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The vinyl revival is a fad


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It’s time to get the old records out of the attic because vinyl is the new black.

The last 12 months has seen sales rocket to the three million mark, a 25-year high, according to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

This figure is the highest since the 1990s when Simply Red’s Stars became the best-selling album.

So why have sales suddenly rocketed?

Perhaps it was the passing of several notable music legends; David Bowie, too name a few? He topped the 2016 list with Blackstar, heralding a surge of grief-stricken fans to go out and buy some memorabilia as a tribute.

I would argue it’s down to the 'hipster trend'; a trend which doesn’t seem to be shifting. Stand aside digital because vinyl is here to stay.

Walk into any high street music shop and you’ll see trendy new record players, discs on the walls - revamped for the millenials. As the owner of Dragon Records in Belfast Jeff Doherty told the BBC, "there’s a certain element of it becoming trendy".

Teenagers are now on a historical journey as they choose to experience heritage artists from The Beatles to Pink Floyd to The Smiths. For a age group growing up in the digital age, myself included, we seem to be 'getting old'.

The question is whether vinyl is a trend or revolution?

I’ll stick to fashion statement. Music fans listen to music in many ways, from CDs to digital but what marks vinyl so special at the moment is that the student generation are now looking for a souvenir. You’ll always remember where you bought your record and where you were at that point in your life? The feel and touch of a record outweighs the cheap and unromantic relationship we now have with digital streaming.

From personal experience, my 16-year-old brother is one of the latest joining this new scene. The 12-inch record with its colourful artwork on front makes him feel as though he owns the piece of music, but it’s the sound he finds most attractive; and I’d have to agree. The record player’s a bit bulky but what the heck when you get a much improved warmer sound compared to digital.

Vinyl is a fad nonetheless.

For the time being record players have captured hearts and minds, being fired up to serve anything you fancy. It is the ninth year in a row that vinyl sales have increased and, for one unprecedented week in early December, made even more money than digital albums. Music streaming is still there playing away in the background however: hitting the milestone of one billion streams in one week in 2016.

Whether it’s Springsteen or Adele, 2017 will be another year of - as long as it’s vinyl.

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