LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - It hasn’t happened since the 80s: New vinyl records actually outsold CDs. Of course the big dog is still digital music. KLTV spoke with a musician, and fan of LPs, to try to find out why.
Vinyl records were the best way to own and play music until the CD made them just cheap plastic, but slowly the pendulum has swung back according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Musician and Mundt Music employee Michael Boring isn’t really that surprised.
“The old is new again. The younger generation is gravitating towards the old school stuff that we thought was cool, I guess, you know so, but we’re still not cool because we’re old,” Boring said.
Boring’s record collection dwindled away over the years, so he does digital.
The RIAA shows physical product was nine percent of industry revenues in 2019 versus digital, but they say CDs have now fallen behind record sales.
“I think they’ve got a more organic vibe to them. I think you hear things. It’s warmer, it’s not as digital. I think that’s the problem with today is that everything is so digital,” Boring said.
Paul Caldeoon still has some of his old records and says he can here the difference, too.
“I think the CDs are a little more clear, but it doesn’t sound original,” Caldeoon said.
Unfortunately, that original sound isn’t exactly convenient, even with a battery powered turntable. But if you’re old school you may like the pops and cracks in those well worn records.
Of course, that’s all I can play for you since, unlike the music, those scratches aren’t copyrighted.
“On the LP side artists have control of how many editions they put out. I’ve heard of guys paying a lot of money for limited edition type stuff,” Boring said.
There are places you can get used out of print records like Gifts of Grace in Longview if you want to increase a collection, but the new stuff is what the RIAA is keeping track of. Some people just prefer the sound of the LP.
“The record is more of an actual representation,” Boring said.
And for guys like Michael and I, well it takes us back. And all this of course makes me wonder which movie media looks more organic: blu-ray or VHS?
In the first half of 2020 vinyl records had $232 million in sales, while CD sales were about $130 million, according to the RIAA. Overall, music industry sales were at $5.7 billion for the first half of 2020.