Vinyl records — or, as my favourite Twitter millennials like to call them, “vinyls” — continue to increase in popularity. That much is true. A handful of record stores continue to putter by, pressing plants struggle to keep up with demands, and more and more people are subscribing to the idea that they just sound better. Post a story about someone playing the rings of a tree like a record, and the people will respond positively. Everyone loves vinyl records, it seems.
Of course, the resurgence of a medium that was once thought dead is also catnip for evening news producers hoping for a nice feel-good story to kill time and impress the moms and dads tuning in each night. As such, for over half a decade, the steady incline of vinyl records’ success has been well documented. Practically every news source has run a brief story about how, despite the convenience of digital audio files, vinyl records are making a comeback for their retro sound.
While record store clerks and people who have never stopped collecting vinyl surely scoff at the barrage of phonographic puff pieces, it’s sort of fun to wade through the many, many news stories to find their differences and similarities. While it’s barely scratching the surface, here are 20 wonderful news videos about the resurgence of vinyl.
CBS Evening News
Though they also did a story about the vinyl comeback last year, CBS Evening News also offered a segment about records in 2008. Preserved courtesy of the wonderfully named YouTube user fredturd, the piece is called ‘How Vinyl Got Its Groove Back’ and, in a move that surely keeps record store clerks awake in cold sweats at night, features a graphic describing the spinning discs as “golden oldies.” The clip opens with some classic U2 jams courtesy of a young boy with a giant vinyl collection. The piece also follows an affable young man who looks like Paul from The Wonder Years as he peruses the racks at his local record shop. The video shouts out R.E.M., Coldplay and Madonna, profiles online retailer In Sound and interviews Grammy-winning singer Shelby Lynne (I don’t know who that is, but she must’ve been big in 2008).
CBS wasn’t the only one hopping on the vinyl comeback in 2008, as Green Bay, Wisconsin had their own story about the comeback of records. Uploading it to their YouTube account way back then, they wrote in all-caps, “MANY PEOPLE PUT ON THEIR HEADPHONES AND CRANK UP THE I-POD.. OR THROW A CD IN THE CAR STEREO.. BUT VINYL IS MAKING A COMEBACK.” Bless their hearts. The 90-second segment itself opens with a record playing, of course, the Beatles. From there, the unnamed owner of Amazing Records discusses how records sound better. There’s also a shot of The Vandals’ Oi to the World which, yeah, definitely sounds better than a lot of other records. Since his store also sells guitars, there’s a great part where he plugs in an electric guitar, says, “Oh yeah” and blasts into a blues riff. Oh yeah indeed, dude.
KETV NewsWatch 7
KETV NewsWatch 7, of Omaha, Nebraska, was also up on the vinyl trend when they did a piece in 2008. The video opens with a local vinyl enthusiast named DJ T-Fresh (who was absolutely crushing it as recently as 2012), contains one of many, many puns about records getting their “groove” back, and interviews an employee from a local record store. The interview is hardly in-depth, and save for one Rilo Kiley reference it could’ve used a whole lot more Saddle Creek, but it’s worth it for the closing shot of the new host who, in her business-ready pinstripe pantsuit, pantomimes scratching a record with DJ T-Fresh.
Fox News’ UK equivalent Sky News also had a go at the bloody good news of vinyl’s jolly return. Way back in 2009, they visited Amoeba Records in Los Angeles and documented the return of the record. “Sales of vinyl almost doubled last year,” they said of 2008. Top sellers included Radiohead and Fleet Foxes, though it wouldn’t be a story about vinyl without mention of the Beatles. Of course, since British people are infinitely smarter than their North American counterparts, the piece is much more entertaining and well-crafted than their contemporaries. Bloody hell.
In 2009, NBC News ran a wonderful little piece on the breaking trend. Following an intro from Lester Holt, the clip opens with a long-haired bro playing some tasty blues licks on an unplugged electric guitar. When asked how he prefers to listen to music, however, things get real. “I prefer vinyl, 100 per cent” he says before a record scratch from a ‘90s sitcom disrupts the audio. Even way back then, the news host couldn’t help but ask why he was collecting records instead of mp3s. “It sounds like they’re playing right in the room,” our rugged blues traveller replies. Radiohead and Green Day get shout outs alongside Pink Floyd and Stevie Nicks. In fact, Green Day are even there to discuss the medium, and Billy Joe Armstrong says vinyl is part of his lifestyle.
