Dropping the Needle - Thoughts on the Vinyl Record Industry

You go through a dusty crate of vinyl records until you find the right one. Once you’ve picked the perfect record, you remove it from its jacket and place it onto the turntable.

Dropping the needle, you hear its first couple of crackles and anxiously await for the first track to begin.

Although the vinyl record has existed since the early 20th century, this medium for listening to music has never truly gone out of style.

It was believed that CDs and MP3s would destroy the vinyl industry, but the record remains indestructible. The question is, what is it that makes people want to purchase their music on vinyl?

Normally, someone who buys vinyl records would want to experience the whole record completely, to get the feel of being at a live concert. Some may just want to get to know the message that the artist is trying to convey through the album.

Steve Ludvik, along with Dan Hadley, co-owns of The Death of Vinyl, a secondhand record store on St. Laurent Blvd. Ludvik described how vinyl records would transmit various messages and stories.

“A record is like a book. You don’t start at chapter three,” said Ludvik. Each side on the record begins with a specific song and ends with a specific song that the artists chose in order to take the listener through a musical journey.

Vinyl records are considered as the format of music for understanding the messages that the musicians are trying to convey. However, others would purchase vinyl specifically for their sound.

The quality of sound from a CD or an MP3 file is incomparable to the unique sound that the vinyl has to offer. According to an article from Pitchfork, vinyl offers a unique “warm sound” known as surface noise that enhances the listener’s experience for enjoying music compared to a CD which is capable of producing decent sound quality.

Hadley described how vinyl offers a full spectrum of sound compared to digitally pressed files.
“Original pressings are unchanged by the passing of time and are the result of state of the art analogue technology capturing the full spectrum of sound frequencies,” he explained.

Some buy vinyl because of the nostalgic factor it brings them, while others dare to plunge for the first time into this new medium.

Buying music on vinyl is quite an essential since it also comes with beautiful cover art, the sound quality and the connection it seems to provide between the fan and the artist. Ludvik stated how vinyl is not only about enjoying the music, but also about reading the inserts and admiring the artwork.

Similarly, Hadley states how collecting vinyl is like owning a piece of history; an original pressing allows listeners in 2017 to replicate the same listening experience that the first listeners had in 1967.

Listening and collecting vinyl is a great way for experiencing and discovering various types of music. But the question remains of whether or not if the vinyl industry is always going to be available on the market.

Nathan Caskey, record shop manager at Aux 33 Tours, believes that there is always going to be a demand towards vinyl records and that the industry will continue to last for a long time.

“People are genuinely interested in vinyl” said Caskey. “Not just because it’s a fad, but because of how they come to discover what’s so great about it; discovering its unique, raw sound with every spin.”

As much as some people would like to believe that the vinyl industry will last forever, how can they be sure of whether or not the industry will not slowly phase out and die? The question remains unanswered, but what matters the most is taking advantage and enjoying the wonderful music offered on vinyl right now while it’s still around.

Pull out a record from its jacket, drop the needle onto it, sit back and enjoy the various musical sounds that only the vinyl can offer.

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