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The Revival of Vinyl Records

The revival of vinyl records has swept popular stores and homes across the nation. The once vintage pastime has found its way back into the mainstream. Vinyl records are now being seen in popular retailers such as Urban Outfitters, Hot Topic and Best Buy. But why are vinyl records suddenly resurging back into Millennial and Gen-Z lives? The reason for this resurgence isn’t just cause and effect. Records could be making a comeback for a multitude of reasons.

Nostalgia is the primary reason. In natural fashion, trends come back into style usually as a form of nostalgia. Younger generations grew up with parents or elders that listened to records, therefore there’s a sense of familiarity and warmth when a record is placed onto a turntable. There’s nothing sweeter than putting a record, sitting back, and allowing the scratchy, authentic sound to transcend into the room.

The tangibility of an album is incomparable to the virtual streaming services we have today. The physical nature owning an album entices a feeling of pride for most music listeners. Also, the ability to pass down an album from generation to generation is currently irreplaceable by modern streaming services.

Most vinyl records advocates would argue that the quality of music of an old-school analog sound is far better than what digital audio has produced. Listening to vintage records the way they were intended to sound also adds to the listening experience. Country artists like Waylon Jennings released Honky Tonk Heroes in 1973 on vinyl. Listening to Honky Tonk Heroes on its original vinyl record gives a sense of authenticity that can’t be reproduced onto CDs.

The renaissance of records has expanded past a niche collector’s market in the past few years. Billboard reported that “The Nielsen Music 2017 U.S. Music Year-End Report states that over 14 million vinyl records were sold in the United States alone that year — the highest level since 1991.” Current popular artists, such as Kacey Musgraves, are now releasing their albums to be sold on a vinyl format as well. Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour can be purchased at stores like Urban Outfitters, Walmart, Target and Amazon.

Some great country music artists to listen to as well on vinyl are:

1. Tyler Childers- Country Squire

2. Thomas Rhett- Center Point Road

3. Willie Nelson- Stardust

4. Johnny Cash – At Folsom Prison

5. Kenny Rogers- The Gambler

The trend of vinyl records seems like it’s here to stay after years of being a popular music outlet. Booming out of the small niche collectors’ market, millions of people have latched on the ideal of the resurgence of vinyl. Most companies are stating that record sales are close to surpassing CDs sales. In 2019, Rolling Stone reported that "Vinyl records earned $224.1 million (on 8.6 million units) in the first half of 2019, closing in on the $247.9 million (on 18.6 million units) generated by CD sales.”

And who knows maybe generations later people will find iPods and CDs to be a popular novelty as well.

Written by Danessa Goulston


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