Vinyl records – your parents probably used to have a lot of them, but they really haven’t been a relevant form of audio media since the cassette tapes of the late 80’s, compact disks of the 90’s, and the modern digital music; but, while they fell out of popularity for a while, they are gaining a following once again.
There are many reasons why this media form (once considered to be extinct) is making such a strong comeback. One reason is that people prefer the audio quality of vinyl records over that of digital files or disks. While the audio on the disks and in digital files is sharper and cleaner than on records, many people prefer the sound vinyl has- which is a more distorted sound, but it sounds much fuller and warmer than a digital file. Many people have claimed that the distorted, warm sound leads to a greater feeling of immersion while listening to music.
It might seem like the only music groups that have vinyl albums are from 30 years ago, and are only listened to by old people and hipsters, but this isn’t true. While most older bands and groups do have mostly vinyl records, more and more modern musicians are releasing their music not only digitally, but they are also producing records. The practice of making new music available on vinyl is mostly popular in the indie-rock and alternative music scenes, but it’s picking up popularity in the mainstream music industry. Huge pop artists like Eminem and Kanye West have been remastering their songs for sale on vinyl, and even releasing their new albums on both vinyl and digital files. You could go on your computer right now and order any, or all, of Kanye’s albums.
Another reason for the vinyl revival is that a lot of people like the vintage look that come with them. A record player and a big collection of records makes any room it’s in instantly cooler. Many people love the vintage style of records and the more vinyl they buy, the more of this “indie” style they gain.
The popularity of records is not just one in a niche audience, the statistics of vinyl are surprising. According to Newsweek, in 2014 sales of vinyl records were up 50%, a trend that continues to grow upwards.
So, while records might seem outdated and old, they are once again on the rise and look like they’re here to stay.