by Billy Bannon
Eagle Editorial Board
Ironically, in an era where technology evolves at a lightning fast pace and stores must constantly restock their shelves with the most recent models of electronics, many still cling on to vinyl record players, those archaic devices that the dinosaurs listened to music on.
Instead of simply pressing play on an iPod, many still opt for the complicated way of listening to music: placing a black, glossy disc on a record player and positioning a needle on its grooved surface.
According to singer Neil Young, even Steve Jobs, the mastermind who revolutionized the way we listen to music, preferred vinyls.
“Steve Jobs was a pioneer of digital music,” Young said. “His legacy is tremendous. But when he went home, he listened to vinyl.”
Vinyl records’ endurance when virtually all other technology fizzles with the passage of time underscores the gravity of their cultural significance.
With the introduction of CDs in the early 1990s, vinyl records nearly went extinct. Nevertheless, they retained a cult following, led by the faithful few who believed that music could be listened to in its purest, most authentic form only on vinyls.
In 2008, amid an economic crisis, they steadily regained popularity. Last year, accordintg to Nielsen SoundScan Data, CDs sales dropped by more than 5%, and vinyl sales rose more than 36%.
In recognition of their re-emergent appeal, a handful of mainstream artists, from Drake to Adele, have been releasing their albums on the vinyl format.
Vinyl records’ comeback is largely attributable to their arousal of nostalgia. Their raw sound evokes memories of a simpler time and place devoid of high tech gizmos. Listeners are transported back in time to the heyday of legendary bands like the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, and the Beatles.
“Many people prefer vinyls because they feel it connects them to the history of rock and roll,” said science teacher Dr. Ed Marintsch, whose son collects them.
Vinyl records’ fanbase consists not only of those who grew up with them, but also those who grew up with iPods in their hands.
Senior Bob Forzano, an ardent listener of vinyls, compared them to classic video games.
“New video games are higher quality and more complex, but old video games still have their charm,” Forzano said.
Although senior Derick Gellino chiefly listens to music on a portable hand held device, he prefers to brush the dust from a stack of vinyls and listen to them on his family’s old fashioned record player.
“You cherish the music more with a vinyl record,” Gellino said.