding a rare LP in a random cardboard box at the back of a tiny record store and being able to add it to your personal collection at home. What’s more, MusicWatch reports that 27 percent of vinyl buyers are 36 or older. That should come as no surprise, since collecting records is a means for people who grew up with vinyl to reconnect with their youth.
4. The Listening Experience. How people listen to music has definitely changed, thanks to the popularity of streaming music. Earbuds and computer speakers have come to predominate, but it’s a fair bet that vinyl lovers are still spending time and money on dedicated Hi-Fi setups in their homes. Yet having a nice set of speakers along with a quality turntable and stereo receiver is only part of the traditional experience. It’s also about sitting down and listening attentively, as opposed to the ease of playing streamed music in the background or while you’re at work. If you put on an album, it’s probably with the specific intent to sit back in your listening room and enjoy it.
5. Sound Quality. Many experts feel that the old-school analog audio provided by vinyl sounds superior to digital audio — especially the lossy (compressed) digital formats used by streaming services. It’s true that there are better digital playback formats available, such as FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec), but you’ll have to search them out specifically (and possibly pay extra for them), whereas vinyl is readily available from online sellers and at your local record store.