Resurrecting the vinyl


As Technology Support Assistant Luchano Bogdanov sits to have a cup of tea, he immediately opens his record player and puts on a vinyl. “When I listen to music on my phone I tend to multi-task and not listen to the lyrics,” Bogdanov said. “When I listen to a vinyl, I appreciate it…and really think about the music.”

A young generation of music lovers have started to discover vinyls. The vinyl record is a sound storage medium that was created in 1951. Mia Rasamny (’20) appreciates an authentic sound when she is listening to music. She is part of this generation who hopes to see a future that includes the magic of records. “I love that there’s a little rustic feel or sound to the music whether it’s modern or a bit older,” she said.

The record started to die out as cassettes, CDs and digital downloads started to replace vinyl as they were more convenient. Despite this, many still feel the digital listening experience is not the same. Alex Ferragamo (’18) is a musician who enjoys and values the sound quality on a record. “There’s much warmer sound on a record, you can hear a lot more frequencies, and really hear the paring. The sound quality is overall much better,” he said.

Other students have found that music is a gateway to identity and creativity. It is made even more special when experienced on vinyl. “I feel totally inspired when listening to a vinyl, [it leads me to] create artwork, poetry, and writing,” Raunak Lally (’20) said.

As a new generation discovers vinyl, record stores are packed with young adults. “Vinyl are making a huge comeback,” Bogdanov said. “Their sales are growing extensively, and there is definitely a market. I think vinyl will always be a part of our life.”

Fletcher Smith of Honest Jon’s Records, a record store on Portobello Road, said he has seen the clientele change quite a bit in the past 10 years. “I used to see music professionals looking for rare recordings, but now I see young people looking for popular and vintage pop recordings,” he said.

Smith believes that albums can tell a story, the way one song flows seamlessly into the next or how one song can completely juxtapose the other. They all intertwine and complement each other, something that can be lost with the popular culture of creating playlists of songs from various albums and artists. The Beatles’ ‘Abbey Road’ is full of transitions. The album is a work of art, and cannot be properly experienced as singles,” Smith said.

Album art is another reason why people find collecting records so special. It was a way in the pre-digital era, pre-music video era to know who you were listening on a visual level. “I didn’t particularly like [the band, Roxy’s] music, but I would buy all their records just to see what crazy image was on their cover,” Smith said.

Lally, who is known to search for records online, at garage sales and in local shops, also believes that buying records can offer an overall experience for the music fan, ranging from the sound to the look of the album. “I think it’s interesting that records are bigger, they were interesting to look at, they can look like artwork,” she said.

Records take patience and care unlike the convenience of downloaded music. They can get scratched, need to be cleaned and to be turned over half the way through, but the vinyl is a treasure to true music aficionados. “Although [they are] much less convenient, they are true and authentic,” Rasamny said.  

This authenticity of vinyls makes Bogdanov believe vinyls will not die out soon. “I think records will last a long time,” Bogdanov said. “A lot of music has been made specifically for vinyl, and there’s so much out there, you could never listen to all of it.”

Written by Staff Writer Uma Mokhtarzadeh