The Return of Vinyl

21 10 2009


A Vinyl record, also known as a phonograph record or simply a record, is an analogue sound storage device consisting of a flat disc inscribed with a groove that spirals towards the centre of the disk. Various terms are used to describe different aspects of a record, usually its correct rotational speed (“16⅔ R.P.M.”, “33⅓ R.P.M.”, “45 R.P.M.”, “78 R.P.M.”) or the material it is made out of. Usually “vinyl” refers to records made of polyvinyl chloride. Other terms such as L.P (Long play) and E.P (Extended play) are used to describe the length that the record can play for. An L.P can play for about 30 minutes per side and an E.P for about 7 to 10 minutes per side.

They were the primary medium used for commercial music reproduction during the 20th century. Unfortunately they were replaced by digital media in the late 1980s, and left the mainstream in 1991.

However they continue to be manufactured and sold in the 21st century. They reached a new popularity in 2008 selling almost 2.9 million units, the most in any year since 1998.

They are most popular with teenagers, DJs and audiophiles for certain types of music, especially electronic music, dance music, hip hop, punk rock and jazz. Vinyl continues to be highly successful as a format for the distribution of alternative and independent music artists, compared to more mainstream music that is usually sold in digital or compact disk format.

Vinyl records are often considered as collector’s items and rare or unique records can sell for up to the equivalent of $745!

Many electronic dance music and hip hop releases are exclusively on vinyl. This is mostly due to the ability to directly manipulate it while it is playing. Techniques such as slip-cueing, beat matching and scratching originally came from the use of turntables. CD’s only have indirect manipulation e.g., play and pause buttons. With a vinyl record you can place the needle a few grooves further in or out, accelerate and decelerate the turntable and even reverse its direction, provided that the turntable and record are built to withstand it.

Vinyl sales continue to grow as more people are discovering its advantages over CD’s and other digital formats. Figures released in the United States in early 2009 showed that sales of vinyl albums nearly doubled in 2008, with 1.88 million sold – up from just under 1 million in 2007.




One response

11 03 2010

Check out my new site, LP Revival. We are a new VINYL only, online record store.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: