Vinyl records have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity over the past decade, with sales reaching levels not seen since the 1980s. This trend has been fueled by a combination of factors, it’s from nostalgia, the appeal of physical media, and a growing appreciation for the unique sound and experience of vinyl.
We have a bunch of records here at home, some by more current artists, like Jack White, Pearl Jam, Queens of the Stoneage. Then some older vintage style, like, Cat Stevens, Fleetwood Mac and Gerry Rafferty. Thanks Mum and Dad! Hah, we even have Jane Fonda’s Original Workout on vinyl! Right now, we are on the lookout to upgrade our turntable system.
In case you don’t know, vinyl records are physical media that consist of a flat disc made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, with grooves cut into the surface that correspond to the sound waves of a recording. You know, those round and thin black things you see in old movies. Then a stylus is placed in the groove and rotated by a turntable, it picks up the sound vibrations and converts them into an electrical signal, which is then amplified and played through speakers or headphones.
Why are Vinyl Records so Popular in 2023?
One of the key reasons for vinyl’s popularity is the unique sound quality it provides. Vinyl records offer a warmer, richer sound than digital formats like MP3s, which are compressed and lose some of the subtleties and nuances of the original recording. Many music lovers appreciate the “analog” feel of vinyl, which can give recordings a more natural, organic sound. In fact, according to a study by the Recording Industry Association of America, vinyl records now account for 27% of all physical music sales in the US, up from just 3% in 2006.
Another factor driving the vinyl resurgence is the appeal of physical media in an increasingly digital world. Vinyl records offer a tangible, collectible format that can be enjoyed for its own sake, separate from the music itself. For many collectors, the act of browsing through record bins and discovering new music is a cherished ritual that can’t be replicated with digital downloads. In addition, vinyl offers a visual and tactile experience that can’t be replicated on a computer screen, from the unique artwork and packaging to the weight and texture of the vinyl itself.
Present-day artists and pop culture figures have also played a role in the resurgence of vinyl. Musician Jack White (a favourite here at Mex Productions), best known for his work with The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather. But in recent years he has been a vocal advocate of vinyl records, and his label, Third Man Records, has become a major player in the vinyl market.
White has even gone so far as to record and release a single from space, which was played on a custom turntable aboard a specially designed “space-proof” balloon. Other musicians who have embraced vinyl include Radiohead, who released a special edition of their album “OK Computer” on vinyl in 2017, and Kendrick Lamar, whose album “Damn” was released on vinyl in a limited edition “collector’s box” in 2018 and in 2022 Taylor Swift sold 1.7 million vinyl records alone!
Yes, streaming is still the most popular way for people to listen to their favourite tunes, however, vinyl continues to rise in sales. It can be a great revenue driver for the artist. They can hold, touch, display and admire their record covers. They can physically place that record on their turntable. It allows the fans to feel more connected to their favourite artists.
Checkout this video about how vinyl records are made. Very cool!
Vinyl records have become popular again for a variety of reasons, from the unique sound quality and tactile experience they offer to the appeal of physical media in a digital age. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or a casual music fan, vinyl offers a timeless and rewarding way to enjoy your favourite music.
Do you own any records? We’d love to hear about them! And if you’re looking to release your music on vinyl, in case you don’t know, there is a specific mastering process for the vinyl press. Be sure to contact us, we have a network of trusted mastering engineers who can help you!