Anthony Raffin ’17
Since the early days of Rock N Roll there was no other way of listening to your music other than on a vinyl record. And that statement held true, strong through the 60’s,70’s, and late eighties, but in the early 90’s vinyl sales hit an all time low when the music medium of choice became the cassette. However, in the late 90’s and early 2000’s vinyl sales have been making a slow revival with a rise in sales. And as if the world had traveled back a few decades, record sales shot up 74.5% since 2008. It is projected that in 2013 5.8 Million records will be sold to the American public.
While it is believed that the record resurgence was brought upon by the large number of “hipsters” trying to be “different,” in reality, these buyers only use the records for display, never for their own listening pleasure. But the truth is that records never really went away. Sure they had their ups and downs but people still bought them and listened to them.
In 1977 NASA launched the Voyager with a golden vinyl record on board. The record was a collection of sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and the cultures on Earth. This shows that America knew in 1977 that vinyl wasn’t going to become obsolete, and that is why they chose the record to carry on the legacy of humans. So in a way related to the idea of the Voyager record; vinyl is a time capsule waiting to be reopened.
The third Saturday of every April is the essential vinyl junkie’s dream. On April 19, 2008, Record Store Day was kicked off at Rasputin Music in San Francisco. The idea was to celebrate the culture of music by offering special edition vinyl records only available at participating retailers. The first year only a few labels signed on releasing only ten records worth about 35,000 dollars. Today, that number has grown to 7 million dollars worth of vinyl records. It has now become a day where all independently owned record stores come together to celebrate their love of music. This certainly is a cool movement that is going to keep growing until it can bring people back to the origins of music recording.