A News Vancouver Island
The year was 2010. The place was Vancouver Island. The medium was vinyl, which was making a major comeback. As a young man boasts about how vinyl records sound better, the world’s thinnest speakers play the opening riff from AC/DC’s “Back in Black.” The boy uses his hands to explain why records sound better than digital files. Ernie Bach, the owner of Victoria, BC’s Turntable store, explains why vinyl records sound better. He has dyed his soul patch purple. Over in Nanaimo, a guy in a Sunn O))) t-shirt explains that everything you can imagine is getting reissued. If only he knew how bad it would get over the next five years.
Over in Fort Wayne, Indiana, ABC affiliate 21 ALIVE offered a news segment on their city’s vinyl boom in 2010. The nice lady who introduces the clip, in a stunning display of wit and wordplay, mentions that “records are getting their groove back.” There are shots of albums from Lady Gaga and Muddy Waters, and the narrator says a local record store owner gives vinyl sales “a pressing endorsement.” Then, he points out that prices are going up due to demand, showcasing that a new Nirvana double-LP will run you $33. It wouldn’t be a vinyl segment without a Beatles reference, and there’s a prominent Yellow Submarine decal in the background while a young boy says, “When I buy vinyls, I think of it more as a collectors item and it’s not just about the music.” The segment closes, as any good vinyl resurgence story should, with news on how you can convert your old vinyl records into digital music files.
KSBW Action News 8
Covering Salinas, California and its surrounding area, KSBW Action News 8 is ready for all of your breaking action news. It’s right there in their name. So when that action includes a years-old resurgence of a still-niche market, you know they’re gonna give you the straight goods. This report from 2011 opens with plenty talk about newfangled iPods (and, gasp, that people store music on their phones, too) before breaking into how mp3s are compressed, while vinyl records are not. There’s an image of a 45 featuring the Sun Records logo from your dad’s favourite t-shirt, and the clip prominently features some IRL Beatles records (played on a Crosley, natch). They should really trade those in, they’re probably worth a mint. It’s not all old stuff, however — there’s also reference to the White Stripes, Arcade Fire and Metallica, as well as a shot of a Christina Aguilera record. Bonus points for mentioning the concept of the album as a piece of art, and double bonus points for boasting about how you can rip vinyl records to your computer. By the way, has anyone ever actually done that?
AFP News Agency
The AFP News Agency offered up a report in January of 2012, just three mere years ago, about Black Gold Records, a Brooklyn cafe who, get this, sell some crackly ol’ vinyl records alongside their coffees. The establishment’s owner posits that records sound almost as good as the real thing, pausing briefly before mentioning that they may even sound better. Better than real life! Respect to him for his Descendents mug, though.
Think Fox News is too busy spewing hateful rhetoric to reference our record resurrection? Think again, bub. The station offered up a story about records in 2013, rather cleverly asserting, like so many other stations, that records have gotten their “groove” back. As a man who looks like he’s cosplaying an extra from Dick Tracy explains, people are going to vinyl because “they find that vinyl is more fun, and they enjoy the experience.” Incredibly, Thurston Moore is filmed looking through a crate of records at the 37-second mark, though he’s never interviewed. Maybe he just happened to be in the store while they were filming.
WOWT 6 News
In 2012, Omaha’s WOWT 6 News did their own story about vinyl’s comeback, but I guess we had to be there — unfortunately, they’ve only uploaded a 15-second teaser of the story to YouTube. And it looks like a doozy, too. There’s a Beatles record, a guy saying “you hear it the way it was meant to be heard,” a dude with stretched lobes and a Led Zeppelin shirt saying records are “just… good,” and a pawn shop owner with a bright shirt and a black vest — the vinyl revival’s own Willy Wonka. I want to see this full story so bad!
CNN got into the vinyl pressing game with their own story about vinyl’s comeback in 2013. As could be expected, they made reference to dusting off the records, the fact that Best Buy sells them and, of course, a visit to a vinyl pressing plant in Brooklyn. There’s also, in 2013, reference to the growing indie rock scene and their desire for smaller runs of records. Naturally, there’s mention of Record Store Day, how vinyl just sounds better, a Beatles record and, as is a weirdly common thread through these stories, shots of a disco ball.
