Since the heady days of the 90’s rave phenominon and the emergence of entierly electronic music in the 80’s, spearheaded by the likes of Kraftwerk and the Shamen, live music has been making something of a comeback in recent years. Even elctronic artists who predominantly use synth’s and samples, tend to have live musicians when they play a gig these days, just take a look at some of the big live acts such as Lady Ga Ga for prime examples of this.
I suspect the recent growth of festivals has also increased the number of people going to live gigs, until around ten years ago we has glastonbury and reading, then a few more emerged like the download and readings partner festival at leeds, then all of a suddn the festival scene exploded and they were popping up like mushrooms all over the UK.
Likewise vinyl records seem to be making a huge comeback of late, the BBC reported that more vinyl has beeen sold this year than since 1996! That may not sound very impressive but when you consider that numbers have steadily declined over almost 20 years, the sudden increase to figures of almost 20 years ago is quite significant. I wrote about how record sales ad been decreasing just a couple of years ago.
The value of new Vinyl music sales dropped to an all time low of £3m in recent years, however tthis year it’s topped £20m, so the growth is significant.
There are said to be two distinct groups who buy vinyl these days, the older people who grew up with it and like to see their collection steadily grow from year to year, this can be demonstrated by the fact that the fastest selling album over this period has been Pink Floyd’s new album, The Endless River, these people no doubt live in bigger houses too to accomodate the collections. The other being the younger people who like them in a retro’ kind of way.
Personally I think the look of a vinyl sleeve is much better than a CD or image on the computer screen, I always considered an album cover to be an art form, look at old Iron Maiden sleves as a good example, or Joy Division for the more arty, although less artistic examples. There is nothing like rifling through records in a shop too, something the younger generation have probably missed completely as I expect the majority of them have only ever downloaded music.
So although I very much doubt that Vinyl record sales will ever increase to the point where they beat downloads, let’s hope this trend towards it continues.