Vinyl LPs Making Big Comeback
Remember the days of sitting next to your record player, jamming to a new LP? For me, it was the 70’s and early 80’s, listening to a wide range of music. Handed down to me from my eclectic family, I had everything from Stevie Wonder and The Stones, to The Bee Gee’s and Kiss. And let’s not forget about the beginning of the second British invasion. Am I the only one that stared hypnotically at the spinning disc on a Techniques turntable with the little orange LED light on the side?
Well, those days are making a comeback. Big time! According to reports all over the music media spectrum, vinyl LPs and a turntable are the new "it" thing to have in your home. Turntable sales are up by 50 percent last year, and LP sales are projected to be up for the fifth year in a row this year at 33 percent. Tony Cicalese, owner of We Got The Beats here in Oakland Park, weighs in on the vinyl trend.
"While our physical store has been open for over three years, we hit a turning point in April of this year when we fully participated in a national event called ’Record Store Day.’ This event brought in many new faces eager to buy vinyl. I started bringing in more vinyl, (mostly used collections) and selling it at very low prices, (mostly $1 to $2 each) and this has been our busiest summer ever by far. We are actively considering expanding our space to accommodate the demand, and possibly opening a more rock-oriented sister space."
New vinyl releases are yet another story. "We definitely stock and sell a lot more used than new at this point, but I do try to bring in new releases I think would be of interest, such as the latest from Daft Punk, Depeche Mode, and The Pet Shop Boys. We recently had a fabulous listening party when a new Sylvester compilation came out on pink vinyl."
Gerri Vidal-Rosa, former director of A&R Administration with PolyGram Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, and currently with Bob Rosa Productions in Hollywood, FL, gives her opinion on the aged medium.
"Surprisingly, it’s the Hipsters, not nostalgic Baby Boomers, who are now collecting vinyl. Groups like Daft Punk, with a predominantly college-age audience, sold roughly 6 percent of their first week sales on vinyl. There’s a resurgence of music buyers who ’get it’ and appreciate the album concept as a full package -- music, artwork, liner notes, sonic quality... It’s come full circle. They’re collecting records like we did when we were young. CD’s are passé, what their parents listen to; not cool. Vinyl is the new Black."
Don’t have your old record player anymore? Not looking to get a used bargain at the local thrift? Don’t worry. Turntables for the home are getting sophisticated as well. Not only can you get them in many different retro-designs, they also come designed as modern brushed steel mechanical art that can cost over $10,000, or even high-tech versions that hook up to computers for converting music to digital. For an inexpensive option, I found one quickly on Amazon for only $50. But it’s all about playing LPs in the home, with its rich, warm audio that can’t be matched, or even simulated by perfect, noise-free digital audio.