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.

  • Talulah

    Wow. Hard hitting journalism right here, the owner of Shuga Records is Adam not Sam.

  • Grahamtron

    This trend is something I do not understand. While I agree that a perfect condition album played on a premium turn table with a top notch stylus can produce sounds that are superior to digital, the HASSLE of dealing with albums is not worth using them – for example:

    =) to play an entire release, you have to flip the album over
    =) albums are very sensitive to factors like light, heat, and touch – you need to handle them like fine china
    =) how about the hassle of using the cleaning solutions to keep them clean
    =) they take up much more storage space
    =) cannot play away from home unless you record to tape or digitize

    When CD’s were first introduced, I bought three of them, and rarely EVER played any of my 400+ albums I had again. Then, when ipod’s came along, I realized I could carry my ENTIRE collection on a $200 ipod- WOW!!!!

    I guess you idiots who are back on vinyl will have whatever pathetic “fun” you have using them, but you will be laughed at 50 years from now when vinyl is truly dead…..

    • Greg in South MPLS

      Oh, is it really a hassle? Too much work for you, Grahammy-baby? You are exactly what is wrong with society right now. In other words, LAZY. Do you microwave your steak? Us “idiots” are the same people that fire up a charcoal grill, let the coals heat up, have a beer, and sear that sucker. Might take an hour, but hey – the end result is worth the effort. We aren’t lazy, and we appreciate the work that goes into our hobby. I guess we are “pathetic” too. Oh well. We can’t think of any names to call you for having the ultimate Hot Wheels collection alongside your animal mating DVD collection, so I guess we are also the nicer of the bunch. Grahamtron is making all of you iPod users look bad! Don’t worry, we already know – he illegally downloaded all of his music and he is a bad egg that won’t ruin the rest of our digital audio-loving brethren. GO BACK TO MAPLE GROVE, DUDE

      • Grahamtron

        Dude – relax….. I am really just interested in someone giving me a good, logical, reason why vinyl is worth it – I just have never seen a good argument that makes sense. I am also happy that you have found a way to make money buying and selling vinyl in the antique industry…..

        To respond – Just because something is easier does not make you lazy – I have better things to do with my time than deal with hassle of vinyl or even fire up a charcoal grill instead of gas – the reward is NOT worth the time in my book – just one man’s opinion. Also, I have NEVER illegally downloaded any music – why would you make that assumption based on me not liking vinyl – makes no sense…. I am also happy you get all the chicks man, but my guess is it has nothing to with your love a vinyl, unless maybe that’s what you wear…. By the way, I have lived in dwtn mpls for 25 years – another assumption you made that makes NO SENSE….

      • gpsecnwn

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      • nuleuav

        4Mn1vl hqsvqanjqogn

    • Jefe

      How about the investment in something tangible?

      I’m in the young demographic of vinyl heads. I’ve been buying records and DJing for four years. I learned to DJ on vinyl. Digging for records not only exposed me to different types of music, but gave me an appreciation for them as well.

      Playing a record is about the closest thing you can get to music just short of playing the instruments yourself. All the old music you find on CD’s and mp3’s are digital impressions of analog sound. This, to me, is useless.

      • Grahamtron

        How is playing a record any closer to live music than a digital copy? If anything, dj’s who play any kind of recorded music are the problem – why don’t you actually do something and pick up an instrument or sing?? How can you compare digging through vinyl any more fruitful than searching the internet? How is music on a record any more “useful” than digital?

        Think it through man…..

      • Grahamtron

        Also – do you really consider buying music in any form an “investment”? I thought it was just for entertainment…..

        • Greg in South MPLS

          Ummm, I have a full-time job and I sell vinyl on the side. Thank you Craig’s List. Thank you eBay. And thank you extra $1,000 a month for very little but highly enjoyable work. My collection is now well over 2,000. In fact, I just had it appraised and insured for $25,000. That’s an investment, my friend. I would assume that Grahamtron thinks fake boobs are real. You just don’t get it, man…and please – DON’T get it. Us vinylheads are happy where we are without you guys. Plus we audiophiles get way more chicks than you and your impersonable iPod. Guaranteed.

  • kjh

    Vinyl is hip, and it is excellent to hold tangible art in your hand while you are listening to the music. It is far better than the digital download, however you can also get that satisfaction with the cheaper cd version, that many times includes more information these days as artists are including extras like DVDs. With that said the sound of vinyl, for most releases is not that much better than a CD, sometimes it is worse in my opinion. I believe people, including myself at times, romanticize playing vinyl and add that feeling to the sound. If you want to test this on your friends play them the vinyl version of Arcade Fire Suburbs and then the CD. Ask them which one they prefer. Then tell them the CD version was designed to sound exactly like the vinyl:

    “So for the new album, we had each of the 16 tracks mastered to a 12 inch lacquer and then transferred back to digital format so that the CD and digital version of the record sound just like the vinyl.” source –

    Lastly, vinyl sales equate to 1 percent of total music sales.

  • Grahamtron

    What makes something that takes more work and money hip?? I guess I was more “idealistic” when I was younger, but this “hipness” really escapes me….

  • Pate

    Does anyone remember records skipping live on the radio,and you’re sitting there tuned in and wondering howl long it would take for the DJ to notice?

    • Grahamtron

      No doubt dude – just another reason why vinyl should GO AWAY!!!!!

  • donman

    i am a child of the 60″s and grew up in the 70’s, vinyl was cool just like horses but then they invented cars. my collection of vinyl is still in the attic and includes some master pieces of the beatles and stones but i still go to my collection of cd’s when i want to hear clarity.The king is dead, long live cd’s.

  • Neal

    MP3 is only convenient. We become disconnected from music by having it instantly playable. Vinyl sounds more real; the recording is a physical copy, not a digital recording which is degraded when sold. People can actually appreciate the art form of the album in a way they cant with iPod and others which are full of options and playlists. Most kids don’t experience the artist because they only listen to the hits. The worthwhile music is on vinyl.

  • Tomas Taperecorder

    Hallo people sorri for english. You ar absoluteli right there is nothig like an real Analogue rocord. Digital is onli death image of the sound not the sound it shelf.
    I hope you young people wil more and more recognize the huge diference and go back to Analog records and not just on vinil but get the studio recording beck to tape as it shut bee, and thanks good in the best of studious on the world stil is. All best too all of you Tomas taperecorder SOUND ENGENER

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