It seems like a no-brainer to me. If you are going to buy music (rather than steal it) you might as well do so physically; that is, you ought to have at least some material gain to show for after a thorough pocket scraping. Furthermore — and I’m going to break some spirits here — size matters. As every bleeding-heart white-lying female won’t tell you: bigger is better. It’s simply much more satisfying to have the larger artwork of a vinyl LP in your hand than it is to wrestle the mini-booklet from that somehow already cracked, pathetically smaller jewel case (are those the lyrics or just really tiny pictures?). Plus one of those damn teeth on the inside always breaks off, so have fun living with that tic-tac rattle sound for at least another five years.
Well anyway, it seems some of you clods out there are wising up, because, as the IFPI’s (International Federations of the Phonographic Industry) annual “Recording Industry in Numbers” and FACT report, vinyl sales are up, at their highest level since 1997. Oh and, surprise surprise, CD and tape revenues are down, while digital downloads and streaming services have continued to grow.
Now before you get too excited, let’s remember what 1997 was like: Blockbuster Music was still bustling, and CDs (the top earner) were regularly bought for $17.99. This was a bleak consumer environment still dominated by the painfully overpriced CD — vinyl records weren’t exactly flying off the shelves.
So, while things are looking up for our old, old friend the vinyl record, this is hardly a victory worth celebrating. But, I for one, will continue to throw wads of cash at my compulsion to extend my fetish collection by a few more units, cuz’ after all, bigger is better.
• International Federation of the Phonographic Industry: http://www.ifpi.org