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Vinyls: The Unexpected Growth Of This 70’s Trend

It is an undeniable fact that, nowadays, many old trends are returning and being introduced to a new generation. The vinyls have always been on the music market, either with a huge influence or not, but this type of hearing songs has always been present. There are a lot of different reasons why someone buys a vinyl record, maybe for the vintage decor of their house, just to feel nostalgic, or even for those who really understand and like music as a source of enjoyment and entertainment.

Despite all the several streaming platforms and more technological ways to listen to music, the vinyls have gained a lot of strength in recent years. Even with a high price, and our country having an economic crisis, this way of listening to music gains a lot of buyers and admirers. 

Since listening to vinyl is a whole different experience from listening to music on a streaming platform, for example, in the current pandemic situation, the sales, and the lovers of this 70’s trend grew expressively. The popularity of the vinyls had been growing before the pandemic, but during this period there was a significant growth of the old discs models.

Vinyls And The Pandemic

When the quarantine started there was a certain insecurity about this business because it was an experience; the real buyers used to like to go to the store and see the record, see if there are more that they want to buy. So, after March 2020, there was this anxiety about the stores, the fabric and this industry in general.  

Even though musicians did not release as much music and albums in 2020 as it usually delivered in ‘normal years’, after some weeks of the pandemic the selling of vinyls increased. All the stores that were only in person, had to open an online store to keep their customers and the store running on the same level, and with this online shop a whole new public could find the store and the products. In addition, with the pandemic, people started to appreciate more little things in life, like the sound of the music, for example, and started to have more time in their houses to enjoy playing a record.

By that, vinyls became a successful vintage trend during the pandemic and the selling of it in the online stores during this period is higher than ever and the demand continues to grow. When the pandemic started all the products that were imported had difficulty reaching our country, so the commerce of imported vinyls had a problem. Only the ones that were already in our country were able to sell.

By the end of last year the stores opened again, but with the restricted pandemic orders and the new international vinyls started being sold once again, making the vinyl lovers happy. 

Certainly, during the beginning of the pandemic the industries that produce vinyls, were closed for a few weeks and some even for a few months, and the productivity and sales of the products of the factories were very affected in these weeks. However, when there was a reopening, they managed to recover the prejudice caused once there was a completely new public wanting to buy vinyls. 

The Success

For those who are really into music, the success of vinyls is not a surprise. If you do a quick online search, you will find a bunch of specialists saying that a vinyl has the ideal size to read the tracks of an album, and you can find the complete story in the booklet of a vinyl of whom, how and where the copy of that album that you are holding was recorded. So, it makes everything more special, makes the listener feel that they belong to that song or album.

The new generations getting interested in vinyl was something very surprising because having vinyl has always been seen as something for those who “really like and understand music”, and these young people are now helping to maintain this 70’s trend alive. 

Some people have a huge collection of vinyls. Some have vintage ones that were inherited from someone. Some just bought it at a street fair that sells old records. The collection is made to preserve for the posterity, besides having a whole connection with the music.

Playing A Vinyl Is A Ritual

This connection with the songs is something that, sometimes, can’t be explained. But, if we can try, it’s when you love an album so much that you need to have it and touch it, so you can look at the cover, at the track list, at the technical sheets, and so on. 

Playing a vinyl is a “ritual”, you need to take the disk off the cover, prepare the record player. It’s not like a stream platform where you just hit ‘play’ and where, sometimes, the song is not even enjoyed like it deserves. With a record player you really feel the music. 

For that and many other reasons, people prefer to listen to some albums through record players, for the better experience and for a better sound quality since in a lot of albums in a vinyl there is a superiority over streaming platforms.  A vinyl could be printed with a high-quality audio and resolution, diverging from a song in a music app. 

Moreover, listen to music in a speaker and in a record player are fully different experiences, and maybe that is why some people say that you connect through music and with music. When you listen to a vinyl you appreciate what you are doing.

The vinyl business is not always about the new albums, new artists. The famous singers of this generation really invest in beautiful vinyl art to sell and attract several audiences to their work. However, the commerce of vinyls is more focused on vintage albums, in a nostalgic feeling. 

The 70’s Nostalgia

Indeed, this sentimental feeling of nostalgia comes from the new generation and from the old one, that want to belong to this trend or just want to feel like their youth days again. So, the comeback of this 70’s tendency is about the enjoyment of the people, the feeling of happiness, nostalgia, and appreciation for the music, maybe even a cultural or a trend feeling towards the vinyl. 

Music can lead to many places, for example a vinyl record can be an emotional memory, a reminder of an event that happened, and this creates a consumption memory.

Vinyls have a lot of advantages, but surely have some disadvantages as well. To name one, the prices are enormous and make this way of listening to music just affordable for some people. 

The High Price

There are a lot of reasons why a vinyl can be overpriced. The main reason, for national ones, is related to the production, the raw material, and the lack of it, so the cost for the manufacture of the vinyl ends up being expensive. 

The international vinyls are pricey because of the tariffs charged on the product when they arrive in our country. The disks of international artists are not manufactured in our territory, so it needs to be imported.

Another reason for the overpriced disks is that once vinyls are considered a collector’s item, this tends to raise their value and, if the vinyl is rare, an old one, or one with a different color or size, becomes even more expensive. 

If you want to buy vinyls with cheaper prices the best way are through thrift stores that sells a lot of used vinyls, some in a good quality -other in a mediocre quality- but with a great price. 

In this business, is much more difficult to buy a vinyl in a good condition and with a good price than it is to sell an old one, so, there’s more demand than supply. And now, after the comeback of this trend, it is going to be even more complicated to buy a record. Albums that normally are not sold will probably be purchased because of the demand that increased greatly. 

Also, the record player or a vintage victrola are expensive, at least new ones. A record player is a modern version of a victrola, and when you buy either of them is necessary to check the sound quality that this player will present. A cheaper version of a record player or a victrola is to buy a used one, just remember to make sure that it plays all kinds of disks so you can have a full experience.  

Vinyls Vs CDs Vs Streaming

While the popularity of the vinyls has grown, the fame that the CDs used to have has decreased. There was a time when CDs were more popular than the disks, but with the trend of vinyls coming back with all the strength, this has changed -and some people say forever.  The commerce of CDs still happens but not like it used to be and, nowadays, the vinyl trade is much more popular than the CD. 

In the modern days, we cannot deny that the most economical and popular way to listen to music is through the streaming platforms. With a wide choice of services, the apps are making the music industry grow. 

The fame of the disks might have grown because the people that used the digital downloads to listen to music never really had the feeling of ownership of the music that they were listening to. These fans wanted to have possession of the media that contained their favorite artist, so they started using vinyl to listen to music. And those people that never cared about ownership of the songs, are the ones using the streaming platforms more frequently. 

Overall, vinyl is a type of media that is just developing in everyone’s hearts, whether they be younger or older ones, the new generation that has grown up in this digital world is waking up to this habit. The nostalgic feeling that this habit of listening to records gives is unique and just someone who has felt this once and is passionate about music can describe it. 

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The article above was edited by Laura Enchioglo

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