The music world is abuzz. Vinyl records are coming back and with a vengeance. They are the latest craze with bands and fans alike, and the trend is only growing. According to data collected by Billboard, in the first quarter of 2015 vinyl record sales had increased by 53 percent. This is no small curve.
While some still believe the physical music business is a dying breed, this isn’t holding back the inspirations of many shop owners. Opening a record store during a time when music is most popular within the confines of the digital format is no small task, but Revolution Vinyl owner Amy Moser is nothing but confident. Located at 429 E Main St., Revolution Vinyl aims to give vinyl a home in Galesburg.
“The reception from the town has been overwhelmingly positive,” Moser said, “I can’t stress enough how great the people here have been since we opened earlier this year. There have been times when people have brought me in records just to have and tell me how they wish me the best and hope the store does well. It’s really a fantastic feeling.”
Moser is adamant about creating a “place where people can just come to hang out,” Knox students included. Moser stressed that Revolution Vinyl is more than just a store, but a place where people can come together and enjoy music.
On Sept. 26, Revolution Vinyl held their grand opening, inviting many local bands to come out and perform in the store. The concert was a great success not only for the bands, but for bringing newfound interest to the store. Vinyls were sold left and right, and many concertgoers enjoyed the music and food being served at the event.
Amongst the lineup was Knox-alumni band Sedgewick. “I think this is a very important type of store,” said Sam Brownson ‘13, the band’s vocalist and lead guitarist. “There is a reason many outlets are starting to put more of an emphasis on vinyl. There is just something about it that can’t be replicated by a CD. The artwork, the sound, the turn-table itself; there are so many reasons why people love vinyl more than any other format.”
According to Jake Hawrylak ‘13, the band’s bassist, “Another huge factor for me is the intimacy of the music. You can’t skip around tracks and go through it in whatever order you like. The record is a set design that can only be played in one order, unless you take the time to move the needle extra precisely. It feels more complete, more alive.”
In regard to releasing a vinyl album, Brownson said the band has considered the idea. “Of course, we would release the album digitally alongside it, but that gives listeners the option either way. Most people would rather sit down and enjoy a record rather than a CD in a stereo, and by giving it digitally as well, it gives them another way to listen. It’s the way things are being done now, and I could see the CD format dying off within a few years,” Brownson explained.
Record stores and bands may be in the spotlight for this new trend, but what about stores that sell music as a secondary means? The Antique Mall seems to think this opportunity is in their grasp as well.
“We have regulars come in all the time and pick up a record or two every week,” said Carly Kervin, a saleswoman from the Antique Mall. “They don’t sell in the highest number amongst other items in the store, but they are a constant source of revenue that we can count on. I see stores like Revolution Vinyl as a concept that can certainly work, especially in today’s market.”
With the renewed desire for vinyl music, stores are blowing off the dust and putting their records back on display. It’s clear that the vinyl industry has its eyes focused high on the future, and it isn’t slowing down. The record store comeback is in full swing, and businesses like Revolution Vinyl are leading the charge.