Vinyl revival: Records are now outselling CDs

Posted at 9:32 AM, Jan 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-07 09:32:03-05

NEW YORK — The calendar may say 2020, but when it comes to buying music it feels more like the 1980s.

That's because for the first time in more than two decades, vinyl record albums are outselling CDs.

Vintage record shop Shake It is enjoying the renaissance in vinyl LPs.

"A little bit more, a little bit more, and now it's really kind of steamrolled." said co-owner Jim Blase. "It's probably two-thirds of what we sell."

Blase said vinyl used to appeal to older customers reliving their youth, but now millennials like Jake Dennis make up the biggest vinyl buyers.

"It gives you much more warmer sound, and I just prefer it a lot better than, you know, like the digital," said Dennis.

Blase said there's something about vinyl – the look, the feel, especially the cover art – that you just can't get from a CD or streaming. "It's a piece of art. Bands and artists will fight over what the cover looks like, often more than the songs."

Lisa Walker is with the indie-rock band Wussy. To her, every vinyl album connects her with a time and place.

"If I pick up a record, I can think of what I was doing when I first listened to that record, or the friends that I was talking to or hanging out with," said Walker.

Shake It Records now sells turntables to spin your vinyl, from state-of-the-art Bluetooth models to replica 1950s Crosley record players. And families are snapping them up.

While 90% of music purchased these days is downloaded, vinyls are still just a small percentage of music sales. But next time you want to buy an album, consider vinyl.