The New Stuff

Reasons Why Millennials Love the Vinyl


[Written by Ben Schultz, is an award-winning journalist and music critic and is published in vinylloversunite.]

Millennials may not have some things—decent job opportunities and pay, reliable social safety nets, a non-screwed-up ecosystem—but they do have plenty of options for consuming music. For the more technologically savvy, there are digital downloads and streaming. For the Luddites, there are CDs and cassettes (though finding machines that play the latter can be a bit problematic).

With all of these choices, why would a Millennial buy vinyl? As someone who qualifies as a Millennial—I’m on the older end of the spectrum—here are six reasons I can think of.

Status

We should probably get this one out of the way now: Some Millennials buy vinyl because other Millennials buy vinyl. It’s the high school mentality—boys and girls want to sit at the cool kids’ table.

I imagine that some older readers are already firing off one of those oh-so-enlightening spiels about the kids nowadays. I would invite these fine folks to meditate on their own dubious aesthetic choices of yesteryear (Ultra-wide-collar shirts, anyone? Pet rocks? “Disco Duck?”).

Done? Good. Let’s move on…

Sound

People talk about how vinyl sounds “warmer” or more vivid than digital files or CDs do. To some extent, this is subjective. It also depends on recording and mastering, the quality of your speakers and so on. My point is that Millennials like vinyl for the same reason Baby Boomers and Gen X-ers do: They like the sound of it.

Art

Mark Richardson put it very nicely in a 2013 op-ed for Pitchfork. Vinyl LPs, he wrote, “are beautiful objects and CDs have always looked like plastic office supplies.”

Records and record covers can be works of art in themselves. I once bought an old copy of Al Green’s 1973 album Livin’ for You. I’ve never actually played it—the record’s not in the best shape and I already had it on CD—but boy, it’s cool just to have the cover in 12” x 12”.

If you haven’t seen or heard Livin’ for You—a great album, by the way—the cover’s a painting of Green standing in what looks like fire with a golden, feminine arm handing him a rose. I’ll let you ponder the psychological implications of that.

Nostalgia

For some Millennials, vinyl could bring back childhood memories. I can remember looking through my parents’ record collection when I was younger. They actually had a copy of The Velvet Underground and Nico (they’d peeled part of the banana and taped it back in place). They also had three copies of Born to Run.

Guilty Pleasures

In this age of kitsch and irony, used vinyl can be a godsend. One time, I bought a copy of Don Johnson’s 1986 album Heartbeat for 99 cents. The music hasn’t aged very well, but I figured it’d make a fantastic white elephant gift.

I ended up giving it to a twenty-something friend for Christmas. He was quite amused.

(Sidenote: Look up the credits for Heartbeat sometime. You’ll be amazed at who plays on it.)

Hidden Treasures

At the same time, if you’re a Millennial of discerning taste, you can find some amazing stuff for ridiculously cheap. I once found a copy of Lefty Frizzell Sings the Songs of Jimmie Rodgers in good condition for only $2.50.

_________________________________________

Unified Manufacturing is an L.A. -based one-stop-shop that offers very affordable CD/DVD/USB replication, custom printing, promotional products, warehousing and fulfillment and many more. If you need an Instant Quote on a project and you want FREE SHIPPING, simply CLICK HERE.

Share

Recently Published

»

8 Reasons Why It’s Time You Release Music in USB

Many musicians, from Bob Marley to Lady Gaga, have released albums in ...

»

8 K-pop Albums with the Prettiest CD Packaging

The Koreans are really good at marketing their stuff and we should ...

»

10 Impractical But Totally Pretty Blu-ray Box Sets and Packaging

Sometimes, we just want to throw away money on special edition blu ...

»

5 Tips on Conceptualizing Your CD Packaging

It isn’t as easy as finding a good image for your CD artwork, ...

»

Bluray Packaging: Wes Anderson’s Film Collection

DIRECTOR WES ANDERSON is known for his meticulous visual style, ...

»

Music Packaging: VÄG’s 70s Vibe Vinyl Packaging and Merch

Yes, their name is VÄG, and yes, they know what it means. But in ...

»

9 Clear Vinyl Records That Are Just So Stunning

Crystal-clear vinyl records look so neat that you’d want to ...

»

8 Impressive CD Mailers and CD Folders

If you need to mail a CD or DVD, you might as well put it in ...

»

The 5 Most Common Challenges Every Musician Face and How to Handle Them

Every musician, whether a beginner or someone who’s been around ...

Read previous post:
david bowie ziggy stardust
Best of the Best: Our Top Advice Articles for Indie Musicians

Hi folks! What have you been up to? Aside from the usual busyness of making CDs, vinyl and whatnot, we're...

Close