Up to now the highlight years of vinyl have been from the 1950s until the late 80s, after the first vinyl was released for commercial use in 1948.
However in the 1980s, CDs started to appear. They were more convenient and less likely to be scratched and damaged. Although the quality and the sound wasn’t as good, it was a step towards a simpler way of music distribution - streaming.
Carrying around a clunky CD player was still a bit of a hassle so it was time for mp3 players and iPods as well as online streaming sites and apps such as Spotify, Apple Music and Soundcloud.
Also, people got less into buying music. Whenever there was a free download available or a quick torrent, they’d grab the opportunity. It is free and quick.
Yet, over the past few years people’s views have changed. People have once again started buying music. Streaming and buying music online is still a massive thing, but according to official charts, over three million vinyl LPs were sold in 2016 which is the highest vinyl sales have been in 25 years. The biggest selling vinyl album in 2016 was David Bowie’s Blackstar in 2016.
What is the appeal though? Is it just another cool hipster thing?
Everything seems to be online now: our lives are on Facebook, we chat with our loved ones on Whatsapp rather than face to face, our pictures are on Instagram and we flirt through 10 second clips on Snapchat… and then we forget them.
There is nothing to hold on to. Nothing to put into our memory boxes – we need something tangible.
Therefore, like polaroid style cameras have found their way back into our bags, vinyl is making a comeback too.
Surely a part of collecting vinyl is the nostalgia and, although it is pretty cool, people have once again started to appreciate the warm sounds that come from a record player, and the fact that they can flick through their collection to choose what they want to listen to.
Moreover, the whole experience of buying a vinyl is a big thing in itself. Actually getting out of your house, going to the record store and browsing for maybe for an hour before finding the one perfect record (or the perfect few) makes the purchase much more personalised and close to the heart.