Why have LPs had such a resurgence?

Is anyone on this forum as perplexed as I am as to why LP’s have had such a resurgence in recent years?

I walked into my local HMV store yesterday for the first time in quite a while, and I was taken aback by the number of vinyl albums available in the store. In fact, I reckon that the store now has more LPs on display than CDs.

Now, I am quite a big fan of vinyl, owning what I consider to be a pretty decent turntable (a Michell Orbe) and an LP collection that probably amounts to 800 or so. However, this collection largely comprises legacy LPs from pre-CD days and second hand LPs that I have picked up from charity shops in relatively recent years. I have a few recent so called ‘Audiophile LPs’, and they sound pretty good but I very rarely if at all purchase ‘new’ vinyl LPs. Quite apart from anything else, they tend to be outrageously expensive compared to an equivalent CD or CD quality download.

These days, the vast majority of my listening is done using local and external music streaming and I play LPs or 10" reel to reel tapes only occasionally, and then partly out of nostalgia. However, I do still understand the attraction of vinyl to those hi-fi enthusiasts (such as members of this forum) with high quality vinyl playing equipment. However, those of us who fall into this category can’t possibly be responsible for the generation of vinyl sales of the sort of magnitude that would result in the resurgence.

What I cannot really understand is the attraction of vinyl to ‘youngsters’ who must be switching to vinyl in order to generate the sales, and at best might own a pretty basic turntable and cartridge. I can’t help but think that they would be much better off buying very much cheaper CDs or subscribing to a decent streaming service such as Spotify or Tidal. They would pay less money, and sound quality (in my opinion) at that level would be better with a decent and relatively cheap CD player or DAC.

Can anyone explain the resurgence of vinyl to me?

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Looks good on social media and it’s a bit trendy at the moment. Perhaps it’s ‘the warm, analogue sound and the process of putting a record on’ that always seems to get mentioned in any articles on the Vinyl resurgence.

I can see the attraction if you have a big record collection and a decent TT to play it on - Vinyl done right can still sound fantastic despite all the compromises of the medium.

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I am tempted to agree with James, that is fashion plus a dash of us older sods with large amounts of vinyl; however, in defence of youngers, my niece wanted to have vinyl and a turntable, her brother bought he an SL1200 for her 21st and I took her 2nd hand record buying - so not all affectation.

I could add that people like giving and receiving albums as gifts, birthday and Christmas for example or just as a “gift”.
Full packaging, sleeve notes you can (usually) actually read and something physical to hold. What’s not to like :wink:

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Quite a while ago I was in HMV Oxford St and on impulse bought Beggars Banquet by the Stones. The guy at the till asked if I was going to play it. I gave him a slightly quizzical look and he explained most buyers don’t actually play the record they use the download and admire the artwork.

Funnily enough I’ve only played that album once.

Regards,

Lindsay

I think it’s something to do with the power of ‘cool’. And also it’s a kind of metaphorical two fingers up at digital culture.

Long may it continue. I’m just pleased for the resurgence.

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For the young, I think it’s a bit of ‘cool’ factor, but I also suspect it’s the joy of having a nice physical object in your hand. CDs don’t cut it in that respect.

For the seasoned with a decent LP rig, they really sound better than digital. I’m buying or rebuying some of the old jazz on newly issued LPs. A bit costly, yes, but then worth it when you love a title.

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I think there’s room for all formats,nobody forces anyone to take any particular direction.I myself am only a fan of vinyl/cd,and am probably never going into the streaming direction,but I would never criticise anyone that does prefer that route,the most important thing is that we are all music fans.I would however try to urge everyone to support live music whenever possible,it’s mostly through this that musicians can afford to carry on,I’m not talking about the ‘Mega-stars’ of the day,but about all the genuine talent that will probably never make their fortunes,happy listening to all!

Analogue sound offers a more satisfying listening experience than digital, whether or not it’s CD or streaming. I don’t think it has anything to do with fashion. Vinyl can be a hassle but if the listener is after the best sound, there only one way to go

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I can fully understand the resurgence of vinyl.

It’s buying stuff on tape that I don’t get.

What are people playing it on?

I suspect not many of the public at large have a decent, serviced tape deck and 30 year old + portables will likely sound appalling by now…

I suspect vinyl is quite hip at the moment and part of the resurgence is somewhat due to it been fashionable and cool particularly among a generation who bypassed cds and went straight to Spotify and the like, to have something physical and tactile is probably very attractive. Remember most of us grew up with it but for younger generations it’s probably quite exotic. I’d hazard a guess that the majority of vinyl sold now is played on rather inferior but affordable equipment. I could be talking sh**e but there you go!

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I suspect it is down to three reasons.

a) You actually listen to the whole piece of music
b) It sounds much warmer
c) You can’t roll a joint on a CD cover

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Fashion accounts for a lot of it. Young people wanting to be different from their parents is possibly part of it. People returning to vinyl for sentimental reasons. Some will be people who hear a good system with a turntable and recognise that vinyl does sound different to digital or as some would assert, better.

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Its Cool, Its Hip. Its Tactile, It’s Art. Heaps of reasons without even attempting to enter into the obvious debate/discussion. What I really like about it is that people are taking time out to listen when playing a record. the digital convenience factor isn’t there so people are actually chilling and listening.

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Blimey! I’m dead chuffed that I’m now hip & trendy! I thought I bought vinyl because it sounded better.

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It is probably a combination of many of the factors stated above. I visited the re-opened Fopp store in Manchester this week and was amazed at how much vinyl they now have in store. Interestingly, most of the customers browsing the CDs were aged 50 upwards, whereas the customers looking at vinyl were younger.

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I asked my 28 year old son, who has expressed interest. His answer: it’s cool. Similarly he’d like a valve amp, purely for its looks!

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I don’t really care for the reasons why there has been a resurgence, I’m just happy that it has happened. I’ve never stopped listening to vinyl but stopped buying it for a long time because you just couldn’t buy it anywhere and lots of new music in the 90’s and 00’s was never released on vinyl at the time.

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I do agree with you.
I gave up the vinyl support in 1987 for the CD. Since I bought more 3000 cd’s but in 2008, I started again to listen to vinyls. I bought a new LP12 and a pre-phono EAR. Plugged on my fully Naim system (Nac 82 / Hicap / Nap 250 / CD2 / SBL), it’s fabulous.
But, it’s absolutely necessary to have very good vinyls pressed during seventies (US or UK pressing only). I listen to Rock music.
I’m absolutely not satisfied about new vinyls, although they are improved and they sound better than 5 or 10 years ago.

J-luc

PS : I would apologize to you about my english. I’m French.

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And why not? There is hifi out there I really, truly drool about just on looks alone.

In a fit of madness, I once bought a pair of Ruark Sabres purely on looks. Turned out to be an amazingly good purchase.