Social Question

john65pennington's avatar

Why do people still love vinyl records?

Asked by john65pennington (29235points) August 11th, 2011

I just read an article about vinyl records setting an all-time high for sales in 2010. The article states that people just love the sound from a vinyl record and a photograph needle working together. It also states the human touch connection has something to do with its popularity. I have mixed feelings about the vinyl comeback. Question: which, of vinyl records, 8-track tape, cassette and CD’s do you believe will be the sales leader for 2011 and in your opinion, yes or no on vinyl records making a comeback?

Source: Yahoo News, today 08–11-2011.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

38 Answers

poisonedantidote's avatar

If a song is good enough, it deserves to take up a big chunk of space on your shelf. I don’t own many vinyl records at all, but I am very fond of the ones I do have. Some times I like just looking at the artwork on some of the covers.

As for it sounding better, it simply does not. I don’t see how anyone can compare an HD mp3 track played on HD sound speakers, compared to some vinyl being played on stero or less. It hisses, it spits, and distorts the song.

Make giant CDs say I.

Berserker's avatar

Vintage is always cool. You can feel the history, man. I myself am very interested in old ass Atari and Nintendo games. There’s just this feel to experiencing the originality of something.

Fuck BluRay classic movie releases.

john65pennington's avatar

Poison, “make giant CDs”. Sounds like a good idea, if they would only fit in my cars CD player. jp

Berserker's avatar

People still own CD players? XD

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

To impress younger women who have never seen one.

It was the top advice on what to buy for a divorced man’s apartment on all the sites I referenced during my move out.

TexasDude's avatar

Vinyl is cheap, the album art and liner notes are cool, the audio quality is fantastic with the proper set up (recordings on vinyl represent unmolested sound. You hear songs on vinyl as they were recorded without any unnecessary digital fuckery that is inherent in digital recordings), and it’s fun to collect rare and odd albums (like colored vinyl, limited pressings, and such).

I just bought 5 albums today for less than 20 bucks. I got a clear vinyl punk album, a translucent pink album, Never Mind the Bollocks by the Sex Pistols, and two other 45s I have never heard of, but I enjoy them so far. I bought an LP the other night for my ladyfriend’s birthday. It has a song on it that we like to sing together. I have had a pretty decent sized collection of LPs that my grandparents gave me for a while, as well as a few dozen albums I’ve bought on my own.

Vinyl is just cool. I’ve discovered tons of bands that I would never hear about otherwise by buying random 45s in indie music shops for a dollar a piece.

Check this out.

Cruiser's avatar

I always have to walk away from this question as not many people have a working knowledge of the recording abilities back in the vinyl days, analog technology, the sheer beauty or the physics of a vinyl record and a ceramic stylus on a phonograph compared to the digital 1 0 1 01 0011 reproductions of compressed digital MP3’s. Pops and skips scare some people and they take me home to where the real sound comes from! NO….COMPARISON!!! Newer is not better! Not in this case….no way!

TexasDude's avatar

@Cruiser preach it, brother.


I don’t know if it’s just me, but vinyl records seem to produce a better (richer, more warm) sound than CDs or tapes.

I have a collection of old Carpenters vinyl records, and when I play it on my stereo, with the needle/turntable and everything, the sound just seems more “live” and less cold than if I played my newer Carpenters CDs.

zenvelo's avatar

Regrets: my ex didn’t want my albums messing up the family room, so moved them to the garage, and then sold them in a garage sale.

I would question that vinyl sales in 2010 were at an all time high, I thought 1976 was the peak.

TexasDude's avatar

Public service announcement:

Any Flutherites who find themselves suddenly interested in vinyl should invest in a quality turntable, receiver, and speakers from the mid to late 70’s. Don’t be tempted by the attractive and decently priced turntables manufactured by Crosley that you often see at places like Target. They will damage your records. Turntables from the 80’s and 90’s are also not of the best quality, since turntable technology and demand peaked in the 70’s.

That is all.

@Michael_Huntington, you are welcome!

filmfann's avatar

There is a warmth to the sound of Vinyl.

SuperMouse's avatar

For me any interest in vinyl comes from nostalgia. Everytime I hear Killer Queen (or is it Queen Killer), I still listen for the skip. I like the background pops and clicks that are missing on my iPod or cd’s. I also agree with those who call the sound of vinyl warm, and that makes it somehow feel more personal.


@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard I agree with you! The new turntables that are being made today because of the “retro trend” are not the same as the ones that were made in the 1970s, especially those around 1976–1980. My brother gave me his turntable that he bought in 1978, and it plays my vinyl records beautifully, but the ones sold at Target and Wal-Mart do not compare at all.

Another note——I like the “smell” of the old vinyl records. I remember getting a vinyl record for Christmas as a kid and taking it out of the cellophane/cardboard package——then playing it on a warm turntable. The smell of the vinyl sure brings back a lot of good memories.

blueiiznh's avatar

Technically it is better method to reproduce the sound. It gets very technical however…
here is a compare to read

I do still buy and play vinyl

TexasDude's avatar

There’s also an involved ritual that accompanies listening to vinyl that is in and of itself, very sensual. You have to remove the album from its sleeve, make sure it is clean, place it on the turntable, set the needle, and so on. I would compare it to the ritual involved in preparing absinthe.

It’s difficult to skip tracks on records too. This nullifies the cultural ADD that digital music has instilled in us. With vinyl, you pretty much have to listen to the album as the artists intended: from one track to the next, one side, and then the other.


@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard And the smell of the vinyl adds to the sensuality of it!

