For the last two decades or more, music technology has rapidly progressed. Due to this, we have new and innovative methods of listening to our favourite music artists. So, why is it that the younger generation has now rejected the likes of Spotify and Apple Music and are chasing after a more vintage method of playing their music? What is this method you ask? It is the wave of trendy vintage record players and vinyl records that have hit our shelves.
I am invited to my friend’s house for dinner once a week. When I step into her flat, it is to be expected that I will be met at the door with the raging sounds of techno music and a symphony of accompanying meows from her cat. The music is not coming from speakers but from her beautiful record player which she has spent a pretty penny on. This is her new baby, and I am not talking about her cat.
Any kind of music you want to listen to can now be found on Vinyl. From Etta James to the new Barbie Soundtrack, Vinyl production companies have not missed a trick. It is safe to say Gen Z have become completely and utterly enamoured by record players and vinyl. If you google, “Who listened to vinyl’s?” the answer will be Gen Z. This is not unexpected but was not the first answer I thought would pop up.
The human race has always been fascinated by the past. This is clear when you look at anything in life really. Fashion, politics, entertainment, and music. Anything from these topics has all been done before. This also now applies to the way we listen to music. Do vinyls actually sound better or are we just fascinated by the fact we can play music like Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe once did? In 2020 Vinyl Sales contributed £86.5 million to the UK’s recorded music revenue. This surge in vinyl purchases is probably due to the fact that when you lift a crisp new vinyl out of its new and shiny sleeve, there is a wave of satisfaction that flows through you. You are tangibly holding and owning your own music. You can compare with others what music you have and have not got. It is now a hobby and sometimes an obsession. That new Whitney Houston vinyl you have in your ever-expanding collection transports you to the 80’s and leaves you yearning to have been an 80s teenager. The nostalgia of being able to hold this traditional form of music will satisfy your needs somewhat. That is until you discover living through the Cold War may not have been ideal.
I bought a record player a few years ago. I decided after using it for a couple of months that it may not be for me. I found it very annoying having to get up every half hour to flip the record over. I have discussed this with my previously mentioned friend. She disagrees with this thought and insists that this is part of the beauty of the hobby. Being able to possess your own music and choose manually what you listen to, adds to the nostalgic satisfaction. I liken a vinyl to a tree trunk. When cut open there are lines where the tree has grown over years. Vinyl’s have thin lines round them similar to a tree trunk and this denotes the different musical tracks on the record. This poetic metaphor shows that I can see the beauty in vinyl collecting, however, I personally do not have the energy for the effort it takes. I also cannot justify paying so much money to listen to the same records repeatedly, but this is only a personal preference.
When I do go to my friend’s house, I do enjoy sitting back and allowing someone else to choose and flip the records on the player. This makes me feel as though I am sitting in a lounge back in the 70s. The nostalgic feeling is enhanced with the vinyl spinning away on the player. However, I am glad someone is there to do the work for me. Should record players maybe come with an optional vinyl flipper? I jest. I do however wonder what the next method of listening to music will be. How long until speakers become the next Vinyl?
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