Monday, June 10, 2013

The needle returns to the start of the song and we all sing along like before

Exciting news from the New York Times. Vinyl, it's coming back.

Vinyl records almost disappeared after CDs were introduced, but they’re making a comeback — and a surprising number of LP buyers are young listeners.
Ah, sweet old, reliable friend makes a return. Not vinyl, but a story about vinyl coming back.

Last month, for example, it was The Arizona Republic spotting the trend:
Vinyl records are making a comeback across generations
In April, Forbes spotted the sales:
The Beat Goes On: How Vinyl Records Are Making A Comeback
That was just a few days after The Racine Journal Times pointed to all those kids with 12" singles under their arms:
Vinyl records making a comeback with collectors
Even Senior Planet is talking about it:
Got Vinyl? Record Albums Are Making a Comeback
But let's be fair to the New York Times. After all, if you pitch something at editorial meetings with the words "have you guys noticed what's going on at the top of the pops?", it's going to be three days before you'll be able to tempt Mark Thompson out the Executive Panic Room. Maybe they're a few weeks behind - ahem - Senior Planet with knowing what's down with the kids, but this 2013 new vinyl trend is just rolling, right?

What's that you're saying, Dubspot?
The Resurgence of Vinyl Continues In 2012 – Record Stores Making a Comeback?
But that was November.

Although The Daily Beacon had a story in August 2012:
Vinyl making local comeback
Hang about, if the mainstream media were reporting this story summer last year, surely some edgy, rule-breaking group was trying to warn us sooner? Fox News, maybe, in June 2012:
Vinyl records mount comeback
Fox. First with news.
Vinyl Records Making Comeback
Okay, so Voice Of America ran a story in September 2011.
And USA Today had a story in February 2011:
As both a music lover and record store owner, Tim Cretsinger is excited about the recent resurgence of vinyl record albums.

"This is my favorite thing to do — hold a batch of records like this," Cretsinger, owner of Groovacious in Cedar City, Utah, says as he hugged a stack of new records close to his chest.

"It reminds me of the old days."

The old days are making a comeback.
And the LA Times did the story in 2009:
In a digital age, vinyl's making a comeback
The Telegraph was heralding the vinyl comeback in 2002:
Forget the compact disc, the MP3 player and the MiniDisc. The vinyl record, once believed to be consigned to the dustbin of music history, is making a comeback.
Yes, that's a vinyl comeback story from so long ago that it mentions MiniDisc in it.

But let's be fair, you can't really expect the New York Times to monitor all the other media in the world having been reporting vinyl comeback stories month in, month out for over ten years.

You might have hoped, though, the paper would have spotted this story:
Music on vinyl making a comeback
That was the New York Times announcing a comeback for vinyl back in 2008.

Ah, if only the Times could have had the prescience of this publication, which reported on vinyl's scramble from the grave in 1994:
A funny thing happened on the way to the burial of the vinyl record. It has been kept alive by a subculture of ardent fans who insist that something precious is lost when music gets all cleaned up on a CD. In addition to preferring what they insist is the "warmer" sound of vinyl, fans speak wistfully of the tactile pleasures of an LP -- studying the cover art, reading the liner notes, even placing the big, meaty platter on a turntable.
You'll be ahead of me: that was the New York Times.

Nearly two decades of running articles about how vinyl is clinging to life. The only thing more resilient than the twelve inch album is the ability of journalists to pretend to be surprised when talking about them.


Robin Carmody said...

Worth putting all these articles together for the ages, so that future historians can see just how resentful and bitter the boomers became - really far worse, in almost every way, than their parents ever were.

Robin Carmody said...

(Though I do still like the Del Amitri song you quote.)

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