Yes, with CDs, you can skip to another song with the simple push of the button. With tapes you can rewind or forward. But with vinyl records, you really have to play them from start to finish, unless you go and lift the needle off, then try to set it on the next song.

Cruiser's avatar

@blueiiznh You link is everything about what I love about vinyl and only wish digital could dream of doing….
Arguments for analog systems include the absence of fundamental error mechanisms which are present in digital audio systems, including aliasing, quantization noise, [1] and the absolute limitation of dynamic range. Advocates of digital point to the high levels of performance possible with digital audio, including excellent linearity in the audible band and low levels of noise and distortion

Once again given quality sounds systems of equal ability there is no comparison….vinyl will blow your mind! Do NOT use Dark Side of the Moon to compare unless you are a accompanied by highly qualified sound engineer and an EMT.

blueiiznh's avatar

@Cruiser I completely agree. Stand in front of a good digital system and a good analog system and you will be blown away.

IMHO digital sound seems more bright, shiny and reflect high frequency, the vinyl is more smooth, silky and rich. The digital sound seems almost“tiresome”. No difference in frequencies or definition.
Vocals seem to be more separated to the instruments even through a range of frequency. Vinyl can also play at the low end of the frequency spectrum allowing you to feel the bass depth that a CD can not even get to.
Digital also clips the signals and simply has a loss of true audio quality.

As an aside, the art work on an LP jacket is also a more conducive size than a jewel case. You can’t feel the artwork on a digital download or CD like you can on a LP jacket.

Joker94's avatar

Because they’re awesome? Seriously, though, there’s a certain warmth vinyl records, I think. The sound quality sounds a bit bitter to me, too. I mostly use my Dads old vintage records, but I planned on buying a couple modern bands vinyl releases. Digital music still sounds great in its own way, but vinyls..there’s something about them that really ties the music all together. It seems to give the album it’s character back.

Moldychesee's avatar

Vintage stuff is quite amazing… ‘nuff said.

TexasDude's avatar

@Joker94 “vinyls” isn’t a word. Just warning you. Hardcore vinyl lovers will go apeshit on you if you call albums “vinyls.”

Joker94's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Damn it, Google Chrome’s spell checker lied to me..

Cruiser's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Word! WTH would @Joker94 call a double album??...Hey! Check out my new vinyls’s?? ;)

Joker94's avatar

@Cruiser BOOP What is a double album..?

blueiiznh's avatar

Lets not even discuss Quadrophonic recordings. It may blow people away.

Cruiser's avatar

Seriously @Joker94 ?? This is a double album….THIS is the best double album EVER!

blueiiznh's avatar

@Cruiser I still have this one as a top fav

gondwanalon's avatar

Sadly I doubt that any of those sound mediums will ever make a comeback. But I still love them even though I can put about every Rock N Roll song ever recorded onto my 260mb iPod.
I enjoy vinyl records mostly for the nostalgia effect. They remind me of the good old days when the chrome was thick and rock was king. I have some 8 track tapes and they make good sound when all components of the 8-track tape player and tape are in harmonious operation. However this is rarely the case as anyone who has spent the better half of Saturday afternoon rewinding their favorites 8-track tape will tell you. Frankly 8-track tape systems have always been lousy to say the least. Cassette tape systems are so much better.
My favorite sound medium by far is the reel to reel tape systems. They deliver such solid rich sound that no Bose CD or iPod driven system can touch.

blueiiznh's avatar

I agree that the comeback is somewhat a difficult battle. I think it may be partly drive to help resurge the entire album concept that is somewhat lost in single digital downloads.
It is really difficult at times to hear a cut and simply need to hear the next song on the album and how they flowed together.
Evolution sometimes loops us back.

martianspringtime's avatar

I like having physical copies of music. I love album art, I like knowing that if my computer is on the fritz (again) or my ipod dies on me (again), I won’t have to worry that all of my music is gone. Although it’s kind of silly, I think having just digital copies of music makes the music feel less important. How many people have an ipod full of music, put it on shuffle, and either don’t know half of the songs or realize they have music they don’t even like? Or find that they can’t even sit through a full song because they have to skip forward within the first minute to see what’s next?

When I have a record, I put it on and listen to every song. I don’t skip to my favourites and end up never giving the others a chance. Everything has to play in the order it was intended to be listened to in. And I always remember buying it; I have mp3s that I don’t have any recollection of listening to, but pick up any one of my records and I can tell you exactly where, approximately when, and what happened on the day that I bought it.

I have tons of mp3s, but I still love my records. I have mp3s for convenience and because I don’t have a lot of extra money to put out for music, but records are much more dear to me.

8Convulsions's avatar

Plus, they look awesome when you frame them.

john65pennington's avatar

What about burning a song from vinyl onto a CD? Would we receive the best of both worlds in fidelity?

pezz's avatar

I converted to CD and now to mp3, I have got used to the full convenience of this digital media. The fact that you can take you whole music collection where ever you go is fantastic. That said I miss the look, the feel that vinyl had with it’s cover. Covers were important then, not so now, you just need a picture tagged to a track to show on your player. I don’t miss the constant cleaning and things like the ‘Dust Bug’ to keep your collection playable.

TexasDude's avatar

@john65pennington I have just about every song that I own on vinyl in digital mp3 format as well. The thing is, though, that some of my underground and indie records are so rare that you can’t even find the tracks online, and conversion is not convenient for me. I have a few days worth of music on my computer in mp3 format for general use. Vinyl is where the hobbyist in me comes out.

Hibernate's avatar

I never understood it either though I have a lot of them [gifts from friends and family]. But the thing who plays them has a different use for me :D [forgot the name of it]

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther