Do you like listening to your music on vinyl? You’ll be glad to know that you can now browse records at MCC.
Whether you know it or not, vinyl sales have been seeing a steady climb since 2004, proving that this is more than just a passing trend. This is much closer to resurgence. According to Nielsen, Canadian LP sales were up by 40% in 2015 (Exclaim! Music).
The biggest growth of all – unsurprisingly – is in music streaming, but it’s interesting to see how both analog and digital formats remain relevant today.
Why Are Vinyl Records Making A Comeback?
One can only speculate. There are many good theories out there, but there isn’t necessarily hard evidence to suggest that any of them are 100% true.
Here are some possible reasons why there’s a returning interest in records:
- They sound better than CDs. That is, of course, if the mastering was done properly. But for the most part, the warmth of analog beats out digital any day… well, it depends on who you ask.
- For the experience. Once you put on a record, you’re kind of committed to listening all the way through – it’s a very different experience compared to listening to a CD or an MP3. Plus, you can look at the artwork, scan the liner notes, and learn more about the artist.
- The artwork. Records come in large sleeves and often feature detailed artwork and liner notes that complement the music. You can still get a similar experience with a CD, but on a much smaller scale. Digital artwork can also offer a similar experience, but a lot of people tend not to bother with it.
- Collectors. Some collect guitars. Others collect Dukes of Hazzard memorabilia. And still others collect LPs. Name a thing, and odds are there are people who like to amass large amounts of it.
- You can touch a record. You can’t hold an MP3. Strange to say, but the tactile aspect of the experience can be quite pleasing.
- For the social aspect of it. Some people like hosting house parties and getting together to listen to a record while playing a card game, board game, or while enjoying some other activity.
- Nostalgia. Many people look back on yesteryear very fondly. They like to go back and experience things that were popular when they were a kid, a teenager, a young adult, and so on.
- It’s counter-culture or hipster to own records. There may be some status reasons for the revival of LPs. Some people like records because no one else is using them (not so much the case anymore), while others just like to be on the bleeding edge of trends. Either way, it’s all about what’s cool now. Next year, it could be something else entirely.
Regardless of the reasons, vinyl records are back in a big way.
There’s no question that music can be enjoyed in a variety of different ways, and there has never been more choice. But if you want the full-meal-deal, the end-to-end experience, then a physical medium is going to give you more bang for your buck.
The convenience and immediacy of streaming is undeniable. But in terms of experience, it can’t compare to the total immersion that a record can offer.