Video: Records... they haven’t gone away you know
Large, plastic music discs still being sold to niche audience
Having survived the rise of cassettes, the 8-Track and CDs, vinyl records are still being made in large numbers.
And 2013 is their best year in decades, as UK sales have already doubled this year to 550,000 and could exceed 700,000 by Christmas.
“Twenty years ago I was told go and find another job because vinyl is going to die now CDs are here. I’m still employed manufacturing vinyl. We have a tentative plan to be at least fifteen years manufacturing and it is likely in my opinion to go on years and years after that,” said Bob Bailey, a consultant at one of the UK’s last surviving record manufacturers, the Vinyl Factory .
A recent survey by the BPI, the body that represents British music labels, showed the over-30s are the biggest buyers of LPs. And thanks to a wave of Indie rock banks like the UK’s Arctic Monkeys and The Killers from the US, a new generation of fans are helping to drive the revival.
“They made vinyl records cool again,” said Gennaro Castaldo, Director of Communications at BPI. “I think the record companies felt it might be a good idea to release some of their singles in vinyl form. It was really a form of promotion but the bands loved it because it’s a bit of a badge of honour to release on vinyl as part of the whole mythology around rock n’ roll. And it gave the kiss of life to something that threatened to disappear.”
At its peak, EMI would have had around 100 presses running. But today the Vinyl Factory have just six. So, vinyl remains a niche market and sales are still dwarfed by CDs, but it would seems the old ways can work hand in hand with new technology.