For music fans aged fourteen to twenty five the number one Christmas gift for Xmas 2013 was a vinyl record. In the age of digital downloads this appears to defy logic especially when you factor in that some of the people buying and requested vinyl records as gifts do not own a record player!
In a landscape where music has been so brutally devalued by illegal downloads the sales of vinyl show that for the true music fan it is important to own a piece of the bands history. Many records are selling as much for the artwork as for the supposed better quality sound that vinyl has for the aficionado.
780,000 vinyl records sold in 2013 that’s a 101% increase on 2012 , a 270% increase on vinyl sales from five years ago and the most records sold since 1997. Cd’s still account for 64% of all music sales and vinyl only accounts for 0.8% of all album sales in the UK . The biggest selling vinyl record of 2013 was The Arctic Monkeys AM album followed by Daft Punks Random Access Memories and The Next Day by David Bowie.
A seventeen year old friend of the family requested a vinyl copy of the Midlake album for Christmas. It was her intention to raid her parents loft in order to find a record player as she had heard about the warmth of the vinyl sound and wanted to experience it for herself with one of her favourite bands. In the meantime the album took pride of place sat on her dressing table in her bedroom.
My Nephew asked for the Arctic Monkeys vinyl album for Xmas. It is a piece of music he already owns on CD and has as a piece of digital music on his Ipod. He wanted the album for his bedroom wall more as a piece of art featuring his favourite band than anything. In the end I couldn’t find the Arctic Monkeys Album and so I went up to my attic and pulled out a copy of The Beatles Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band on record. When he opened it he looked at it for about twenty minutes examining the sleeve and the inner sleeve, the pull outs and finally the record. It was obviously something that he loved the look and feel of (he already had the album on his Ipod and was one of his favourite Beatles Albums.
So why are vinyl records selling again? It’s for the same reason as people are keen to attend live shows and own T Shirts. Its to show an affinity and love of a band , it’s to own a piece of music in a digital age when you can listen to most of the worlds music on Spotify for free.