Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"It's All Coming Back to Me Now" # 1: Vinyl Records

This is a new feature discussing how nothing is ever really something new and original, but a repacking of something else and how old things become new again!

In our digital age filled with MP3s, MP3 players and downloading music (whether legal or illegal ;) ), one would not expect the 33 1/3s and 45s from your parents and grandparents era to be in style again. But interest for these old vinyl records is coming back around. Some of today's bands like U2, R.E.M., Coldplay and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band have been releasing recent albums on LPs and some indie music stores have placed free MP3 downloads in addition to buying them. Even Amazon now has a vinyl only website. Sales for them have increased 89% since 2007. Wow!

Why are they gaining so much attention during our now infamous downloading music era. Well, a few reasons are:

1) Nostalgia for the old days of music

2) Analog music tends to have a warmer, purer and more authentic sound

3) To be able to use a record player or turntables is cool

4) To look at the album or single cover art

5) Actually enjoying the music more because it took more time to get it and listen to it

6) Easier social experience with LPs

7) Finally, having that tangible feel of a record in your hand (i.e. reassurance that if your computer died, you would not loose all of your music or your CDs will get scratch).

Jason Durham, a producer of vinyl, said himself, "I think it's got to do not only with the sound but the ritual of playing the record, and also just the whole packaging. It's like a gift every time you open it." "You experience the music versus hearing the music," said David MacRunnel. Hopefully vinyl will become the main format of music again and I think I am going to start my collection soon!

Sources: CBS, LA Times

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