In 2014 the sales of vinyl hit an 18 year high, and sales were predicted to rise again by a massive 70% in 2015. Predictions were correct, and this was made particularly clear in April 2015, when it was announced there would be an official vinyl chart.
In the 1990s, swathes of people sacrificially got rid of their vinyl records and turntables, instead replacing them with booooring old CDs and CD players. Over 20 years on and we are now able to digitally download music off websites such as iTunes, Spotify, and even Amazon!
Even in the last 10 years, technology has come miles, and even still, is evolving. This meant that the likelihood of vinyl ever coming back into fashion, seemed worlds away from happening, but the record buying public clearly had other ideas.
Before 1898, the only music that had really existed was sheet music, but vinyl came around because people wanted a way they could listen to music that was pre-recorded. The 78 RPM 10-inch record, only able to hold around 3 minutes of music on each side, was the first to come about for around the first 50 years. After, in 1948, came the 33 (LP) – introduced by Columbia Records, and able to hold around 60 minutes of music altogether. These were popular up until 1990 when CDs became popular enough to take over. Finally, came the 45. This was made to hold singles, such as Michael Jacksons Thriller, the best-selling single of the 80s, with 37 weeks at number 1.
Since the rise in vinyl sales, bands such as Oasis and The Smiths have even re-mastered their albums, and re-released them on vinyl. Furthermore, new bands such as Catfish and The Bottlemen, Royal Blood and Arctic Monkeys have been releasing their albums on vinyl as well as on CD, as they’re aware that people enjoy listening to music in different ways.
Arctic Monkeys’ AM (released in 2013) is the best-selling vinyl album of the decade, while Bowie’s Life on Mars is the best-selling single. The fact AM is number one for this decade just goes to show that vinyl is making its comeback, because the fan base of Arctic Monkeys are primarily the younger generation.
I was born in the late 90s, which meant I grew up through the 2000s, listening to CDs rather than vinyl. Over the last few years my love for music has grown, and the thought of listening to an album on vinyl appeals to me far more than listening to a CD. I got my first turntable in March 2014, and I now have a collection of over 60 vinyls, and have since bought an even better turntable. I have a mixture of original vinyl such as Elvis Presley, Carole King, and Fleetwood Mac.
I also buy new vinyl such as Definitely Maybe (re-mastered) by Oasis, and Chasing Yesterday by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. The old ones in comparison to the new ones sound far more crackly, however neither mean the music sound as digital as a CD or iPod would.
I asked a number of people what they found appealing about listening to vinyl. The general consensus was that they liked the crackly, old, vintage sound. I gathered some quotes from people which you can see below:
“Just the vintage aspect. It’s kinda like a blast from the past. Additionally, most vinyl are of the genre of music i enjoy. Additionally, vinyls are collectable.” (16, Plymouth)
“I like that I can see them spinning and it feels more satisfying to listen to them after putting them on the player, they are bigger and I can appreciate the album layout more when they are big. They make the music seem less digital and more real” (18, Plymouth)
“The general look and sound of a vinyl is so much more authentic than a CD, gives the music a much more personal feel” (22, Plymouth)
As you can see from these comments, younger people predominantly listen to vinyl because they like the look and how a vinyl sounds, they also like that they are vintage which fits in with the sorts of things people enjoy in the day and age we live in.
Vinyl is making a massive comeback. Many people, even from the younger generation are beginning to realise the beauty of vinyl, and how accessible it actually is. Stores such as HMV and Urban Outfitters are getting more and more vinyl in their store, while charity shops, car boot sales, and websites such as eBay are constantly selling on second hand vinyl, which is even more popular than it would’ve been even 2 years ago.