The future of vinyl?February 2, 2009
[click image for full-size version at Diesel Sweeties]
So, in the comments to a previous post, there was a brief discussion on the future of vinyl records. Aaron char Manders quoted the CEO of Newbury Comics as describing vinyl as a ‘novelty,’ a description which suggests a certain transience.
Here’s a couple of starting points for discussion:
- In the world of electronic music, long a stronghold for vinyl, there is a steady movement towards digital music – so much so that next Friday, there’s an underground party in San Francisco billed as ‘Nothing But Vinyl’ and featuring Sammy Dee and Marc Schneider.
- If you look at the top ten vinyl sellers last year, there is a solid mix of old (Abbey Road, Dark Side of the Moon), new (In Rainbows, Fleet Foxes, and Portishead’s Third), and, notably, indie classic In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel.
Given that vinyl is currently, as Aaron memorably put it, ‘an unassuming pimple on the large, albeit slimming, butt of CDs,’ will vinyl remain a viable, if niche, medium indefinitely? Or is this the faddish last gasp of popularity before vinyl fades forever? I’d be interested in arguments on both sides – what do we think?