Vinyl is supposed to be a dinosaur, but is making a comeback. Younger generations are getting involved, too. AARP has published an article about the Boomers' return to the land of the 33 1/3 RPM album.
The indomitable LP gave way to cassettes and eight-track tape cartridges. The CD turned the industry upside-down like a tornado tearing through the prairies.
The final act was played out with MP3 files, which can be downloaded for free, or purchased at a fraction of the prices of CDs or records. Storage space is kept to a minimum, unlike the unwieldy cassette tape or LP collection. So why is vinyl making a comeback when it should have been hung in a music museum years ago?
Here are the top 7 reasons:
1. Throughout the '90s, hip-hop DJs spun vinyl disks, manipulating the turntables by hand for musical effect.
2. Record companies are making money from vinyl again. Sales soared 89 percent in 2008, while CDs, falling prey to Internet downloads, continued to trudge down the road to extinction - according from to AARP.
3. Large retail outlets - Borders and Best Buy - are reducing their CD space. Both retailers have installed new vinyl-LP racks as younger acts release their recordings in vinyl and MP3.
4. Vinyl enthusiasts have successfully protected their position of a more 'satisfying' sound than digital. 'Warmer' is the key experience of LPs for Boomers and younger vinyl lovers.
5. The cover art and liner notes of vinyl are vintage, classical. Remember the unique Blue Note covers that were worth the price of admission? CDs can't come close and MP3 files offer no art work.
6. The LP is a two-sided structure. Records were performed in two acts: Side One and Side Two. Newer music formats - CDs/MP3s - lose the tactile effort of flipping an LP where the end of Side One might be left unresolved until Side Two.
7. Older and younger generations are discovering that vinyl sounds better, and expresses music arranged according to the artist's desire, rather than as a series of random events, a la the MP3 player.
Michael Fremer, senior contributing editor for Stereophile magazine, and owner of 15,000 vinyl records told AARP: "I doubt kids will look back in 50 years and say, 'I remember when I downloaded that!' The forward-looking young people are going for vinyl editions of their important music."