Some industries in America have always been recession-proof: war, death, alcohol — and now it seems that you can add vinyl records to the list. I mean, not really, because vinyl records still only sold 2.8 million units and overall album sales were down a whopping 12.7% from 2009 (with overall music sales down 2.4%), but at least we know that people haven’t totally abandoned physical music, because vinyl sales have grown by 14% over the last year.
In case you’re curious: the top-selling new albums on vinyl were Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs, The Black Keys’ Brothers, Vampire Weekend’s Contra, and The National’s High Violet. The overall bestselling vinyl album in 2010 was The Beatles’ Abbey Road. What this shows us is that the majority of people buying records are either old or nerdy — never a good thing when you want something to become hip and popular again — but it does show us that at least someone out there still wants to hold music in their hands.
So, thanks music nerds and audiophiles for maintaining your devotion to high fidelity. With a little luck, we can prevent everything from being turned into binary-coded data-streams, which would all be erased when the power goes out.
[Sculpture: Jean Shin]