UG editorial team. A group of people who are passionate about guitar and music in general.
Posted on Mar 28, 2014 01:39 pm
As a music format that continues to chug along throughout the ages while other media types simply come and go, vinyl will seemingly always have its charm for a niche crowd, and therefore never die.
Pointing out the pros of vinyl, Alex Shellim of Kerrang magazine gave a detailed explanation on why vinyl will always stick around. Check out his blog post below.
"'Indefinite hiatus.' Count how many times you've read that in the last five or six years. Now surely music industry speak for 'going away until a stadium-sized number of people miss us enough to buy tickets,' comebacks are a dime a dozen and as predictable as the Swiss rail service. However, if there's one resurgence you'd not have predicted, or even bothered to consider, given the fate of the CD seems all but sealed, it'd be the comeback of the humble vinyl record.
"When it comes to music we seem to live in a time when we have everything but own nothing, online streaming services Spotify and Deezer's subscriptions passed £100m for the first time last year, CD sales continue to plummet while digital sales soar. But while the music industry as we've known it since the '80s topples around our ears, vinyl rises from it's ashes. Because vinyl is awesome.
"Fact: vinyl sounds better. It's uncompressed, it sounds closer to what your favorite band heard through the mixing room speakers than any CD or mp3 ever will, in fact, I dare you to go out and buy your favorite band's album on vinyl and give it a spin. If you don't fall in love with that album all over again in all it's heavier, more detailed glory, bring the vinyl version to the Kerrang! Office, and I'll reimburse you. Fact: vinyl looks better. Not hard, really, when was the last time you stood back and admired an album's art through a scratched plastic CD case, or on your phone? No? Me either.
"In a time where our entire music collection floats about in cyberspace, existing briefly on a thumb-sized gadget that never leaves our pockets, in rare cases that someone should actually want to own and fully appreciate an album they should look no further than buying it on LP. It can look fantastic, and that's before you realize that vinyl records largely aren't the boring, shiny, black discs that gathered dust in your parents' attic anymore but more often than not are marbled or splattered in colors that match the glorious large-format artwork that appears on the cardboard sleeve.
"Vinyl's resurgence in popularity has become impossible to ignore, heavy hitters like Green Day have once again planned a vinyl release for 2014′s Record Store Day – a global event supporting independent record stores – this time in the form of an LP full of new and unreleased demos. But while it's popularity in the mainstream gradually returns, elsewhere it's as strong as it's ever been. For many independent labels, vinyl is their bread and butter and not unheard of for vinyl releases to bring websites to their knees as enthusiastic collectors perform a virtual trolly dash for the most limited pressings and color variants.
"Of course, they'll more often than not get a free mp3 version of the album thrown in with their coveted purchase, which, in many ways paints a rather depressing picture of what the emergence of said mp3 format has done and means to anyone making a living outside of the major label bubble. Those unfortunate enough not to bag a copy straight away will have to begrudgingly part with far more cash on eBay or via one of the internet's many forum-based vinyl swap meets to get their hands on one of the hundred-or-so copies of a particular variant.
"Just to paint a picture and without going into too much detail, I was told last year by a friend who who went into a local record shop that he saw a (framed) vinyl copy of an album ('Axe to Fall') by a band I love (Converge) in it's rarest form (clear with colored shards – only 100 made) with an attached price tag of £200. When that album came out, I paid $15 for the exact same thing.
"So, while the vinyl record will never, ever in anyone's wildest dreams lay a hand on digital music, or whatever format puts that out of it's misery in 20 years time it's thrilling to know that more and more people are still appreciating the joys that an actual, physical, shelf full of albums can still provide. In three weeks, when Record Store Day rolls around, go out and buy something, and keep it, and maybe, occasionally, buy another one to put beside it and see where you are in five years, because I guarantee at some point between now and then, the computer you're reading this on will break."