The Return of Vinyl Records

A Resurgence of Popularity

When I was a kid, I would look at vinyl records and think that they were prehistoric artifacts and belonged in the bowels of a museum. Tapes and CD's of albums controlled the music market and people purchased what was smaller and more portable. Eventually MP3's and Ipod's took over what used to be CD, and Vinyl Records were at the bottom of a really long time line of different musical media.

Within recent years, vinyl has been born again and has received a surge of popularity. More and more musical artists are pressing their albums onto records and more and more people are purchasing them. Between 2006 and 2007, vinyl sales have increased 85.8% and between 2007 & 2008 they increased in 89%. Some bands will release material exclusively to vinyl that can't be purchased in any other format to increase the popularity in vinyl. Conor Oberst recently released his "Gentlemen's Pact" EP in only a vinyl format. Pearl Jam recently reissued their album "Ten" in a deluxe vinyl box set that contained multiple versions of the album on different records.

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Although a record player takes up about as much space as a thousand Ipods, the sound quality of a vinyl record surpasses that of an MP3 music file. A digital recording does not capture the complete sound wave that a vinyl record contains.

You’ll find more satisfaction out of collecting vinyl records as opposed to CD’s.  The new popularity in vinyl is something worth getting into.  Instead of purchasing new album releases on CD, you can buy a vinyl for the larger, more personal aspect of the artifact.  Most modern bands currently release their albums on vinyl along with a download card, so that you can still have a digital copy for your computer and mp3 player, along with the physical copy that you’ve obtained.  This way, you’re no longer missing out on having an mp3 version.  Many vinyl albums are also released with bonuses, such as extra songs, or a CD version within the vinyl packaging.  There is even a Record Store Day each year, in which several artists release different special vinyls.

With each new album, you'll get a better appreciation when you purchase it in record format.  You're more inclined to listen to an entire album as opposed to only a few select tracks or singles.  This betters the entire experience, because you listen to the entire musical statement that the artist intended for you to listen to.  An album is the statement within itself, and individual tracks are a part of the bigger picture.

There are many positives to purchasing a record instead of a CD or online digital copy. You receive much larger album artwork, the album itself has better sound quality, and there is something about watching a record spin that really makes the whole experience much better