Holding Music In Your Hands: The Resurgence of Vinyl Records


Grant Katz, Supreme Leader

For many years, vinyl records were thought to be a thing of the past. They were replaced by 8 tracks, then cassettes, then CDs, then streaming.  But somehow, in 2020, vinyl records surpassed CDs in sales for the first time in many years, making them the second most popular music medium. But what caused them to come back from the dead?

You might think it’s nostalgic GenX and Baby Boomers, but the main cause of the vinyl revival are GenZ and Millennials, two generations that grew up without vinyl records. There are multiple reasons for this, likely the tangibility of them is appealing to a generation that has only ever listened to music, and never has held it in their hands.  There is also the greater feeling of ownership, and of course, the fun of having a collection and searching for good vinyl records. Village students have gotten in on the trend, too. Sophomore Andrew Hirschbein said, “I know if Spotify ever went down, I’d still be able to play stuff since I own it physically. “

It makes me feel fancy, and it makes the listening experience more immersive & forces me to focus on the music.

— Jenny Jia, senior

As for me, I got into vinyl because I go to a lot of antique stores and garage sales, and I found myself looking at the records and thinking they were cool, but not having any means of playing them, so I never bought them. Recently, I took more of an interest in turntables and decided to do some research. Once I knew what to look for in a turntable, I set out to find one and ended up finding one for cheap — a Sony PS-LX100 that needed a bit of fixing up, so I bought it and ordered the parts I needed; but before the parts arrived, I found a much better Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT while searching for records at a local thrift store. I love the feeling of sifting through a bin of old records, not knowing what I will flip to next, hoping that I’ll find one I really want, or maybe something entirely new to me. Listening to vinyl records also make me listen, or re-listen, to songs I wouldn’t have otherwise and often I end up enjoying them. Listening to vinyl records has broadened my taste and knowledge of music, which also give me something to talk about with other people, allowing me to better connect with them. 

In conclusion, Gen Z and Millennials’ realization that vinyl records are fun to play and collect caused this welcome resurgence in popularity.