Are Record Players Making a Come Back?


Callie Junkins

Record discs, as well as old record covers, are laid out across a table.

Callie Junkins, Staff Writer

The record player turns on with a click, and the static sounds as the needle makes contact with the record. Sound radiates through the speakers as George Harrison’s “Got My Mind Set On You” plays. It isn’t 1987. It’s 2021. Last year was the first year in over a generation that vinyl record sales surpassed the sales of CDs. It’s official, records are making a comeback.

It’s official, records are making a comeback.

Record players first became popular throughout the 1960s. This happened when Dual released the first turntables to provide stereo playback. Record players stayed quite popular throughout the sixties and seventies until the creation of CDs in the eighties. 

The more surprising news is that it’s not the majority of the older generations buying the records. The vast majority of the records are being bought by millennials and Gen Zers. Surveys have shown millennials are the reason record sales rocketed so much. Some people, such as Zoey Violette ’24, like them for their looks. “I think they are really cute. I feel like they can fit in any room,” she said.

A lot of the reason people love records is they are collectibles. People have been collecting records for decades, and there really is a nostalgic aspect to it. Vinyl collectors have been one of the biggest reasons why record sales have gone up so much. Gabe Flannery ’22 said, “I guess what really got me into records was my grandparents. They have records and vinyls from their teen years and I thought of how I would love to have those vinyls when I’m older, to just to remember what music was like when I was younger.”

Some people simply buy records for the music, rather than the collectible aspect. “I like them a lot because I only ever get the vinyls of the artists I love,” said Flannery. “It’s a rare occasion that I get a new one because I make sure I know every song before I buy it!” Violette also goes for records she likes rather than collectibles saying, “I think records are cool things to collect, but I only get ones I already know I like.”

A lot of music fans argue that record players produce better quality audio than today’s mobile devices. People also say the listening experience is better. People often sit to simply listen to a record play rather than just listening to music in the background while you do something. “I think record players give pretty good quality sound unless of course the record is scratched up,” said Violette.  “I just like listening to the whole album, rather than skipping through a bunch of songs.”