The resurgence of records and turntables has brought back a tangible quality to music that often felt lost in digital decades. It’s what’s known as the Vinyl Revival.
Let’s rewind for a second and break down the history of vinyl:
1800s: Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville invents the earliest known recording sound device, the phonautograph. In 1877, Thomas Edison kicks it up a notch with the phonograph, which could both record and replay sound. Fast forward a decade later, and Emile Berliner patents the gramophone, which is the basis of what we now know as the OG record player.
1900s: Vinyl undergoes a series of material makeovers until 1901, when the Victor Company released its Red Seal line, which played 10-inch, 78-rpm records. For the beginning of the 20th century, recording companies struggled to move past short-playing discs.
1960s: The stereophonic LP overtakes sales of its monophonic counterpart in the late ’60s.
1980s: The digital compact disc enters the mainstream and vinyl loses its industry dominance.
2000s: Vinyl records make a niche-market resurgence — manufactured and sold on a smaller scale throughout the ’90s — and by 2014, 9.2 million vinyl records were sold in the US, a 260 percent increase from 2009.
Today, the vinyl revival is not only changing the way we listen to music, but also the way we discover it. We spoke to Lily — a passionate record collector who presses albums to vinyl for new artists — on why the vinyl revival is a thing.