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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CWU chapter.

You may have heard your parents or even grandparents talk about how vinyl records were the best way to listen to music back in the day. The record player was set in the bedroom or in the living room, and once the needle dropped down, the sound was so crisp and clear, it always got the party started. But why are vinyl records recently becoming more popular? Society has gone from vinyl records to cassettes, then CDs to downloading and streaming music on personal devices. Why are vinyl records suddenly making a comeback? 

album photos on wall
Photo by Clay Banks from Unsplash

I honestly think it’s about being a collector. According to a video clip on CBS New York, last year alone record sales climbed to $224 million dollars. Music and collectible stores were seeing an instant boom in sales because of the collection factor. Some people were finding old records in their homes and the prices they were selling for were astonishing. What people have been looking for is the rarity of the record. A 1963 Bob Dylan record that had four unreleased tracks was insured for $100,000 and someone offered the gentleman a generous $80,000. Some say to be cautious about what you buy or sell because every little dent, scratch, or discoloration of the vinyl record could decrease the value and it could be worth absolutely nothing. 

Who is driving the sales of vinyl records these days? You would be shocked to hear that it is the millennial generation. Steven John describes in an article for The Manual how the vinyl record space is coming and going just like cassette tapes and compact disks, but the unique thing about vinyl records is that they are sticking around much longer. Within this same article, Charlie Randall, CEO of McIntosh Labs said, “I think it’s natural for any generation to think that the technology of their time will be replaced by future technology and go extinct. I think that’s the case except with vinyl records. There is something romantic about records, something satisfying about opening the album jacket, seeing the fantastic artwork, and studying the liner notes while listening to the album. That’s something that today’s digital files just can’t replace.” Sure, you can pull up your music directly on your phone, but there is a certain nostalgia that you get from going through your collection and pulling out a record that takes you back. 

I got into collecting records a couple of years ago. I got a powder blue Crosley record player on a great deal during Black Friday and my very first record to add to my collection was Steve Miller Band’s Greatest Hits 1974-78. I got into older music because of my parents. Every road trip I was constantly listening to music from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. I knew more classic rock music than stuff popular to my generation in the 2000s. The beauty of it today is that not only can you find all your classic rock, but even current artists are dabbling in vinyl as well. It is true how the sound of vinyl is so much better. It makes you feel like your right there with the artist embracing the music. I have found that the best places to find records are the hole-in-the-wall vinyl shops, thrift stores, and antique stores. You can find some great records to build up your collection!

The best part about vinyl is that it is a turn back to the past, it takes you back to a simpler time when the digital age was not so constant in our lives. It gave you the chance to listen to an album from start to finish and made you feel like you were in your own private concert. It is something that truly takes you to happier places. Let bits of the past stay in your future and take a trip back in time to enjoy the music. 

My name is Katelyn Richardson. I am 29 years old. I am currently attending Central Washington University studying for my Master's in food and sciences to become a nutritionist and later a diabetes educator for kids. I've been personally battling type 1 diabetes since I was six years old. I love being outside, vintage shopping, watching movies, and going to stock car races! I love being a Her Campus Contributor because it gives me a platform to talk about current issues, topics I'm passionate about & real-life relatable experiences.