Vinyl is back – Or is it?
Vinyl is back they say. 3.2 million Vinyl record sales were made in the year of 2016 alone, a rise of 53% on the previous year, according to the BPI. I just shrugged my shoulders and just replied – “Yeah, yeah and yeah”. However, as I walked through my home town that is Ipswich Town, here in England. I saw clear evidence of this return during 2016.
I saw record players for sales in a number of the big department stores throughout the town. Now if record players are back in the stores, then the vinyl is back reports are for real.
As I walk through the town of Ipswich Town. I enter into the town’s only major music store that is HMW. They are normally more dedicated towards Dvd movies, film and music posters and other types of media bits and pieces. Now within the same store you can see entire sections devoted towards the provision of music albums.
On closer inspection these albums that are available for us to purchase are classic albums from yester year. For instance albums like – Bob Marley – “Exodus” album , Nirvana – “Never mind” album, Prince – “Sign of the times”, The Beatles – “St. Peppers” and so on …………………………
Taking a closer look at the pricing of these albums. I noticed that they are priced a little more expensively then normal. You could be paying up to £20 pounds (English pounds) for one of the albums mentioned above.
However, there are cheaper options around. When I wonder around the town. There are various charity shops and 2nd hand Bric and Brac stores that are housing these same 7inch singles and albums for much less.
However the question is this. Why this return back to vinyl music purchases?
I suppose the general public still loves to own their own copy of their musical stars music, instead of having to download a digital download version of the same album release.
They want to touch the packaging and look at the artwork of the album. Many vinyl music buyers have stated that they want to be able to check out the musicians credentials on the album. Who played drums for the group via the album, who was the bass player and so on…..
Having a tangible product like a vinyl record and record player working together. You can actually see the grooves of the record and comprehend where the sound is coming from. Is more appealing these days then in comparison to the 1s and 0s of digital music?
But the real appeal is the sound. Just close your eyes and listen. You can hear the difference. The music coming from vinyl sound really vivid and real on vinyl records. Voices sound more human.
If this trend continues could we see Independent records stores opening up again up and down the country in droves? Or I am thinking too much ahead of myself?
What is this love of vinyl records? It seems as if we can’t move on to the next level which is the digital age.
However, it has been found that even though music lovers have been buying even more vinyl again. Many have confessed to leaving the vinyl records in their sleeves, and then going back to downloading the same versions of the album and playing them on their via their mobile phones or mp3 players, etc.
This apparently helps to keep the vinyl purchases in pristine condition. I suppose that is one way to look at it. But I’m not too sure that is entirely correct. It may be happening. However, there is a rise in the purchasing of vinyl record turntables also.
In fact Technics, the hi-fi giant that mass produces affordable turntables since the 1960’s, will be reissuing its SL-1200 decks again to the general public. Technics according to many audiophiles as being the wholly grail for turntables music lovers.
Another plus for the return of vinyl especially for Album releases. Is/was the design feature of Cd’s players and mp3 players which enable listeners to skip tracks and reshuffle albums at their convenience? However by using the same practise using vinyl, you run the risk of dropping the stylus, causing damage to the record. It can be done. No question. However, not as smoothly as cd and mp3 units can do it.
Vinyl, on the other hand was and is totally different. Track skipping is not as smoothly achievable as it is via the use of Cd and mp3 players
Vinyl albums were truly designed to be listened to as a track by track experience if the truth be known.
With all of this going on for vinyl records could we see the role of the Dj’s changing? Could we see a return to dance or nightclubs returning back to the for-front of weekend entertainment again? All of these ideas coming flooding back to me and many others with just the return of vinyl coming back to the fore.
If the Dj’s do themselves start to return back to buying vinyl. It could mean that we might even hear better Dj’s sets for them. How’s that then? How does that work?
Well for starters, Dj’s will have to seriously plan, or go through their record collections; and really think about what records that would suit the audience that they are playing for.
A vast number of Dj’s have taken it as standard as taking along their hard drives along with their laptops to various gig/events that they have been booked to play. On some of these hard drives they contain up to 10,000 or more tracks on them.
These vast numbers of tracks that the Dj’s have via their hard drives. They don’t have to worry playing these sets, as the thinking is; they have more than enough tracks to cover themselves against all eventuality or bad luck scenarios. However, having that amount of tracks available to you might not be as clear cut as it seems.
As these Dj’s with those amount of tracks hasn’t really put out any thoughts about the tracks the he will be playing for his audience.
For instance, what he will play when the audience are not biting. When will he be playing his big crowd fillers tracks to his audience? Does he go for broke and play all of his big crowd fillers first; and then hope that once he has got his audience initially he can then cost through the rest of his set.
The other path that Dj’s could take, is to start taking their Dj’s boxes to gigs and venues again. The total amount of records within these boxes usually totally up to around 100 at the very most in most boxes.
Dj’s that going along this path know these records inside out? They know the ones that they can play during a quiet period within their Dj’s sets. They know the ones that are guaranteed crowd fillers…
Could a Dj know every one of their 10,000 tracks on their hard drives intimately??
Coming with less records really makes you think of when you can play a certain track/s or not. It makes you a better selector of records. It also makes you read an audience better.
If one of the audience or clubber that you are playing for comes up and asks for a certain record, and you haven’t got it. You apologise to that person in question profusely, and tell the truth that you haven’t got it.
However, the next record you will play, you will try and make sure the record that you’ve selected and is now playing is better than request that you just had.
Makes you think doesn’t it?
However, the Dj’s in general are not the problem here. It is the rate of Night clubs that are closing down throughout the country (England).
Here in Ipswich town, England. The nightclub scenario has been reduced down just to 3. From its former glory days during the 1980’sand 1990’s which saw a total of 10 within the town.
A scenario which is happening not just in my home town (Ipswich Town); but across the UK in general. But that is another story that I will cover within another article.
I have to ask you. Have you decided to return back to purchasing your music via buying vinyl? Is this something that you have been doing for some time now? Or will you make an effort within the year of 2017 to purchase vinyl again??? Let us know?
Well that all folks for me now anyway.
Dj Mistri and the Electric Soul Show © www.electricsoulshow.com