The Herald Magazine - - NEWS - JAMIE GOODSELL

We all had one. A lo­cal record shop where we spent far too much time. Which one was yours? Bruce’s Records? Lis­ten? The lo­cal branch of Wool­worths?

You would go there and browse the racks. Ex­am­ine the cov­ers. Try to imag­ine what the mu­sic might sound like. Maybe you would take the record out of its sleeve, hold it at the edges, check for scratches. And then you would take your pur­chase home, put the nee­dle on the record and wait for that an­tic­i­pa­tory crackle to break through the speak­ers.

A thing of the past? Not quite. Vinyl sales have been on the rise in re­cent years. Last year more than nine mil­lion records were sold in the UK, mak­ing up 16% of phys­i­cal al­bum sales. These are still niche num­bers, but it turns out re­ports of vinyl’s death have been greatly ex­ag­ger­ated.

It’s a re­turn from near death cel­e­brated in Jen­nifer Ot­ter Bick­erdike’s new book Why Vinyl Mat­ters, in which the au­thor asks mu­si­cians and DJs that very ques­tion. “There’s snob ap­peal, for sure,” notes one of her in­ter­vie­wees, the novelist Nick Hornby. “Vinyl looks great, the cov­ers are cool, the for­mat is fash­ion­ably retro, and so on.

“But I sus­pect that many young peo­ple are tak­ing the po­si­tion that old-school mu­sic nerds adopted: what you own says some­thing about you.”

© 2018 ACC Edi­tions

Taken from Why Vinyl Mat­ters by Jen­nifer Ot­ter Bick­erdike, pub­lished by ACC Edi­tions, priced £25

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