Vinyl Strikes Back!
30% (or 21 million people) of core music lovers plan to do the dance with vinyl again within the next 12 months
Technological improvements have certainly changed the way we listen to music over the decades. We went from vinyl records to 8-track tape to cassettes to what we now have - CDs, mp3s... and vinyl records? Yes, it's back! A poll by Gracie Management found that 30% (or 21 million people) of core music lovers plan to do the dance with vinyl again within the next 12 months. Now, it's true that history usually repeats itself, but technology? That's a switch which musicians and labels are increasingly embracing.
The Plain Steel, a rock/folk ensemble from Hamilton, Ontario, have released their first feature length album on vinyl (and CD as well). A deluxe, double vinyl reissue of "Keystone Companions/The Complete 1973 Fantasy Recordings", the very first Merl Saunders and Jerry Garcia album, is planned for a September 25th release (also on CD). Spot-On-Sound, which is now a record label, has 2 exclusive vinyl only releases coming out over the next few months. And AM444 (Dutch producer Jay Soul and Chinese singer ChaCha from RBMA-2011) are released their first 12" record entitled "Split Ends" at Shanghai's Yuyintang on July 7th. The song "Eye Context" from San Francisco electro rock band Tussle will also be included on that album.
While some may see the return of vinyl as a fad by an industry desperate to cling to any growth sector, there are good reasons behind this resurrection. While CDs, which are digital, cost much less to produce, they tend to have a colder, brighter sound that sometimes has too much detail. The sound you hear on a vinyl record is analog, which is a much warmer presentation of the music. In fact, some artists are so adamant about capturing that warm sound that they refuse to record using anything else but analog. Now, of course, these are the high profile, multi-platinum selling artists who can command this level of compliance from the labels, but I digress. Once they've recorded using analog, the songs are then transferred to CD.
You see, music is all about sound, and just as artists know that, consumers know it as well. When we're listening to Adele, we want to feel as if she's right in the room with us singing. And as much as I love my CD collection, I'll take Adele on vinyl over CD any day. Apparently, artists are beginning to give the people more of what they want, as increasingly more of them are releasing recordings on vinyl. Now, vinyl records are usually much more expensive to purchase, but that's not stopping consumers. And if you're familiar with the law of supply and demand, you know that if there's a demand for something, the market will supply it.
Interestingly, the Grace Management Poll found that the "typical vinyl buyer is a male (62%) who listens to music as an intellectual experience (66%). In addition, he is more likely to be middle class with respect to income, and is either currently in college or has already graduated (69%)." The expectation is that this trend will continue to grow.
So, vinyl records are making a comeback. What's next? Platform shoes? Click clacks? Hot pants? Actually, for those answers, you'll have to wait and see or check with someone in fashion. This girl does music. And vinyl.
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