Vinyl is hot again

Album cover of Rubber Soul.
My favorite Beatles album.

In a Wall Street Journal article called “Why Millennials Want Their Parents’ Vinyl Records” by Marc Myers, he states “Sales of LPs soared during the pandemic as younger listeners discovered their nostalgic and sensory appeal.”

After reading the story, I regret getting rid of my vinyl collection. When I was in high school and college I spent a small fortune on albums. I had a pretty impressive stereo system thanks to my parents’ graduation present. I hauled my collection of albums that included Rod Stewart, George Harrison, Elton John, Beatles and David Bowie all over the country.

It was after my son was in college that I cleaned out a book case that held all my albums. I decided to get rid of them. I had no way to play them anymore. My son asked for a record player with built-in speakers for Christmas at that time, so I let him take what he wanted from my collection and gave the rest to the thrift store Angel View, a few blocks from our house.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

In December, I bought my 32-year-old daughter the gift she truly wanted—an easy-to-use turntable and amp with built-in speakers. She asked if I still had my David Bowie LPs, and I happily handed them over. Then, as an afterthought, she wondered if my Steely Dan and George Harrison albums were still around.

It turns out that several of my baby boomer friends are getting similar requests and have found themselves hauling heavy boxes of LPs out of storage at the behest of their adult children. The vinyl revival began more than a decade ago, with budget turntables and a limited selection of albums sold in trendy clothing stores. But last year, the format’s popularity surged in the U.S., selling 41.7 million units, up from 21.5 million in 2020. LPs outsold CDs for the first time in 30 years, as well as digital albums, according to a report from MRC Data-Billboard.

The spike has been driven, in part, by younger listeners nostalgic for an era when music—and maybe life in general—seemed more hands-on and fun. Since the Covid-19 pandemic began in early 2020, young people have been forced to postpone many of the things they looked forward to most—campus life, parties, travel, weddings, even having children. During this period, records became a nostalgic lifeline. In 2021, 87 new albums sold more than 50,000 vinyl copies, up from 51 new albums in 2020. Adele, a millennial favorite, topped the list, selling 318,000 vinyl copies of her album “30,” despite a price tag of nearly $40.

I loved listening to albums and reading the album covers. I’d play the same records over and over. I have memories of listening to certain records with my closest friends. Then the casette tapes came into play.

Album Madman Across the Water.
I loved the song “Tiny Dancer” from Elton John’s “Madman Across the Water.”

Do you still have your albums? What artists were your favorites? Do your kids like vinyl too?

19 thoughts on “Vinyl is hot again

  1. My youngest especially, who is now turning 29 was big into vinyl for years. She had a huge and eclectic collection but chose to leave it with her older sister rather than pack all of it to move with her to CO. I remember playing favorite records over and over as well and singing along into my hairbrush microphone! I do like the ease now though of just depending on Spotify.

  2. Yes, I still have all my vinyl….100’s of them dating from the sixties through the 80’s, and yes, I play them. I have a high end turntable with a diamond stylus. To verify the article, my son, a millennial, could not wait to buy a turntable ( he did) and rifle through my LP’s. Some that I have turned out to be pretty valuable, and by valuable I mean a comma in the worth valuable. Each album is in a protective case, so the are as mint to day as the day I bought them, and I clean them and use a static gun before they go on the table. In the 80’s, I morphed to cassettes, and them to CD’s. Was not an 8 track guy.

    • Wow. Now I really regret donating my albums to a thrift shop! Your collection is very impressive. I never got into 8 track either. Our cars in the 80s used cassettes so that’s when we started listening to them too.

  3. I used to belong to the record club. Remember those? We have a cabinet full of vinyls out in the garage. Just can’t seem to be able to part with them. We don’t have a turntable though so we don’t listen to them. One of these days we may get another but for now, they’ll stay out there.

  4. Got rid of my vinyl. My daughter doesn’t do vinyl. Younger days? Lynard Skynard, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Jackson Browne….and oddly I’m seeing Styx tonight

  5. I just got rid of a bunch of my dad’s records as I cleaned out the house after Mom’s passing. I had already absconded with some of them and I hope to be able to ransom my whole collection from my ex along with the multipurpose stereo he bought me that I never used so I can play them. I’ve also kept some of dad’s albums, mostly show tunes and some by perennially popular performs like Sinatra and his contemporaries that many people still enjoy.

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