Is the resurgence of vinyls redundant?

Music has, in virtually every area, improved with the advancement of technology. The ways to access and listen to new music have simplified and have become far more inexpensive over the years. 

Despite this, vinyls have made a resurgence. Vinyls are now universally available, with many popular stores such as Barnes and Noble, Target, Amazon and even Urban Outfitters, carrying vinyls from a diverse array of artists and genres. 

Vinyls seem very impractical and expensive, especially when people can access millions of songs for free in the comfort of their homes. But, I understand why vinyls have been brought back from the dead. 

It is the same reason why people wish drive-in movie theaters were still nearby, why Barnes and Noble and other bookstores are seeing more profits than they have in years and why people have made fashion trends from decades past, like wearing low rise jeans and Doc Martens, popular again. People are nostalgic, and are longing for the past. This applies to recent generations who were not alive (or were too young) to experience these “trends” or use them at their peak. People tend to romanticize the past when conflict arises, like when COVID started to escalate into a global issue. I remember first noticing that people were taking a liking to vinyls and other items or activities well-liked twenty or more years ago (particularly from the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s) in 2020. I was also drawn to the retro aesthetic myself during that time. These interests and the retro aesthetic itself existed before the pandemic, but they were able to reach new audiences during quarantine. 

In addition to the nostalgic and old-timey factor of vinyls, they also look and sound really cool. I remember using a vinyl for the first time at my aunt’s house during the holiday season, and I enjoyed just looking at her old record player. Watching the stylus be placed onto the vinyl and hearing the staticy sound right before the music begins was really mesmerizing, along with watching the vinyl spin in circles and move from groove to groove. The music was also a perfect volume too. Maybe I took such a liking to vinyls that night because I had never seen them before and they were something that was new and exciting to me, but I thoroughly relished listening to the A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack on vinyl for the rest of the night. 

I may not buy a record player or vinyls with my own money, because I already have Spotify Premium and hundreds of downloaded songs already on my phone. But, I understand the appeal of vinyls and will never complain when someone starts playing a song on their record player (unless it’s country.)