The way we’ve consumed music throughout the decades has changed drastically: live performances, records, CDs, cassette tapes, now streaming.
Even though the vast majority of us stream or download music, the past several years have seen a resurgence of vinyl record sales. According to a ClassicFM.com article, vinyls were on their way to outselling CDs for the first time in 40 years in 2019.
Now the question becomes why are vinyls so popular?
“People started downloading… but it kinda left the people out in the cold for the people who wanted to collect their music. For certain people, music is just such a powerful thing, they want to have a collection and, let’s face it, nothing’s more collectible as far as a music format than vinyl,” said Michael Graham, owner of Graham’s Records, Tapes and CDs.
For many, it’s not just the ability to collect records that entices them to buy. Many people claim the sound is much richer and frankly better than what we hear through our earbuds.
Graham says people often don’t buy it because of the snap and crackles, but he notes that you have to care for the records, ensuring there aren’t any fingerprints or dust marks on them disturbing the sound. He also notes that the equipment used plays a big role in the quality of sound engineered.
When playing a vinyl, there is a sense that the music should be shared, especially when the music isn’t being streamed through earbuds.
“I feel like it’s more of a community of getting together with your friends and listening to music together with your friends,” said Justin O’Connell, Assistant Manager of The Exchange.
The changing landscape is shown with the customers who visit Graham’s. “There almost isn’t a demographic,” he said, noting that people of all ages come in to peruse his library.
Vinyl lovers can also rejoice for the ‘Black Friday’ of records days: Record Store Day. Usually held the third Saturday in April, Record Store Day has hundreds of releases that feature artists from the 90s or even special edition of beloved albums.
It is no wonder vinyl is making a comeback with artists ranging from the classic Elton John to the modern Lizzo, there really is something for any music lover to enjoy.