The Resurgence of Vinyls

Cole Filer, Entertainment Editor

The year is 1981 on a Friday. You and your friends go out to the nearest record store to purchase Rush’s brand new album “Moving Pictures.”  Your vinyl collection has reached disgustingly high numbers and you start to realize how unhealthy your little habit is, but it really isn’t a habit at all, it’s an addiction. An addiction that helped fuel the height of the vinyl records popularity. An acclaim that seems to be resurfacing.

Vinyl records are back.

So much so that vinyl supply is actually having a difficult time keeping up with demand. Sales are nearing the $1 billion dollar benchmark for the first time this millennium. An impressive milestone that has remained untouched since 1981. The format itself has seen 260% growth since 2009. Yes, vinyl records are on the rise. But are they here to stay?

Why do people choose to buy an overpriced obsolete slab of plastic over just streaming music for free online? Millennials (kids these days) have every single genre of music at their disposal for free. And yet almost half of the purchasers are under 25 years old.

There are many reasons as to why the vinyl resurgence is taking place. One of those reasons is because it’s how some artists intended their music to be heard. When you play a vinyl record you can hear the music rather than just listening to it. It’s a more personal experience.

“Vinyls are crispy,” junior Gage Runyan said. “The experience is warmer and everything just comes out better.”

Audiophiles, stuck up music snobs who only listen to music on high fidelity speakers, will obviously make up a large portion of vinyl sales. And for them, vinyl never really went away and is never going to.

But there is another group of people that are buying vinyls more than anyone else. And that is the hipsters. They will eat up anything and everything different and old. And vinyl records certainly fit that bill. But kids have an endless array of music free of cost. Which is why millennials make up the biggest demographic of vinyl purchaser. They want a more personal experience and to feel the music they hear. Just hearing it digitally and streaming it holds no meaning. They love the tangibility of it. It’s different than what the norm is and that’s why there is so much appeal to it right now.

“These days a lot of people are into that vintage stuff, like it’s really coming back,” junior Connor Johnson said. “You’ve got that 90s fashion coming back, a lot musicians are reverting back down to 80s pop like Childish Gambino or Mac Demarco. I don’t know, old stuff usually has a way of coming back. And I think it’s pretty cool.”

Hipsters are the kids that claim that they were “born in the wrong generation” and blare Mac Demarco as they stare blankly at a wall for hours pondering why their parents won’t allow them to move out to California by themselves at the ripe old age of 16. I don’t take issue with most hipsters. I mean I myself could even be categorized as a “hipster,” but I take issue with the hive minds who can’t think for themselves. Some people so badly want to fit this demographic that they will literally change certain aspects of themselves to do so. Now that vinyls are poppin’ with the “hipsters,” everyone else is itching to get their fix. A lot of people are only buying records to look a certain way or seem cool. They may not be consciously doing it, but subconsciously they most definitely are.

People are not going to stop listening to vinyl records. The hipster culture is reintroducing it back into the mainstream. Even if people are only buying it to fit in or look cool, it is opening people’s eyes to new things. Or in this case old things. Yes, it is a flimsy piece of obsolete plastic, but it has personality and so much meaning. I feel like it’s just starting to pick up popularity, and maybe it’ll die down in a few more years. However it’s going to be the next generation after us that is really going to listen to the vinyls and completely take in what they have to offer. That’s when the REAL vinyl resurgence is going to happen. And along with them actually listening to the music rather than just hearing it and buying it to look cool. Will cause an explosion of talent to hit the music scene.

I predict that in the next 25 years we will experience a renaissance of musical talent. And that little musical renaissance is going to trigger an age of higher thinking and art like we’ve never seen before. All of that is going to happen because a couple “hipsters” wanted to buy a few vinyls to fit in. No.

Vinyls are not a fad.