Over the last 5 years or so alongside the rise of the music app phenomenon the sale of vinyl records has surged. Though they still make up a tiny percentage of overall music sales, vinyl record sales have grown at a time when other physical formats are skidding. It may have something to do with my age and the people I choose to spend time with, but I don’t know a single person who buys CDs anymore. Everyone I know who is interested in having physical copies of their music buys it on wax.
The reality is owning a vinyl record is a wonderful thing, they are quite remarkable pieces of mechanical engineering, an appreciation I failed to grasp as a child, but something I absolutely lust over now that I understand how they work. Not only that, but they are arguably one of the more important (cultural) inventions of the past 150 years: the ability to bring music — effectively, the sound of culture — into the household, without the need to lug around things like people and instruments, was an immensely profound accomplishment.
Owning a record player is not just about basking in the nostalgia or audio quality. The joy they offer is the ability to disconnect from everything, to just listen to music and do nothing else at all.
A record player performs one function, and one function only: it requires that you sit and listen to music only, while expressly disallowing you from doing anything else at all. And in today’s absurdly multi-tasked whirlwind life, this is a beautiful, welcome thing indeed