Vinyl records rebound
|BY ERIN EDGEMON-Aug. 5, 2007
Dillon Watson compared listening to music on vinyl records to drinking Coca Cola from a glass bottle.
The 15-year-old, who plays guitar in the band Kindergarten Circus, started buying and listening to vinyl records only recently.
He admits he started because it seemed cool and something a true music fan should do.
Across the globe, vinyl records are experiencing a renaissance. Sales are rising as music fans are rediscovering or buying vinyl records for the first time.
Recording Industry Association of America reported that sales of vinyl records increased from 2000 to 2006 while overall music sales dropped.
Everyone has a different explanation as to why, but whether it is the sound, the look or the size; the resurgence of vinyl has forced some local businesses to adapt and has created a larger niche for others.
Sean Maloney, a Grand Palace employee and avid record collector, said vinyl was never dead, but in the last couple of years a younger generation has started to take notice of the antiquated technology.
Grand Palace opened about two years ago to primarily sell new and used vinyl. About 65 percent of the inventory in the vintage-style store is vinyl and 35 percent is CDs. Most of the record store’s customers come in looking for rare and collectable vinyl.
“There is a real stick it to the man appeal with vinyl,” Maloney said that has diminished from downloading music off the Internet.
Maloney, 27, has more than 3,000 records in his collection. He only buys vinyl, and he has always been that way.
“You can get the music the way it was meant to be played,” he said.
“For people who want to explore American music, you have to do it on vinyl,” Maloney added.
Jim Laughlin, who runs Digital Planet on Lytle Street, also has noticed a growing number of 20-somethings buying classic rock and bluegrass titles in recent years. He doesn’t think it is a passing fad because of the amount of money they are spending in the store.
Jacinthe Jarrell, 21, frequents Digital Planet to buy classic rock albums on vinyl. She has been buying records since the age of 16.
“I think it is the cool thing now,” she said. “It is the indie thing to do.”
Over the last two year, Toney Rounsaville, manager of Audiomasters, has seen an increase in the amount of customers coming into the shop looking for repairs or to buy a turntable and equipment.
Two years ago, Rounsaville may not have been carrying any turntables.
“Last year, it just exploded,” he said.
The store’s repair room is filled with needles, belts and cartridges nowadays. These supplies have to be reordered monthly.
Rounsaville said most of his turntable customers seem to be between 18 and 25 years old.
He thinks these college age young adults are developing a greater appreciation for the way their music sounds rather than just being concerned with having a stereo that is a particular color.
“They are hearing things they couldn’t hear before,” Rounsaville said. “They are hearing the fidelity.
“It is like eating rice for 10 years and then someone offering you a steak,” he said.
Erin Edgemon can be reached at 869-0812 and at eedgemon@