Rise of the 12 Inch (PAUSE!)

Wired Magazine published an article on it’s website today detailing the resurrection of vinyl in the wake of slumping CD sales.

The writer, Eliot Van Buskirk, states:

Pressing plants are ramping up production, but where is the demand coming from? Why do so many people still love vinyl, even though its bulky, analog nature is anathema to everything music is supposed to be these days? Records, the vinyl evangelists will tell you, provide more of a connection between fans and artists. And many of today’s music fans buy 180-gram vinyl LPs for home listening and MP3s for their portable devices.

I’d tend to agree with him and whoever he spoke to for this article. Just this past weekend I found myself storing away some crates of vinyl in a closet, and stopping to ask myself if I really needed all this shit? It was rhetorical question. Of course I need it. Even though I have a lot of the same songs and albums stored as mp3′s on a hard drive and in itunes, I still enjoy vibing out to records. And of course vinyl is better to sample from than mp3 or CD.

But to insinuate that vinyl is making a comeback? That it’s on the rise? Eh. I don’t know about that. I’m not sure if I can count on two hands how many hip-hop DJs I know who would trade in their Serato, Traktor Scratch, or Torq to start lugging around crates again. Yeah sure, vinyl sounds better than CDs and mp3s, but still, nothing beats convenience.

I get it though. Some people are die-hard music fans and audiophiles, and they want the best sounding shit possible for their home-listening experience. These are not DJs, but fans. Remember those? Ya’know, people who listen to music because they genuinely like it and not because they wanna be the first person to post it on a blog? Hip-hop sure needs a few more of those kind of people. Perhaps then the business of music will become profitable again. But alas, I digress.

I think the major labels could benefit from something the indies that the writer spoke to are doing:

Because these music fans also listen using portable players and computers, Matador and other labels include coupons in record packaging that can be used to download MP3 versions of the songs.

Maybe they already do this, what with all these ramped up versions of CDs that are on the market. I wouldn’t know because I myself stopped buying CDs back in 2000. Shame on me.

I pose the question to the readers though. If you knew you could buy an album on vinyl and get a free download of the mp3 version along with that, would you fork over the money for the vinyl or what?

-Paul Cantor

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  • http://www.xxlmag.com MGG

    I havent DJed in a minute. But, I still don’t know why people would want to do away with their records. Don’t computers crash? And Paul, a minor tidbit from this post reminded me a post I need to get around to writing. Thanks for the reminder.

  • http://www.myspace.com/big_dee_el Dee El

    Yes, Yes I would buy that album, with or without the MP3.

    Dee El Sends

  • ri067953

    Yo, nice post! I grew up in the age of cassettes and maxi singles so I can relate to this article. However, I believe that the instant gratification granted by music downloads will keep any other medium from becoming popular ever again. I grew up listening to full albums by an artist, not just a single or one hot song. However, because mainstream hip-hop is so saturated with sub-par music, fans will not go to a store to buy an album or cd or anything else. Why would they? It is much easier for them to hop on itunes, preview tracks and pick and choose the songs that they like. With that being said, for those of us that did not grow up in the “digital age” we can appreciate going out to a store and buying the entire package. I miss not having album covers and linear notes and all that stuff. But the convience of digital downloads trumps all of that. I consider myself an audiophile and can appreciate the warmth of the sound that comes from vinyl, but most of it is lost in translation if the artist is using a digital medium to record their music which happens to be the norm for hip-hop music.

  • thoreauly77

    “If you knew you could buy an album on vinyl and get a free download of the mp3 version along with that, would you fork over the money for the vinyl or what?”

    um, YES! absolutely. most people will say no of course because they don’t have a record player.

  • Casey

    CDs aren’t dead, and if they were the reason they died would mean that vinyl would never come back…

  • Crimson

    “If you knew you could buy an album on vinyl and get a free download of the mp3 version along with that, would you fork over the money for the vinyl or what?”

    As a dj, I would if it was really dope. I just recently switched over to Serato and it’s a lot more convenient, but I do notice sometimes that the sound quality sucks…it’s a subtle thing that I don’t think about but has the effect of making me listen to music less. On the other hand, it sucks to pay money for shit that you know everybody is getting for free.

  • Daniel

    “If you knew you could buy an album on vinyl and get a free download of the mp3 version along with that, would you fork over the money for the vinyl or what?”

    I’ve been waiting for this

  • INF


  • Hotshzzo

    Records and cassette would bring record sales back up because you can’t download a cassette or vinyl. Stop digital sales and cd, bring back tape and records and I bet sales will sky rocket once everyone purches record players

  • Trickdd


  • M.Z.

    I would… as long as it came with the cd booklet.

  • Tek

    Here at Warner Bros we include a copy of the CD in the vinyl package. That way you can upload it if you want when you buy the record. I think thats the most convenient way to do it.

  • big nick digga

    Let’s be for real. Back in the day when you bought an album, you would listen to the whole album. Nowadays, there is hardly a cd that’s released that I would listen to all the way thru without skipping tracks.

  • Tyro

    i’ll to take this opportunity to say that HOVA is best Rapper i’ve ever listened to… New york new york. so from now on is ROC in good times and bad for life…
    i’ve been so so lost i’ve been so whack.I need a hip hop education right now.
    man niggas got to rescue hip hop from this southern trap.
    American Gangster.

  • http://putyabootson.blogspot mick

    vinyl for ever

  • BK Cyph

    Nah I wouldn’t but Vinyl- I just dont have that much storage space.
    The 6 or 7 crates of records that I do have are hard enough to find space for without trippin’ over ‘em.

  • Ryan

    I love to buy vinyl, I’m a collector so it means a lot to me to get a piece of vinyl. A lot of other genres make limited runs of the initial pressing of albums on color vinyl and whatnot, it makes it more fun than buying a pedestrian CD or something of that nature. I think I posted a week or two ago that a few allbums I bought on vinyl had the MP3 coupon in them as well…

  • http://www.pmpworldwide.com AZ

    That may be a option for the older heads but the problem is the music coming out nowadays doesn’t speak to that same audience

    For the young heads they don’t even know where to purchase some 1200′s

  • Rick Pain

    I’m a serato dj but I would only buy vinyl again if the song was good. Most of the shit out right now isn’t even worth the hard drive space therefore we just take it for free.

  • cereal killa

    As much as I love downloading leaked music off the Internet, I can’t help but miss the days when these same leaked songs would be considered B-sides. Now with so much music being leaked daily, often from the cutting floor of an album, music like this could have a physical place on vinyl, and not on a dead Zshare link. If only the record companies could figure it out. Sure it would cost money to press up singles again with said B-sides, but if you make it, they will come. Just peep how many people download those leaked songs. Good or bad, that’s wasted money! Maybe artists don’t care, that’s why the songs are leaked in the first place. But if the record companies did like Gooch said, and gave out mp3 versons with 12″, you’d make everyone (overnight serato deejays, collectors, artists, music retailers…Tower Records R.I.P, nerds) happy. But they’re not in the business of making people happy, at leat not anymore.

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