What is the appeal of vinyl? They have several advantages that lead music fans to purchase them. They are beautiful, expressive, offer high-quality dynamic sound during playback and allow their owner to undergo the pleasant ritual of attaching the record player.
“Some people still have a need to physically own music, to have it with them. And vinyl allows them to do that. One builds a kind of life soundtrack from them. He acquires albums that he considers essential, then adds entire discographies of favorite musicians to them, and then spreads the collections further. The ritual of releasing the plates also plays an important role. Thanks to it, the listening experience is different, tight,” Jan “Kečup” Dvornák, a vinyl record collector and also a member of the punk band The Fialky, told Práv.
“I think the advent of music streaming also contributed to the popularity of vinyl. It brought back people’s desire to listen to whole albums, not just singles, and they discovered that whole album concepts could be interesting, especially for seminal records in music history. And there’s the cover. It’s a fetish. It is usually interestingly artistically processed, you can find out who composed the songs, read the lyrics, you can add some bonuses and the like. He records all this on vinyl,” he added.
He himself has more than eight hundred vinyl albums and three hundred singles at home. He started collecting them sometime in 2005 and specializes mainly in punk records.
Artists care about quality
“In the nineties, the CD almost wiped out vinyl. After all, even tape cassettes took it away. Well, with the advent of streaming services, the CD ends again. They are not as pretty and elaborate as vinyls, so if someone wants to have a solid music carrier, they buy more beautiful vinyl. I even think that sometimes even people who don’t own a record player buy them. They just want to have a nice thing,” said Martin Červinka, artistic director of the SinglTon publishing company and scout of musical talents, to Právu.
According to him, those who buy vinyls and play them are true music fans. In his music publishing house, he therefore thinks about making the carriers as nice and visually appealing as possible.
“I put a lot of emphasis on it. I also want to offer all the artists whose albums I release on vinyl. So even when we’re planning the covers, I’m thinking about making them stand out as best as possible on vinyl. I am considering whether they will be foldable or simple and similar. After all, even the artists themselves make sure that the vinyl editions are nice, not only in terms of content, but also in form,” he explained.
He added that considering that at GZ Media, the Czech vinyl production factory, they have orders from all over the world and they have enough of them, the waiting time for Czech bands is outside the Christmas season, when it takes longer, about three months. Interest in vinyl is growing not only in the Czech Republic, but also in the world.
Aleš Machů, collector and head of Black Vinyl Bazar in Brno, views the vinyl boom from a different point of view. According to him, vinyl sales have actually been declining in recent years because they are too expensive.
“I have to laugh when I read how the sales numbers are going up. At the same time, sales have been going down for at least the last three years. Vinyls are getting more and more expensive. However, in terms of volume, it is enough to catch up with CDs, whose sales are also declining,” he says.
The current situation fundamentally threatens his business. “I don’t know if our store will still be working in a year. At the same time, it has supported me for ten years. The first five were good, but then the interest decreased and today it is small. The reason for this is the high price of vinyl, probably the economic crisis along with the war. Not everyone can afford a vinyl record anymore, other things are more important to people’s lives,” he adds.
However, Dvornák claims that interest in vinyl albums has not yet reached its peak. He believes that it will then be dampened by the pricing policies of the publishing companies.
“They totally kill it. They will saturate the vinyl market and start charging ridiculous amounts of money for it, which is actually already happening. As a result, interest in this carrier will fall. This is how publishers killed CDs in the nineties. But I still feel that the current wave of interest in vinyl has not yet reached its ceiling. After all, a lot of people have bought record players and it is necessary to play something on them,” concluded Dvornák with a slight smile.
Digital music sales improved by nineteen percent last year
Vinyl records have overtaken CDs in sales on the Czech market
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