A Modern Day "Back To The Future" : Vinyl's Resurgence

Music is everywhere. Whether it’s  heard on the radio, someone plays an instrument on the street, or you just hum to yourself, music plays a big role in everyday life. It’s an escape from reality, a way to express inner emotions, or just a way to dance your butt off without looking stupid. But, music playback has taken a variety of forms over the years. From vinyls, to cassettes, to CDs, and now digital streaming, there has always been a way for people to get the music they’re looking for. Even with the new ways to get music, it seems that nowadays we are starting to revert back to our old ways . In 2014, sales of vinyls skyrocketed 260% since 2009. And those numbers have not gone down. But the question is, why have the sales and demand surged so quickly?

Vinyls have been around ever since the late 1880s, and they were the main form of music playback for the decades that followed. Vinyl had everything you needed in music., including high quality sound, but with few drawbacks. The vinyl industry continued to boom until new formats started to roll around. In the 1960s, a new form of music playback came to the market:  the cassette tape. But even with the new cassettes, the vinyl industry  still had the largest market share. The industry seemed to be like the Titanic, unsinkable, but just like the story of the infamous ship, an iceberg showed up.  In the late 1980s, a new format of music playback surfaced and the vinyl just couldn’t compete. The CD’s market had soared above vinyl , and vinyls eventually left the mainstream in 1991. Although still being produced on a much smaller scale, this older technology seemed to be a dying industry on its very last leg. But it caught a second wind.

So why are vinyls getting popular again? One explanation could be the sound. Ask anyone who was alive during the 70s or 80s and they’ll tell you that music just sounded better coming from a vinyl. But there is another explanation that makes more sense: nostalgia. Looking at today’s media, you’ll see that people are going back to a time when things were happier and simpler. Maybe people want to escape today’s drama, or maybe adults  want to revert back to their childhood. Either way, vinyls are coming back, and they’re here for the long haul.


~Trenton Grace

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