Record Store Day – Is there still a place for Vinyl in the 21st Century?

record store day
As you may or may not know it was Record Store Day on Saturday. Record Store Day has been running since 2007, when over 700 independent music stores came together in the USA to celebrate their unique culture.

This is the one day that all of the independently owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day and hundreds of artists across the globe make special appearances and performances.

Jack White’s Third Man Records displayed an intriguing and exciting sense of the nostalgic, offering the chance for anyone to record material or messages onto a 7″ record. The Voice-O-Graph Record Booth, originating in 1947 and refurbished by Third Man Records is rumoured to be the only working one of it’s kind in the world. Check it out here – If anyone was going to have it, who else but Jack White III?

Record Store Day 2013 has plenty to genuinely excite music fans – even if you don’t own a record player. Way over a staggering 500 records have been produced exclusively for the event, from music icons including David Bowie (material from The Next Day on white vinyl) and Pink Floyd (a pink pressing of the band’s second single See Emily Play with orignal Syd Barret artwork).

According to The Telegraph, Record Store Day has been a big success with sales indicating,

“78 per cent more vinyl records were sold in the first quarter of 2013 than in the first quarter of 2012.”

This upturn suggests there is still a market for records, the 10 inch record has been around for over a hundred years now, since the Victor Talking Machine company developed and dominated the early market.

As I said though, it’s 110 years on and it’s interesting to know the record has seen others such as the cassette and the CD come and go and still be a credible and desired source of music.

Maybe it’s the unique artwork, or in some cases the rarity of a record which makes it’s appeal, out of all the musical mediums the vinyl certainly possesses that special something, which has enticed generations and millions in the process.

Vinyl clubnights used to be massive, just down the road from us, the attaining of rare Soul CD’s shaped a generation at The Wigan Casino, and there are still clubnights which play just vinyl and they are booming, for example SOUL 45 has a successful night which only plays 7″ records.

However, does the fact so many record stores have closed, along with big hitters and highly iconic HMV (although it’s coming back) suggest there isn’t much of a place for records in the mainstream?

With the only real high street stores being supermarkets or big chain shops selling music, to my knowledge, vinyls are not sold at any of these stockists, not to mention the limit of music they do sell. That issue is for another article though.

So what do you think, do vinyl records still have a place in the 21st century, or do you believe they should exist as a phenomenon of the past?

We’d love to hear what you think.


One comment on “Record Store Day – Is there still a place for Vinyl in the 21st Century?

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