Records make comeback, gain popularity with students

One reason senior Eric Voshall prefers listening to vinyl records is because no two records are alike.

“I like vinyl more than CDs because it’s more personal, as lame as that sounds, but you’re more engaged with the music,” Voshall said. “The imperfections of the vinyl make it a more intimate experience with all the pops and skips.”

Vinyl records are music disks made from vinyl plastic and was one of the most popular ways to listen to music in the 20th century. The disk spins on a phonograph, or turntable, and is played when the phonograph’s needle touches the vinyl grooves.

“I think it’s a cooler way of supporting an artist,” Voshall said. “People who value the actual music will buy the vinyl.”

Recently, bands have been releasing vinyl records with a CD copy or an mp3 download inside the sleeve. Finder’s Record Store employee, Laura Fredricks, said because of this, customers now have different formats to play the music on while still having a tangible item.

“You’re getting two formats for one price,” Fredricks said. “A lot of people say [music] sounds better on vinyl.”

For older generations, the memory of vinyl has been a factor in sales, said Fredricks. Yet, when it comes to younger generations of vinyl listeners, the outdated medium proves to be brand new.

“The younger generations like getting new turntables, having old turntables from their parents, or even getting them in thrift stores,” Fredricks said. “It’s all new to them.”

Matt Donahue, pop culture instructor and vinyl enthusiast, said he owns somewhere between two and three thousand records. He even decorates cars in vinyl records, which he has been doing since 1995.

“Vinyl records are a way to reach out, build an audience and sell a product,” Donahue said. “What better way to do that than to actually have a physical product rather than a download?”

Fredricks said CDs are still more popular at Finder’s, but record’s niche audience is growing rapidly. Popular artists such as Lady Gaga, Drake and even Katy Perry sell their albums on vinyl. Yet, classic rock is a best seller at Finder’s because of their timeless appeal.

Donahue agreed and said vinyl has had a huge impact on him.

“When I first heard Mötorhead’s ‘Ace of Spades,’ it changed my life,” Donahue said. “I immediately went home and ordered every piece of vinyl Mötorhead had through a catalogue.”

Record Store Day is around the corner and Finder’s is preparing to have their busiest year ever. Record stores around the country will have deals, new releases and giveaways on Record Store Day, April 20.

“Whether it be vinyl, CDs or mp3s, the important thing is that people are listening,” Donahue said. “Music is the universal language.”