You may have noticed that vinyl record sales have been increasing year on year for the last decade with Queen alone selling over 75,000 albums last year.
The Beatles iconic Abbey Road album was also reissued on vinyl in 2019 to mark the 50th anniversary of its original release.
It’s pretty certain that we’ve all got some old vinyl knocking around somewhere unless you converted yours all to digital and then threw your records away. If you did I bet you’re regretting it now!
To reflect this growing market, the Official Chart Company even launched their first vinyl chart in April 2015, and most major releases are now available on vinyl and CD, alongside digital formats.
What’s the attraction of vinyl in the modern day?
Nostalgia is the main attraction for some because as time rolls by we get nostalgic over lots of things from our past. Books, cars, music, films, people and places are the obvious ones, but there’s also the financial side of collecting vinyl records, singles and albums.
Rare and sought after vinyl has become a massive investment over the last 10 years or so and if you’ve any originals in your collection, as long as it’s in good condition, keep hold of them.
The Who released a single on the Brunswick label called La-La-La Lies in the UK from the band’s debut album, My Generation, this song was released without their permission but didn’t do too well in the UK charts. While the song didn’t perform particularly well in the UK, the 7″ single is actually worth up to £400 on a good day.
If you’re going to collect vinyl do it for the love of vinyl and not with the expectation of making money, although that is a possibility, especially if you invest in originals.
Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash
Does vinyl really sound better than digital?
This is doubtful, but for some nostalgics we probably think so! Vinyl audio is often cited as having a better quality sound than digital, and perceived as sounding both warmer and richer than CD or MP3.
There is some scientific merit behind these claims. Firstly, vinyl records source audio from the entire sound wave of a performance, which creates a physical impression of the sound on the disc.
If you magnify the groove of a record 100 times, it’s varied with different textures, peaks and troughs to represent different types of wave/instrument. Compare this to digital recordings, which offer an “impression” of the performance and the differences can be perceptible, especially in music with wide pitch variety such as classical music.
The MP3 is perhaps the source for digital music’s poor reputation for sound quality. The MP3 format was designed as a quick, convenient file that was deliberately of reduced quality to enable faster streaming and downloading.
We can argue the point all day long, but for some of us vinyl can never be replaced by digital. The sound quality for digital does however, depend on care of the record (no dirt or dust) and the quality of the speakers – so invest well in this department.
Who really knows which is best and it shouldn’t matter as long as you get enjoyment from owning and enjoying your collection. The sound of the needle when it first makes contact with the record sets us up to enjoy what’s to come.
If you’re not particularly interested in searching online or going from record shop to record shop (although there are some great ones around online) then Amazon have a large range of vinyl music on their site ranging from pop to classical and everything in between.
Oh by the way, Jazz sounds great on vinyl!
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