The Record Spins ‘Round

In movies the good guy doesn’t die, but there’s always one last stumbling block for Good Guy to overcome.

After overcoming insurmountable odds, seemingly stealing victory from the jaws of defeat, Evil Emperor Bad Jones arrives, throwing Good Guy into a fresh new layer of hell.

Things look grim for Good Guy as Evil Emperor Bad Jones lords over him, no doubt explaining all the ways Good Guy failed and is surely about to die.

And yet, in that moment of despair, with darkness ensconcing our hero, something happens–something always happens.

The Good Guy wins!


This isn’t the case with typical life. Dinosaurs are dinosaurs and everything will go the way of the dodo bird.

And yet, while the music industry is down or stagnant, vinyl sales continue to rise. According to Nielsen Soundscan, vinyl records are up 14 percent in 2010, continuing to rise over the past three years.

Vinyl was bolstered by classic albums being re-released, but three of the top five records sold were new releases. Including the Grammy winner for Best Album of the Year, Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs.

The death of the vinyl album was pronounced in 1983, when Sony/Phillips first introduced the compact disc. The CD bragging quality and pure fidelity. For the next five years, as the cost of CD players dropped, Rolling Stone continued publishing articles stating vinyl was dead.

Ten years after the introduction of the CD, collectors found the death of vinyl to be widely exaggerated.

In 1993, two years after Soundscan began keeping track of vinyl sales, Rolling Stone changed their tune.  As Wired pointed out in a 2007 article, vinyl may be the final nail in the CD’s coffin.

MP3s, the supposed usurper of the CD and with a heavy dose of irony, now have software and hardware to transpose digital versions of records to your iPod, as reported by Connected Home.

Records were originally constructed as a means of listening to the dead, as John Durham Peters points out in his book Speaking into the Air. Now it’s the same raspy recordings which audiophiles crave keeping records alive.

Vinyl isn’t dead, it’s only getting worn in.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s