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Home > Rob’s Editorial > VINYL – The new black…

After facing near extinction during the late nineties and early noughties, vinyl appears to be coming back strongly. As physical format music sells less and less, those who do still collect music complete with packaging are starting to crave a little more than what we’ve been given over the last decade or so. Of course it’s also good for record companies to be able to sell music on vinyl as they can charge a bit more and it is much less likely to be copied and distributed on the internet.

I’ve always been a fan of vinyl since I started collecting as a teenager. Admittedly I only bought second hand vinyl then because it was a lot cheaper than buying CDs, nowadays it’s the other way around. I first started noticing bands releasing vinyl formats a couple of years ago and this rekindled my interest and I’ve started buying at least half the new releases I want on the black stuff.

It’s not for everyone of course. It takes up a lot of space and collects a lot of dust, it’s far from portable and both new and second hand copies can be expensive depending on what you are after. There are advantages though. The range of sound on records is much larger than you find on a digital file, and those crackles and pops and even the odd skip gives records much more character than a CD or MP3. The artwork can be seen in its full glory, just compare an Iron Maiden cover on CD and Record and you’ll be shocked at what you’ve been missing!

As well as the new vinyl now on offer, the second hand market has seen a sharp rise in interest too. There are regular fairs in most cities around the UK. My personal favourites are held in Stoke and in Sutton in Ashfield, but to find one near you check out www.recordfairs .co.uk – who have a pretty comprehensive list and will send you a weekly email to tell you where to find fairs each weekend. Fairs vary in size depending on how many dealers are there but there’s usually a good selection of music for every taste. Don’t be scared to have a good look at the condition of the vinyl under the light and if you’re buying more than one item, haggling is almost compulsory so don’t be scared.

It seems as though the interest in vinyl is a bit of a backlash to the new digital age of music. It is perfectly possible that vinyl could outlive CDs with the high street having less and less music shops to choose from. Once that last big chain is lost from the city centre so will all the manufacturers who supply them so although you may think it unlikely, the CD could well be close to the end of its life unless different avenues are found for it’s supply.

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