Back when I was working at the Automotive Training Network I connected well with Mark Gilbert ATN founder over a shared love of vinyl records. Back then the only place you could get vinyl was from specialist stores or charity shops, and we used to love discussing recent purchases we made. I left ATN around 2001 and stayed in touch with Mark afterwards, swapping tips and experiences of certain albums. Some years later vinyl completely exploded and had once again become cool, and very valuable. Mark and I have been able to count on the cost of our collection rising significantly, and now vinyl is more accessible than ever. So what was it that kickstarted the vinyl renaissance? Let’s take a look.
One of the biggest reasons for vinyl making a comeback is its quirkiness, something which is at the heart of many new fashions. This formed part of the hipster movement in reality, where people were looking too wear clothing which harked back to another era, smoking pipes and of course, listening to vinyl. As soon as this fashion trend looked cool, more and more people wanted to get a slice of it and that is certainly the beginnings of why vinyl began to once again blow up.
Something which Mark and I used to joke about was just how ridiculous playing vinyl was, in a world where we can touch a button and listen to just about any song in existence, why would anyone bother to go through the rigmarole of playing a vinyl, looking after the disc, cleaning it, flipping it over, and all of the care that has to go into keeping vinyl. The truth in actual fact was that it is in this ridiculousness that we find joy. When you who through all of this effort, it is part of the theater and the drama of listening to music. I believe that this is also something that people began to once again love about vinyl.
Against the Grain
Many people also turned to vinyl who wanted to be anti-culture, the idea of having every song available just made life that little bit too easy, and some just wanted to go back to the simplicity of how things used to be.
Finally I believe that this medium to listen to music blew up because people were sick of the singles culture which we now find ourselves in. Not only are people not investing the time to listen to albums as they were intended, many music artists no longer make albums as a piece of art, but rather just make a collection of songs, hoping for as many big singles to come off the album as possible. Not all music lovers enjoy listening to a song, then another by a different artist, people like the art and the entertainment which a full album can provide.
Are you a vinyl lover? What made you get into it?