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Why We Shouldn’t Forget Vinyl

Vinyl

From their evolution from the fragile, cumbersome phonograph cylinders that Edison popularised back in 1877 through to flat, grooved disks we’ve come to know and love, vinyl has something of a special place in our collective hearts. Our childhoods are littered with memories of what seemed like gigantic squares with pictures and words on them, each with an ink black disk inside that could somehow make your favourite songs play.

Time waits for no format, however, and as digital recording became commonplace in the studio, as did digital reproduction. First, the cassette, the CD and finally the omnipresent MP3 came along to try to steal away the hearts and minds of a music loving public. Interestingly though, vinyl never really went away. Our hi-fi’s grew only more extravagant, our records more cherished and our unshakable belief in the big, flat format that became deeper than ever. But why is that, and why are vinyl sales at their highest level for more than a decade?

In 2013, vinyl sales hit their highest point ever. We are witnessing a renaissance for records right now, and vinyl is no longer the retro format resigned to cabinets, old juke boxes and our walls. Over the past 12 months, several modern artists have released limited edition vinyl albums…

…the likes of Biffy Clyro, Tom Odell and Chvrches have released limited edition albums on vinyl, the latter band of which is tipped to be the next big thing.

Along with these modern artists bringing an appeal back to vinyl, Record Store Day has played a vital role in the sales of vinyl records doubling in 2013. Record Store Day is an annual celebration of independent record shops. Independent record shops have interesting, rare and wonderful musical items, compared to modern day stores like HMV, which are filled with digital formats and mass produced (dare I say it?…) tat.

Indie record stores managed to sell £2 million worth of vinyl on Record Store Day, which is an incredible amount, considering this generations keenness to enjoy MP3.

Ultimately, in an age where we can stream music and download it, vinyl offers something physical – a direct link to the musicians who crafted it. Digital formats have no personality and no identity: they are very boring. Vinyl is exciting, and as many people would tell you, vinyl also offers its very own unique sound which is preferable to what any CD has ever produced.

Superfi’s Denon DP200USB Turntable is one of the most popular turntables to play vinyl on as it offers a lot of flexibility and looks great. The Project Essential II Turntable from Superfi is also very popular, offering hands down more charm than any CD player.

Research suggests that 18 – 24 year olds are buying more vinyl records than any other age group under 50 and it is these consumers who are the driving force behind the growth of vinyl.

With over 100 years of history, vinyl has stood the test of time. Streaming, MP3 and CD’s will come and go, but this seemingly ancient and retro format is here to stay.

We will never forget it for it will always be with us.

Photograph by Fabio Sola Penna

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