New Audience Enjoying Revival Of Vinyl Records

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Remember when albums gave way to CDs. Or better yet, when you threw away all your old albums? Well, now that old vinyl has plenty of value and a whole new audience — young people ages 18 to 25.

Sam Rosen loves vinyl records. And he sells a lot of them at Shuga Records in Northeast Minneapolis.

“Hearing that needle drop and hearing the clicks and ticks, just makes it not seem like a digital, fake recording,” he said.

Record fans have been talking that way since dawn of the digital era, but these days, it’s not just the old-timers.

“There’s nothing like having an actual vinyl,” said 19-year-old Sam Richards of Northeast Minneapolis.

He was born after CDs supposedly replaced vinyl, but he’s right in the middle of the revival.

“CDs and mp3 players are tiny,” he said while holding a record. “But this is something you can actual hold and it’s got weight to it, so it’s cool.”

So cool, the Electric Fetus in Minneapolis is now carrying much more vinyl.

“Both of these aisles were recently converted into record bins,” said manager Paul Christianson, pointing to bins that were converted from albums to CDs back in the 80s.

There are as many explanations for the surge as there are albums. The look, the feel, the desire to collect cool stuff, or maybe it’s simply a chance to enjoy a break from technology.

“They feel like maybe technology has maybe taken them away from things that they really enjoyed and they want to reconnect with that,” said Angie Runnels, an Electric Fetus customer.

Now old school is cool — and profitable. Shuga Records has plenty of bargains in its racks, but there’s big business in back. That’s where a half-million records are ready to ship to the stores online and eBay customers.

“If you try to find an original like mint condition,” said Rosen. “Anything like Led Zepplin, Hendrix, Beatles record, you’re going to spend over $100 on the record.”

And more record business means more record player business — both retail and repair. So, the Needle Doctor just moved to St. Louis Park to get more space.

The music business has come full circle. Even Lady Gaga is on vinyl. And many records are also released with free digital downloads to have the best of both worlds. And connect to the old world.

“Kids want to do what their parents did,” said Rosen. “They want that feeling of why my parents bought records in the 70s or the 60s.”

Want to get your hands on a vinyl record of your own? Click here to check out some of the best record stores in Minneapolis.


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