The demise of the vinyl record was long an obituary on the music industry. Considered a dead music format for a long time, vinyl records still refuse to die. In fact, they have grown in popularity the last decade.
Today, where everything is available online as digital downloads and all, it’s interesting how vinyl records still manage to compete.
Recent findings reveal that new generations enjoy the physical experience they get with a vinyl record. There is a kind ritualistic side to it – you have to rely on a player to listen to a vinyl record. Much to the dismay of the technological progress, the young people today are coverings this kind of magic for themselves.
For some, collecting vinyl records is an obsession. It’s a a journey they trod through their life. The mission to obtain hidden masterpieces stashed away somewhere in an attic is the ultimate thrill. For others, owning a few choice records is enough to satisfy their collecting bug.
Then there is the thrill of the chance, the hunting season. To scour through web sites and boards, over to auctions searching for a rare pressings. To a true collector, there is a sense of pride in finding that one treasure you have been looking for. Even if only satisfied for a moment, it’s still enough to get you going until you realize you must find another treasure for your collection.
Since that fateful day when Alex Steinweiss designed the first album cover for Columbia Records in 1939, album cover art has been become a collector’s haven. Classic covers like the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band, Janis Joplin’s Cheap Thrills, and Led Zeppelins’ Physical Graffiti are legendary. Some artists hired world renowned artists to design their covers. The Rolling Stones, for example, used Andy Warhol’s design for their album ‘Sticky Fingers’.
For other people, collecting vinyl is an investment. Not just a financial investment but a cultural one too. Records are an integral part of pop culture. It’s also certainly part of the rock and roll era. Keeping vinyl records preserved for the after world, the art, the music, is an important part of this activity.