I’ll be the first to admit that I did not see this coming. It appears that the old vinyl LP record is making a comeback. And it’s not only old albums that are available on vinyl. New albums are being released on the venerable format from artists like Amy Winehouse and The Shins.
I guess I first started to notice this trend on David Letterman’s show. He regularly displays a musical group’s CD on the show when he announces their performances and lately I have noticed that he has been hauling some big LP covers out onto his desk for the camera.
I was one of those people that welcomed the digital music era with open arms. Although some say that they can hear a difference between digital music and the "warmer" sound of the old vinyl records, that is something I have had a hard time making my mind up about.
What drove me crazy about the old vinyl records was that I could never seem to banish the hiss and pops that resulted from dirt, dust, scratches or whatever else it was on the surface of the record that interrupted my listening pleasure no matter what record-cleaning gizmo I tried. The sound of interference-free digital music ushered in a new era of peace and harmony between myself and my music collection.
Apparently there is a perception among some of today’s young music fans that vinyl is cool, and is the new in thing in some circles and that’s fine with me. I think music fans have the right to choose their tunes on whatever format they prefer and those producing the vinyl are keeping up with the times by offering records in different colors and including useful bonuses like certificates for free digital downloads of the music that is on the record that was purchased.
I’m still somewhat on the fence on whether vinyl sounds warmer, richer or better when compared to digital music, but I’d be willing to give it a listen some day. It has been a couple of decades or so since I have heard anything on vinyl, so it would probably be easier for me to pick up on any differences now. I’ll be sure to report back if I get a chance to spin an LP or two on a turntable somewhere.