Can You Believe This? Vinyl Records Are Outselling CDs For the First Time Since 1986!
It's true. The sale of vinyl records has moved way past the sale of compact discs in the first half of 2020. And it wasn't even close. The Recording Industry Association of America reported that in the first six months of 2020, music fans bought $232.1 million of vinyl while only spending $129.9 million on CDs.
Now this doesn't mean that the sale of streaming has tapered off. It still accounts for a whopping 85% of all music sales. But there must be a reason why vinyl has made a comeback. After all, when audio cassettes began offering pre-recorded albums in 1966, vinyl was still popular. I remember visiting the WAXWORKS headquarters in Owensboro in the mid 1980's and discovering cassettes had just then begun to outsell vinyl. It took almost 20 years for tape to win that battle. But when CDs came along in 1985, they began outselling cassettes by 1988.
When we installed CD players at our radio station in '87 we were all excited to hear the new technology and its clear, clean sound.
I was disappointed. I thought the CD sounded thin. There was no warmth and not enough low end. The little devils were more convenient but to me they just didn't have the quality of vinyl. That is the first reason most folks give as to the resurgence of vinyl. It simply sounds better.
I think there is another reason why we are buying vinyl. They are 12 inches in diameter with a colorful cardboard cover. You can hold one in your hand and there's something special about that sound when the needle first hits the spinning record. A collection of vinyl albums (or "LPs" as we called them in the radio biz) is more impressive than a list of songs you have downloaded.
So where can you buy vinyl in Evansville? All the resale shops like Goodwill, St. Vincent De Paul, His n' Hers Flea Market, Consumer Malls, Book Broker and Happy Tails sell used vinyl in various conditions. And at those locations you won't pay a lot. Remember -- condition is very important. You don't want the sound of all those scratches drowning out your music.
If you are looking for new vinyl here in River City, you might try Walmart, Target and Best Buy. You can also check Coconuts on N. Green River Road, Hard Copies in Eastland Mall and Space Monkey at 1201 E Riverside Drive. Of course, there's always eBay and Amazon.
You will pay a little more for vinyl versus CDs and downloads, but I think it sounds better and certainly looks better. After all, when Jana Kramer got a million downloads recently, they still awarded her a gold VINYL record