Some have called it a rise from the ashes. Others have dubbed it a return from extinction. Others just choose to call it a normal comeback for something that should have never gone away in the first place. Whichever name you choose, whatever manner you decide to look at it, the LP (or long-playing vinyl album) is back!
The passion for “wax” is being rekindled, and even the younger generation is learning about the advantages of listening to music via the LP. Even back catalogues are being released on “wax” for the first time ever, stoking the nostalgia in old school collectors for vinyl.
Windy Weber, who owns Dearborn’s Stormy Records in collaboration with her hubby, Carl, is particularly happy that the younger generation is also coming in to her shop and asking questions about vinyl.
Vinyl LP’s became most popular after World War II and continued to be commonplace until the onset of the current Digital Age (around early to mid-2000s) when free file-sharing options such as Spotify and MP3.com started taking over.
It is at this time that most independent record stores across the U.S. and beyond shut their doors to the world forever, leaving the big box stores and the Web as the main sources of purchased music. The brick-and-mortar independently-owned stores are still in a sort of “extinction.”
However, in 2007, the revival began. Several record-store owners and their staff came together to organize a brainstorming session that gave birth to the now-popular annual festival day set aside for the celebration and appreciation of vinyl, dubbed “Record Store Day”, commemorated on every third Saturday of April.
Popular culture also did have a contribution in this comeback, with TV shows such as HBO’s “Vinyl” and films such as “High Fidelity” and “Shaun of the Dead”.
Statistics from Forbes.com show that 2015 marked the tenth straight year that vinyl sales rose, with this resurgence also being in part due to an appreciation for the vinyl culture and a nostalgia for the past. Sales have been up every year by 30 to 40 percent.