Vinyl Records Come Back Around...And Around

If you're from the baby boomer generation, you remember vinyl records quite well. Probably your first experience with them was listening to Christmas records on your parents' floor model stereo...a huge four-five foot long box with a radio and turntable inside and enough room to store a big stack of records. Then you got older and started using your allowance money to buy some records of your own, 45's at first until you started saving up some real money and buying albums. You probably had a box style record player to begin with and then you graduated into a stereo with real speakers. Then if you were a real music lover, you got a component system with humongous speakers and a separate receiver, turntable, and cassette deck. You'd lie on your bed with your black light on and listen to bands like Yes or Styx or Moody Blues. You didn't know it then, but you were listening to the best music of your life...on a vinyl record.

A Turntable Used To Play Vinyl Records
A Turntable Used To Play Vinyl Records | Source

Vinyl Sound Quality

For those of you who never owned a vinyl record, you truly don't know what you're missing...or maybe you do. Vinyl record sales have been steadily rising while CD sales have been steadily falling. Many of the people buying records now are in their teens or 20's and are recognizing that the sound quality of a MP3 or CD can't touch the quality of sound from a vinyl record. Some of today's artists are starting to recognize the importance of vinyl and are releasing their music to albums with an MP3 code inside the record, so people can have the album and still be able to download the music for portability. They realize vinyl records, with all their pops and crackles caught every sound, the squeak of fingers moving across the strings of a guitar, the intake of breath before a line was sung. That's because records weren't recorded digitally like music is now. The sound was analog and truly captured the music and all the instruments as they were played instead of today's music which is track laid on top of track and digitally mastered.


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Vinyl Cover Art

Another plus to vinyl for people today that used to be a minus is its size. You can hold it in your hands, reverently of course, so as not to make any scratches, but you can hold it. More than you can say for a bunch of downloaded music. Granted, nothing will beat the convenience of downloaded music on an I-pod, but we're talking about a collector's item. And then there are the album covers and the cover art. Some of the cover art was truly amazing and generally, it didn't stop with the cover. Inside the cover, the album was encased in a paper sleeve with even more photographs or art work. If you were extremely lucky, the sleeve folded out into a full size poster. Name a CD that can do that! Some of the albums featured artwork done by the recording artists themselves, making it that much more valuable.

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How Do Vinyl Records Play Music?

Vinyl records used to come in different sizes and thicknesses than the 33's and 45's that we're used to now. There were 78's and 16's as well, which were much thicker than the albums we're used to and not as big around. The number had to do with the speed that the turntable needed to turn to play the record correctly and was measured in RPM's, rotations or revolutions per minute. When albums are made, grooves are pressed into the vinyl by a very sensitive needle which picks up all the sound vibrations in the music. When the record is played, the needle on the record player hits the grooves, and electrical impulses are produced and transmitted to the speakers. Magnify that with an amplifier and you have sound quality you can't get on any MP3!

YES Cover Art By Artist Roger Dean
YES Cover Art By Artist Roger Dean | Source

Vinyl Records Not Just Nostalgia

Original vinyl records are still available in music stores that have realized that real music purists are coming to buy. Albums have become collector's items, some of them commanding 100's or even thousands of dollars on e-bay or at auction. However, you can still stumble across albums for as little as 50 cents in thrift or antique stores. Some people say that the resurgence of vinyl record collecting has to do with nostalgia. There's no discounting the memories that come flooding back when dropping the needle on a treasured piece of vinyl from The Who, Pink Floyd, Van Morrison, or Janis Joplin. But there's more to it than just that. The pleasure of holding something solid and tangible in your hand, the ability to read the titles and lyrics without a magnifying glass, the beautiful art inside and out, and just the sheer sound quality are enough to make vinyl records a staple in everyone's home. If you've got them from your past, hang onto them, because they are truly treasures.

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Comments 16 comments

Phillbert profile image

Phillbert 5 years ago from The Ozarks

Very cool and well put together!


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

Thanks, Phillbert, always nice to see a vinyl fan!


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 5 years ago from Long Island, NY

I saved many of my Vinyl Records from the 70's and I enjoyed reading your Hub. Well done.


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

So did I, Glenn, but aren't we letting on how old and decrepit we are?! :)


Piano Chord Progressions 5 years ago

Can't beat the quality of Vinyl Records


alwritetea profile image

alwritetea 4 years ago from Upper Left Corner

Great hub! I'm so glad to have found a small group of fellow vinyl lovers here!


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 4 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

Thanks Alwritea. I do love vinyl and given the choice of how I'd rather listen to music, vinyl would win hands down!


jkrygiel08 profile image

jkrygiel08 4 years ago from Missouri

Nice post! I agree with the points you made about actually holding the record in your hands. I touched on the same aspects in my post at http://www.findwhatmoves.com/?p=93. If you have time give my blog a read! Thanks.


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 4 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

J,

Normally, I delete comments that include a link, but in this case, I'll make an exception, because I felt that yours was definitely worth the read. I have vinyl I wouldn't trade for anything, Jethro Tull, The Beatles, The Kinks, Small Faces, The Who, and you're right, there's nothing like the thrill of the chase when you actually find original vinyl. And you were absolutely right, listening to a record seems so much more INTENTIONAL than just popping on your IPod or loading up an MP3 player. Despite the crackles, pops, and scratches on some original vinyl, given the choice, there's no comparison.


jkrygiel08 profile image

jkrygiel08 4 years ago from Missouri

Thanks for reading DIY! Vinyl collecting has become one of my favorite hobbies. The Kinks would be a nice edition to my collection. I was thrilled when I bought my first Beatles vinyl a couple of months ago, I got Revolver in near mint condition!


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 4 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

J, That's awesome. I got the White Album the same way, a little more meaningful than collecting CD's, isn't it?!


xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Well done! I just went to the Eugene Record Covention here in Eugene, Oregon last weekend. It was a packed room at the convention center, probably 75 to 100 vendors and long lines of buyers. It motivated me to go online and price my own collection, part of it anyway.


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 4 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

Xstatic, I am so jealous! I would love to have been there! When my ex-husband and I split, he left with a lot of my vinyl he kept in an old wooden crate. That crate was packed with so much great stuff, hard to find albums, too. I hope when my son gets it handed down to him, he'll appreciate it as much as I do!


Fox Music profile image

Fox Music 18 months ago

Thanks for sharing this HubPage "Vinyl Records Come Back Around...And Around" It does take a certain dedication maintain & play a record collection many people will tell they still have there records from there youth but when you ask them if there still playing them the answer for the most part is no with the #1 reason being they do not have a turntable any more.


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 17 months ago from South Carolina, USA Author

Sad, but true. My oldest son just asked me if he could have my parent's old console stereo, because guess what, it contains a turntable!


Fox Music profile image

Fox Music 17 months ago

That Great DIYweddingplanner as it is the next generation that holds the true fate of the vinyl record.

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