Vinyl is returning. There was absolutely an amazing process to buying records when I was a kid that is COMPLETELY lost with iTunes and digital music. As I pointed out in this article about record players and my undying fascination with them since I was a kid, I could not be more thrilled that the industry is returning as posted in a New York Times article this week. Apparently, kids are ALSO fascinated with Vinyl and Delicious Vinyl just opened a Vinyl record store in Hollywood as reported by Radio Facts.
Are the record labels ready to answer the call? I would think they should be as this process of graduating to digital may have GREATLY affected record sales over the years. People of ALL ages went to record stores but older people are not very aggressive about buying online. In addition, the three Rs were married in a working union where one helped the other to reach the goal of selling music. Radio, Retail and Record Labels worked hand in hand up until the early 80s to make sure the machine involved each outlet in succeeding. Radio would announce who we just played, something that has died years ago and is outrageously annoying today. How can people buy something if they don’t know what it is? In addition the chance of people passing a record store then was even greater than them getting home and trying to research who they had heard 20 minutes ago. By the time they get home, they forget about it.
Perhaps technology is giving us too MUCH information. Retail did its job by creating an amazing therapeutic environment to buy music, the smell of incense and new vinyl was undeniable and who can forget the static cling when you pulled a fresh new album out of of a record sleeve, there was a ton of information on the back of the album, an amazing album cover and even more information in the sleeve (before they went to clear plastic) record labels used every opportunity to not only advertise the album, the artist and everyone who had something to do with it, they advertised their OTHER acts. In addition branding was much more aggressive and successful. People KNEW a record label which they don’t now. I rarely if ever see label logos when buying music online.
Finally, radio would provide a list of their top 45 songs to the retail outlet so that when the woman in her car was not sure what she just heard, she could walk into a retail outlet and say “They keep saying “Mmm, hmm” in the song!” While that’s not much 0f a lead for picking which song she is talking about, a clerk, usually a fan of music, working in the record store could nail it if the customer could hum a few bars. Who can do that for a record buyer on the computer? I’m so excited about Vinyl returning, I’m headed out to the Goodwill this weekend, smells and all and a few garage sales to find a stereo from the 60s. As the trend increases, and you know my predictions are on point, vintage record players are about to become very valuable.