Record Day was celebrated by large crowds of music lovers this Saturday, April 18. Lovers of vinyl music releases were lined up in front of several music stores in both the United States and around the world in order to get their hands on new releases, special savings, colored vinyl album versions, live rarities, deluxe editions and re-issues of CDs onto vinyl.
On Record Store Day, music lovers could find in some stores, like Revolver in Pensacola, Florida, 400 or more special edition releases on vinyl on Saturday. The thought of that much music on vinyl had the mouths of record lovers salivating at the thought, making this year’s Record Store Day perhaps the most popular one since the inception of the annual event, back in 2008.
There were many reasons for the decrease in the popularity of vinyl and the rise of CDs, though vinyl has always kept a loyal following. Some of the reasons for the decline in vinyl’s popularity were that vinyl records took up more space, and more music could be stored on compact discs. Also, records would sometimes warp, get dusty and have to be cleaned, would develop hisses and pops over time, and they would sometimes skip.
Also, there were arguments made that the sound quality of CDs was much better than that of records. Lovers of music on vinyl have often offered up strong objections to this argument, however, saying that they prefer how music sounds on vinyl over CDs. This argument rages on, but whether for reasons of nostalgia, better sound quality, the feel of vinyl records as a person holds them, or other reasons, the popularity of vinyl records continues to soar.
Record Store Day attracted older patrons to music stores, people who grew up listening to vinyl records and who still had a love for them, and also younger people, teens who grew up listening to their parents’ or older siblings’ vinyl records and have developed a respect and love for the format.
Some of the hottest sellers on Record Store Day were, reportedly, the the two-album vinyl premiere re-release of the White Stripes’ Get Behind Me Satan, on red and white vinyl; Metallica albums; a box set by Phish; an album by the Foo Fighters; and a vinyl release by the band, Interpol.
According to an article at OregonLive.com, sales of vinyl records are “up 53 percent in the first quarter, compared with the same three months of 2014.” The same article states the fact that there were “9.2 million records” sold in the United States in 2014, a figure that does not count the used vinyl records that were sold.
An article by Billboard mentioned that, though the sales of vinyl records are still relatively low compared to the sales of CDs and music sold digitally, the money made from the sales of records in 2014 amounted to $320.8 million. That is more money than was made by ad-supported streaming music services in the United States, according to the Billboard article.
The increasing popularity of vinyl records has caused several factories to add production and attempt to meet the higher demands of consumers of vinyl albums. Even with the added production and overtime involved, musical artists now often have to wait around six months until they can have their music released on vinyl.
Record Store Day is becoming increasingly popular every year, with its annual occurrence being celebrated by music lovers in the United States and around the globe. For many stores that sell music, Record Store Day has been an economic boon, with one record store owner calling the annual event “bigger than Christmas time.” For consumers who love listening to music on vinyl and collecting rarities, Record Store Day has become a yearly event that they eagerly anticipate and mark down on their calenders.
Written By Douglas Cobb