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    Vinyl’s Revival

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    Record Playing

    Record Playing

    Ever since I first took the time to listen carefully to a record, I noticed that the sound quality was better than anything CDs, cassettes, and of course, MP3s had to offer. Being a music lover, I wanted to share with the world, and especially younger kids like myself (I’m only 28) the virtues of the vinyl record. I had been thinking about it for at least a few years, but really couldn’t gather the motivation to approach such a massive project.

    Then, at the end of 2007, I read an article in Time Magazine about how Gen-Y and “Millenials” are embracing the vinyl record. This was the catalyst that got my site off the ground. I saw some great potential in this topic, with major journalists getting behind this theme. In January (2008), the original Vinyl Revinyl was launched, and a complete re-do was launched in July (2008).

    So, what caused this resurgence in interest in vinyl records?

    Well, the kids these days have been going through their parents’ music. They’re finding all sorts of albums that have a retro appeal. Classic rock, 80’s music, and old-school R&B. They’re like “Alright, it’s Led Zeppelin I! Let’s listen to it!” or “Dude! It’s Marvin Gaye, let’s get it on!” Instead of going out and buying the music on CD, many of the kids just take their parents’ turntables and albums (Since the parents are all becoming hip with iPods and downloading music online), and listen the old-fashioned way.

    Then, the kids venture down to their local record store (since many of the chain stores are dying off–Tower Records, Sam Goody), where vinyl records are often on prominent display. Since the kids have been flipping through their parent’s LPs, they’re also flipping through the stores’ LPs. Then, they notice that many of these LPs are used, hardly played, and cheap–Often as low as $.50 or $1. So, instead of spending $10 on a CD, they opt for 4-5 records for the same price.

    Then the kids head home with their new records, and put them on the turntable. Since playing a record requires a bit more attention, the kids are taking the time to listen to albums more closely. They’re noticing stuff. They say “Oh wait, the bass doesn’t sound like that when I listen to this album on CD”. They begin to listen even more closely, and begin to notice that the sound is all-around better, warmer, cleaner, you name it.

    Then, the kids tell their friends about it. They say “Dude, you gotta come over to my house and hear this ________ album I got on vinyl. It sounds sweeeeet!” Then the friends come over. They all gather together in a room, and pop it on. They get social. They talk about the music, and more music. They notice the superior sound quality. All of a sudden, you have a group of kids who are more engaged with the music, and have a yearning to listen to their favorites in analog.

    They tell their friends, they go out and buy more, they spread the word. Ands so on and so on.

    Of course, it’s not just about the kids. The people who were raised on vinyl are re-discovering it. They are recalling those days when they would hang out with their friends and listen to music together. They remember the sound. They have a yearning to experience the old days, to take a trip down memory lane, to use a terrible cliche.

    The record companies are starting to take notice, too. They are beginning to increase production. They are releasing audiophile grade 180 and 200g albums, pressed on virgin (impurity free) vinyl. According to an August 2008 NY Times article, shipments are up, and sales are up. Artists are re-releasing their stuff on vinyl, such as Queen’s recent highly publicized announcement that they would be re-releasing their albums on vinyl. New LPs are coming out too, such as Vampire Weekend’s debut, and Metallica’s recent “Death Magnetic” album.

    It looks to me like vinyl is about to hit critical mass, and hey, I’m more than happy to help get that word out! Once you listen to an album on vinyl, you will be a convert too. Go wild, go through your parents’ and friends record collections. Throw some albums on, give them a listen. Hearing truly is believing when it comes to vinyl.

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