Today, digital music accompanies us any time of the day in the most varied forms: mobile phone ringtones, pocket MP3, CD players, stereo systems with USB input, Spotify, Deezer, Napster music platforms, etc. Music almost obvious and easy to access immediately.
However, let’s remember that each era always has a kind of nostalgia for the past.
As for music listening, what do we regret?
We remember with nostalgia the pleasant feeling of extracting the vinyl record from its sleeve, the smell of the packaging just printed (sometimes a real work of art), the rustling of the needle which rests on the groove and the satisfaction of brightening up our ears with a warm, enveloping and natural sound.
In recent years, we have witnessed, with surprise, a significant increase in sales of this musical medium, up to almost 52%, according to recent statistics: an incredible boom.
It is no coincidence that the multinational Sony has announced that a new vinyl record production plant will open from next year.
But let’s try to understand the reason for this phenomenon.
It was on June 21, 1948 that the first vinyl records were released in the United States. These compared to the previous 78 rpm had a shallower groove and rotated at a lower speed (33 rpm) allowing to hold up to 30 minutes of music per side. This new product was accepted by the market in a few months and the first LP in Italy was Mendelssohn’s “Violin Concerto in E minor“.
This is how all of the artists adopted the black disc, as this not only allowed them to record more songs, but also reduced recording costs.
Exactly 9 months later, RCA presented its first 45 rpm, or single.
We are in 1970 when vinyl started to triumph and in 1981, it was its golden year internationally.
In 1982, Japan released the first compact disc, opening the doors to digital music and almost eliminating vinyl. In 2005, LP sales recorded the lowest level ever reached. Despite the low levels, he never left the record market. From 2016 on, sales have started to increase until today to reach 6% of the record market.
But how do you explain this change in trend in recent years?
I would say that the answer lies in the fact that vinyl represents an object of worship and nostalgia. Selected and targeted listening: you lie on the sofa in front of two speakers without having the possibility of zapping from one song to another or from one artist to another. The sound is certainly not the same as digital, but it is warmer and imperfection makes it its unique characteristic.
From a decorative point of view, let’s not forget that turntable with integrated speakers is always a beautiful object of decoration, as well as the many colored vinyls aligned in the bookcases.
In light of what has been written, I remind you that there are vinyl records which are part of the history of international music and which should certainly not be missing in any library:
ABBEY ROAD – THE BEATLES
BLONDE ON BLONDE – BOB DYLAN
ELECTRIC LADYLAND – JIMI HENDRIX
BREAKFAST IN AMERICA – SUPERTRAMP
MAN MACHINE – KRAFTWERK
RANDOM ACCESS MEMORIES – DAFT PUNK
STICKY FINGERS – THE ROLLING STONES
THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON – PINK FLOYD
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND & NICO – THE VELVET UNDERGROUND
ZIGGY STARDUST – DAVID BOWIE
However, there will always be the desire to go snooping around in small markets and rediscover forgotten habits, in search of black cakes that cannot be found or to know the origins of music: it will lead us to reassess this fantastic musical medium.