I recently attended a vinyl sale, where for one day, you could take away as much vinyl as you could carry for £10 (An absolute steal I know!). So at 9:30am, half an hour before opening, I joined the queue, already behind 30 odd people. By 10:00am the queue was out of sight. This is just one such example of the recent vinyl revival. The question is, why has it once again become so popular?
The idea of a record player seems to bring with it an image of an old man grappling with a gramophone or a hipster trying desperately to prove just how different they are from everybody else. However in reality is this really the case? There can be no denying that there has been a recent surge in the vinyl market. Recent news shows that sales of records have pushed over the one million mark for the first time since 1996. As a patron of the humble vinyl player, here are a few of my thoughts on why this is the case.
Better sound and satisfaction
Firstly we can’t talk about records without talking about the sound. A vinyl record may be cool, but it also sounds so much better than when in digital format. People may think that they are carbon copies of one another, yet this is not the case. The best analogy I have ever heard is imagine trying to fit all your clothes into a suitcase and zip it up. As you sit on top of the case, furiously tugging the zip, you decide that there are odd socks or a jumper that you can do without. This is the same when putting sound into a digital format, there are sounds that don’t fit and are subsequently left behind. Therefore you lose the depth of a track that the artist worked so hard to perfect.
The modern way of finding music is simply opening the lid of a laptop, searching Youtube, iTunes or even Spotify for your favourite artist. However as the sale I attended reminded me, it is so much more satisfying to flip through records, hoping to find a diamond in the rough (In this case I found Now That’s What I Call Music 5!). I also found some artists I like, but wouldn’t necessarily have thought to search for. When you can look at what you’re buying and hold a physical, tangible item, it is so much more satisfying.
Finally, and perhaps this is a more personal reason, the artwork plays a large part on a record. Now of course, on iTunes you see the picture that goes with an album, but not in all its glory. Imagine fitting the Mona Lisa into a tiny square. Ok, this may be a step too far, but it does hold some weight. Vinyl records are the original form of music, and the sleeves and cover art are a part of this legacy. Innovation, creativity and thought are not just prevalent in sound. Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and The Smiths are just a few examples of artists whose artwork is just as important as their music.
If you’ve ever thought about buying a record player, now is the time. With the renewed interest in the market it is the perfect time to get involved. A satisfying, enjoyable experience, collecting vinyl has more benefits than a simple article can give credit to.
What’s your favourite album on vinyl? Let us know in the comments below!