Monday, January 14, 2008

Look Out World - Vinyl is Coming Back!

According to TIME Magazine, vinyl records are making a comeback with younger listeners who are not pleased with the tinny quality of MP3s and enjoy the large format artwork and overall experience offered by the ole Big 10 Inch format. From the article:

Like the comeback of Puma sneakers or vintage T shirts, vinyl's resurgence has benefited from its retro-rock aura. Many young listeners discovered LPs after they rifled through their parents' collections looking for oldies and found that they liked the warmer sound quality of records, the more elaborate album covers and liner notes that come with them, and the experience of putting one on and sharing it with friends, as opposed to plugging in some earbuds and listening alone...

The article continues to state the obvious:

Large album covers with imaginative graphics, pullout photos (some even have full-size posters tucked in the sleeve) and liner notes are a big draw for young fans. "Alternative rock used to have 16-page booklets and album sleeves, but with iTunes there isn't anything collectible to show I own a piece of this artist," says Dreese of Newbury Comics. In a nod to modern technology, albums known as picture discs come with an image of the band or artist printed on the vinyl. "People who are used to CDs see the artwork and the colored vinyl, and they think it's really cool," says Jordan Yates, 15, a Nashville-based vinyl enthusiast. Some LP releases even come with bonus tracks not on the CD version, giving customers added value.

It's great to have 13,000 songs on something the size of a pile of business cards, but it's also nice to see that young folks are starting to get hip to the way that many of us grew up listening to music on a turntable.

5 comments:

Dr. John said...

I often wondered what would happen to the whole concept of "the album" with digital songs. I have to admit that I miss cracking open an album or CD and checking out the artwork and being able to read the lyrics (when available) to figure out what the heck the guy was singing. I guess that is what websites are for nowadays...

harmolodic said...

There was some other article I found a year or two ago that had basically stated that vinyl singles were out-pacing CD singles in the UK. It's great, the vinyl market is better now than it used to be, as far as the quality of the actual product. We get heavy vinyl editions, sometimes 45pm pressings to increase sound quality, beautiful box sets (I just purchased the Bee Gees 6-LP box set of their '60s albums, and would LOVE to grab some of those Dylan box sets)... some indie labels are even offering free mp3 downloads with the purchase of vinyl records so you don't have to go through the trouble of digitizing the LP yourself for your iPod.

Also, big plug for Newbury Comics -- they are probably one of the greatest music stores in the country, right up there with Amoeba. I spent way too much money there in my youth!

Guitarman5150 said...

I think that would be great! I still have some rare stuff in a cabinet in the hallway! Things that were printed right before CD's wiped everything clean. Does that mean they will be worth something? Some aren't even open. Who knows, right? I bought some when I was overseas in the Navy.

I have some that have autographs of the artists on it too... will they go up in value? All things to ponder.

gordon said...

yes guitarman, alot of records only go up in value.. records hold memories, and come with alot of things. I am a downloader as well as a vinyl collector. Cds and mp3s will never match the sound quality of a record, it just wont.. Plus.. Owning somthing that has value on vinyl just makes it sound even better and makes you feel good listening to it because you know not everyone has this.. I cant really explain it in detail. its just a personal thing i suppose..

Mossy said...

That looks like a silly puff piece to me. The record industry would of course love to regain control of the means of music distribution and turn music back into a physical product. Yes, you get the big record sleeves and the visceral act of putting a record on and all the rest of it, but a lot of these perceived special qualities of vinyl - better sound quality, music being a communal experience, etc. - are still present if not enhanced in digitally stored music. There's nothing to stop people listening to MP3s on a computer hooked up to an amp and good speakers, at a party. I regret the cultural loss of record sleeves as much as the next person, but vinyl isn't coming back. There's no logical way in which it could do so.