Some things in life are worth holding on to, and vinyl is one of them. That is the notion that inspired Gary Freiberg, of Los Osos, California, to found “Vinyl Record Day” on 12 August, a date that also commemorates the inventor of the phonograph, Thomas Edison. And so it is that every year, on this day, the US celebrates the good old vinyl record. It’s not nostalgia, though, that prompts us to talk about vinyl today, but the fact that LPs and 7-inch records have finally “gone green”.
The digital economy hit the music world hard, with CDs and streaming services relegating record players and records to the attic. Yet this niche market has held out, kept alive by passionate and nostalgic record lovers. Vinyl may have been in dire straits back in the 1980s, but now it seems destined for a major revival, as year by year sales have started creeping up again. The turnaround dates back to 2018, when even though music was readily available for streaming, vinyl sales grew to almost 10 million. This positive trend inspired artists to start releasing vinyl again, but producers and distributors face considerable manufacturing difficulties.