We wrote here last year about the revival in the popularity of vinyl records and all things retro. Since then we’ve seen a huge increase in the popularity of our retro record players and thought we’d look into the trend and share what we’ve found with you. We love the experience of putting the needle on the record and are wondering whether we can buy new releases and play more vinyl options than just our old 80’s pieces, as we invest in our new turntables.
The vinyl comeback really took off in 2015 which saw a 65% increase in sales, the biggest jump in 21 years, according to Alex Marlow on the music site Never Enough Notes. That same year the Consumer Electronics Show announced that Panasonic we’re bringing back their iconic Technics turntable brand and investing in a new models and technology. The Official Charts Company also launched their Top 40 Countdown for both singles and albums in 2015.
So what’s been happening and why is this love of vinyl making a comeback? Aficionados have long loved the feel and sound of their vinyl and independent record shops have been running ‘Record Store Day’ for the last few years. It really took off in 2016 and launches exclusive vinyl music at focused events across over 200 stores. Last year incredibly saw LPs, EPs and 45s return to 1991 sales levels. But is this a fad? Am I going to buy my new record player and then not be able to access any decent new music for my new toy? It seems not. This fun trend looks to continue apace.
Bob Stanley wrote in the Guardian that “These days records are more than mere product” and like hardback books versus paperback “vinyl is now seen as more prestigious”, “a vinyl record has the cultural weight of a hardback”. He goes on to say “it’s a more enveloping experience than Shopify. Once you’ve put a record on it dares you to walk away, or even to skip a track. There are added layers of enjoyment.” I couldn’t agree with Bob more and it seems many of you are thinking the same thing.
Paul Resnikoff in Digital Music News shared a report by the BPI says that vinyl only accounted for 5% of albums in the UK in 2016, which shows huge growth potential. They believe that the increased diversity in the records being produced and with the expansion of independent record stores and some increasing floor space once again, growth is sure to continue. Paul writes that “a key ingredient is that vinyl is no longer the scene of the nostalgic baby boomers alone, it’s spanning all age demographics with the younger fans craving something tangible”. As Alex Marlow writes in NEN “in the convenience driven digital age, it’s a brilliant way of making music mean so much more”.
Our Denver VPL-120 retro record players are a great introduction or return to the world of vinyl, as they’re really easy to use and great value at £39.99. They come in a cool, vintage-style suitcase in either black, brown, blue or red and have built-in twin speakers which make it really easy to carry around so you can play your vinyl collection wherever you are. The triple speed option allows you to play those favourite 33.3 rpm albums, the classic 45rpm singles and the really vintage 78rpm records.
Unlike the old days the record will stop playing once it’s finished, there’s a line-out socket for external hi-fi or amplifier connection and a headphone jack. You can even record and share your vinyl finds through a USB connection, which records the music onto your PC and converts it to MP3 or WAV files.
The great news for 2017 is that new and old music is becoming more widely available on vinyl. The independent record shops have been joined by the likes of Barnes & Noble, Urban Outfitters, and now some big retailers and supermarkets, such as Tesco, are stocking vinyl records. A sure sign that vinyl is here to stay and we’ll be getting years of joy from our turntables for some time to come.
Why not share some of your favourite vinyl record ideas with us? Just post a comment wherever you see this article.
Thanks and happy listening from the team at 3wisemonkeys