News / Arts & Entertainment

Vinyl Making a Record Comeback

FILE - A man operates a vinyl record press at a company in Nashville, Tennessee.
FILE - A man operates a vinyl record press at a company in Nashville, Tennessee.
Richard Paul
A technology thought to be obsolete only 10 years ago is making a surprising comeback.  Like the fountain pen and the film camera, the vinyl phonograph record was thought to be a thing of the past.  But not so, says Steve Gritzan, who owns a store called Iris Records in Jersey City, New Jersey and runs seven record shows across the eastern United States.

“It's a glorious time for people who like records,” he said.
 
There are numbers to back him up on that.  According to Digital Music News, it’s projected that 5.8 million vinyl records will be sold in the United States this year.  That’s up from one million in 2007.  It’s still a small segment of the music business. According to Billboard magazine, two percent of all the albums sold today are on vinyl. But while the sales of CDs are falling, sales of vinyl records are up 33 percent this year.

Vinyl Making a Record Comeback
Vinyl Making a Record Comebacki
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

​“Everybody releases on vinyl,” Gritzan said.  “All the new indie rock groups, whether it's Bell & Sebastian, whether it's the Hold Steady, whether it's Foxygen, whether it's Washed Out.  All these groups are hot, new and young.  They release their work on vinyl and they also include a free download.”
 
And that’s in addition to artists who reach an older crowd - who you might expect to be releasing their music on vinyl.
 
“When Paul Simon puts out a new record, he puts out a record,” said Gritzan. “There are not enough pressing plants to produce the amount of records that are desired.”
 
Companies like Gotta Groove Records, which started in 2009, are stepping in to help fill the gap.

“It certainly is not just us that's seeing the explosive growth,” said Matt Early, the company’s Vice President for Sales and Marketing. “This is a time in history where the past is coming full circle.”
 
Gotta Groove founder Vince Slusarz was a lawyer at a plastics company.  He’d read about the growing popularity of vinyl records but it wasn’t until the trend literally hit home that he was moved to act.
 
“I believe it was his daughter who got a turntable for a gift,” Early said. “[She] was listening to records quite a bit more and I think that really made an impression on Vince that, ‘Hey, this is real, young people are buying records and so this is something I should pay attention to.’”
 
An old vinyl record album on a turntable.An old vinyl record album on a turntable.
x
An old vinyl record album on a turntable.
An old vinyl record album on a turntable.
Gotta Groove works mostly for small bands that put out their own records and sell them on-tour. The bulk of the business is geared toward a younger audience.  College students are, once again, reading liner notes, appreciating album artwork and grabbing up their parents’ old, unused turn-tables to return to the days of getting up at the end of the record and turning it over. 
 
According to Early, that kind of tangible experience is worth the extra money to younger people today.
 
“Combining those factors, it just kind of gives a perceived value that spending $20-25 on a record feels like it's worth it vs. spending that same amount of money on a file that you really can't touch or feel,” he said.
 
It remains to be seen whether this is a passing fad or whether, like the stick shift car or the paperback book, the old turntable and spindle is something that will be with us for a long, long time.

You May Like

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

Ninety percent of homes in one small village were damaged or destroyed as government forces failed to stop a rebel advance More

Pakistan’s 'Last Self-Declared Jew' Attacked, Detained

Argument about the rights of non-Muslims in Pakistan allegedly results in mob beating well-known Jewish Pakistani More

Turkey Cracks Down on Political Dissent, Again

People daring to engage in political dissent ahead of upcoming general elections could find themselves in jail More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Virginia
September 29, 2013 2:01 AM
People are starting to realize that what is old is sometimes what works best...that's why it's been around for so long. In the world of art, the limitations of vinyl is the reason why music sounds so good on them and the lack of limitations on CD and digital music is why the music often sounds bad or overproduced and poorly mixed and mostly too loud! You haven't HEARD your music until you listen to it on vinyl. Like you haven't SEEN a film unless it's shot on motion picture film.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobanii
X
Mahmoud Bali
March 06, 2015 8:43 PM
Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobani

Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

In the village of Nikishino, in eastern Ukraine, recent fighting has brought utter devastation. Ninety percent of the houses are damaged or destroyed after government forces tried and failed to stop rebels advancing on the strategically important town of Debaltseve nearby. Patrick Wells reports for VOA from Nikishino.
Video

Video Crime Scenes Re-Created in 3-D Visualization

Police and prosecutors sometimes resort to re-creations of crime scenes in order to better understand the interaction of all participants in complicated cases. A Swiss institute says advanced virtual reality technology can be used for quality re-creations of events at the moment of the crime. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the latest edition of "Beyond Category" blues singer and guitarist Corey Harris performs with his band and talks about his travels in West Africa tracing the roots of the blues.

 

Blogs

African Music Treasures