For those of you millennials who don’t know what a record looks like it looks like this:
and it’s played on this:
Records, otherwise known as vinyl, first became popular in the 1950s. Once technology evolved, not many people listened to music on vinyl. As years progressed people listen to music on cassettes, 8 tracks, MP3s, CDs, and iPods, while vinyl became obsolete. Children being born would never know what it’s like to purchase a record, put it on a turntable, drop the needle, and hear the static before a song was played; until recently. Vinyl record sales are at a 28 year high. Record Store day, started in 2008, takes place on a Saturday in April (date varies every year, in 2018 it’ll be April 21st) to help independent record stores. Vinyl first began to make its comeback amongst us 20 and 30 year old hipsters. Vinyl is more old school and offers features that you cannot get from listening to it on an iPhone or from streaming services. In 2015, this wave of nostalgia hit making revenue’s higher than Youtube, Vevo, and Spotify’s free streaming network which only grossed $385 million while records grossed $416 million.
Vinyl is now being sold at places besides independent record stores such as Barnes and Nobles, Urban Outfitters, and Whole Foods, but if you ask me I think that’s not as authentic and shit’s on independent record stores. With vinyl being in so many locations, the hottest stars have begun to transfer their albums to vinyl such as Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift. Now when we talk about vinyl, people don’t say “oh those are for old people” because now even millennials are starting to adapt to vinyl.
USA Today went around to a few college campuses to ask college students why they love vinyl. Many students said that it’s so easy to shuffle through a song on your iPhone/iPod, but when listening to a record it takes time and thought to pick what you want to listen too. A student says, “You have to analyze your mood and emotions to select the appropriate one. Carefully putting the needle onto the record takes precision and patience, two things we all must learn. It’s like mediation.”
With everything being in such a digital age we don’t hear the music how it’s intended to be felt. Listening to a record is much more emotional than picking a song on an iPod. When you pick an album you’re not on your way to class or working out at the gym, you’re sitting in the comfort of your own home listening to the album you precisely chose. It takes two seconds to quickly skip a song on your iPod, but it’s not so easy to do that on turn table. You have to precisely move the needle to the ring in which the song you want to hear is on. Usually when you pick a record to listen to, you listen to it in its entirety not skipping between songs and playlists.
As vinyl has become more popular it’s also become more expensive. If you asked your parents how much they paid for a vinyl back in the day they’d probably tell you about $10-20, your grandparents paid probably even less. Today a vinyl goes for around $40 to which your parents and grandparents would start off with some story that starts like “back in my day it only cost me (inset price here) and we did (this).”
For those of you interested in purchasing a record or even learning more about them, here are some local places you should check out:
110 Cushman Ave, West Berlin, NJ 08091
Hours: 10-6 most days, closed Mondays
After viewing their website and Facebook page many vinyl collectors raved about their wide variety of records. The store has different genres of music including Jazz, Blues, Motown, Hip Hop, Children’s and even sound effects. If you’re looking for a record chances are you will find it here.
998 Mantua Pike, Woodbury Heights, NJ 08097
Hours: 10-6 everyday
Jupiter Records is open everyday with two other locations in Pennsylvania and Delaware for those of you who don’t live in the area. Jupiter records contains a friendly staff eager to help the customer find what he/she needs! They contain a $1 room where every vinyl is only $1; totally affordable for us college students!
618 S White Horse Pike, Somerdale, NJ 08083
Hours: 11:30-7 most days, open everyday
Sky Valley Records specializes in Punk, Goth, Hardcore, Alt/ Indie, Heavy Metal, Ska, Shoegaze, Reggae, Emo, Pop Punk, Sludge, and many more. Their website features the most popular records being bought as well as new arrivals.
910 County Rte 561, Voorhees Township, NJ 08043
Hours: 11-9 most days, open everyday
Tunes records sell music from CDs, vinyl, video games, DVDs, and even iPhones and iPads. This store is a little more updated with classic albums throw in the mix like The Rolling Stones and The Ramones. Although, most of the music they have on vinyl are from today’s popular artists such as Taylor Swift and Luke Bryan. Even if you’re not into buying a record it still seems like a cool place to check out. You might even find something cool you weren’t looking for!
798 Haddon Ave, Collingswood, NJ 08108
Hours: 11-7; closed Mondays
Inner Groove Records specializes in buying and selling vinyls. If you’re interested in hoping on the vinyl band wagon Inner Groove also has some cool turntables for sale to get you started! They also have a great selection of records ranging from the Beatles to Elton John to Motown.
415 N Haddon Ave, Haddonfield, NJ 08033
Hours: 3-7 on weekdays; hours vary on weekends
Haddonfield’s Record Exchange contains records from the 60s where Woodstock was popular as well as peace and love. This shop contains records from that era all the way to now focusing mainly on classic rock, jazz, blues, funk and soul.