Last week, NME released an article entitled ‘The Vinyl Revolution is a Sham.’
The article talks of how although vinyl sales are up higher than they have been in 25 years – the fact that consumers are buying old albums (which they probably already own digitally) on vinyl, rather than newly released music, proves that the whole process is a showy hipster trend that will pass as quickly as the top knot.
I personally think this shows the opposite.
The appeal of vinyl to me and to many listeners is the authenticity of the music. There is something about listening to, say, Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’ (to use NME’s example) the way that it was originally intended to be heard that makes you appreciate it all the more. What I would believe to be more of a fad, would be if all of the most popular records bought were new releases.
Because, the fact is, vinyl is an inconvenient method of listening. Music is such a necessity in people’s daily lives more so than it ever has been- Londoners look at non-headphone wearing commuters on the tube like they’re the strangest thing they’ll see that day- so vinyl is a commitment to wanting to listen a certain way. You have to be at home in a quiet room with a lot of patience and dedication to keeping that album clean and unscratched. Why go through all that trouble for a song that was recorded to be digital?
Another incentive to own records is we are living in the generation of screens. People barely carry cash anymore, your money is digital. People don’t read papers, your news is digital. It may be that young people want something tangible to own, rather than a list of song titles to bring up on any device, as a nod to the swiftly disappearing ‘something to show for your money’ culture our parents were brought up in.
In conclusion I think NME’s ‘entitled image-obsessed millennial’ depiction of those who buy Vinyl is unfair. To describe it as a sham goes against the fact of the matter: the rate of sale is ever growing. How can you slate a generation of people who may just want a taste of something a little purer in a digitally enhanced world.
The vinyl revolution is happening now! Find out our writer Kate Birch and her opinion.