WNG 9 News
Over in Chicago, WNG 9 News offered their own take on a sudden surge in vinyl sales in 2013, dedicating a full “cover story” to the breaking phenomenon. The clip opens with, naturally, a vinyl pressing of Led Zeppelin (despite the “Whole Lotta Love” riff playing on top of it being from Led Zeppelin II, jeez) as a montage of record sections blast across the screen. Robert Plant. Santana. Mozart. Heart. Yes, all of music’s greatest are getting in on the vinyl craze. A 14-year-old boy says that vinyl’s imperfections give them “a sense of being.” Finding a new spin on the many vinyl puns, they say the resurgence of vinyl has helped “turn the tables.” Don’t worry, though, there’s still a ubiquitous Beatles record. And footage of Lenny Kravitz discussing vinyl during a Hunger Games press junket.
Jewish News One
I’m sure, by now, a lot of you ware wondering what the UK’s Jewish News One thinks about all of this. Well, in 2013, they told us loud and clear. Vinyl records are making a comeback, citing releases from Daft Punk, the Arctic Monkeys and the Killers as examples of the medium’s rise. Of course, since it was made by wonderful and intelligent British people, it still features some fantastic turns of phrase. For example, Gennero Castaldo of the British Recorded Music Industry described vinyl as a part of the “mythology around rock ’n’ roll, really,” adding that it “gave a kiss of life” to the music industry. Hell, even when a British HMV manager uses words like “retro” it’s adorable, not tacky.
In 2013, the Associated Press took their own crack at crackly vinyl records. Opening with the familiar white noise of “Despite mp3s and digital sales…” they offer a brief glimpse inside a pressing plant. At the very least, they’ve gone beyond the regular route, looking into the Czech Republic plant at GZ Media. It’s kinda boring, but it closes with a real clincher: “Thanks to the retro trend, the company has found [pregnant pause for emphasis] record success.”
CCTV America, the United States division of China Central Television, threw their own vinyl story into the ether in 2013. Vinyl, they say, is “sticking a needle in the face of technology.” The producers visit Rooky Ricardo’s in San Francisco, and the store’s owner describes what it’s like to be in business during the boom. Then an Irish guy named Dermot compares mp3s to having too many lovers, saying that “it gets boring.” After the newscaster pulls a Lionel Richie LP, he heads to Amoeba, where the camera focuses in on a hooded old man looking at a Rush album.
Just last year, Bloomberg Business stopped by Rainbo Records, one of the more popular pressing plants. The piece gets bonus points for containing the phrase, “If you want to know why vinyl is hot, look no further than rap artist Macklemore.” From there, they follow poor Rainbo employees as they package Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s The Heist box set. Plus there’s a suit who explains how the oversized headshots included in box sets is an added bonus, as it “speaks to their brand.” Respect to the reporter for dressing down in a hip, pre-distressed New York City t-shirt.
Have you ever wondered what Al Jazeera thinks of the vinyl resurgence? They did a report last September about the comeback of spinning black discs. That said, this one follows Zero Freitos, a Brazil-based collector with one of the world’s largest vinyl warehouses. With no mention of Record Store Day, The Beatles or Radiohead, and a well-crafted narrative, it’s actually an excellent little piece of journalism that’s worth watching.
Rock Hill Herald
Rock Hill, North Carolina’s Herald newspaper is responsible for this quaint little clip from mere months ago. Bill Broyhill, delightful middle-aged owner of the Record Cellar, opens up by admitting that the vinyl resurgence has been going on for six to eight years before going on to offer that familiar maxim that records just sound better. Bonus points for inclusion of Debbie Reynold’s Do It Debbie’s Way, an album currently fetching $3.49 at Discogs.
Think the vinyl comeback is old news? WKRC in Cincinatti would beg to differ, giving the resurgence a report in November of 2014. Focusing on Record Store Day (not to do the editor of WKRC’s job for them but it was actually Record Store Day’s Black Friday edition), the clip opens with a spinning single of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” asking if this is real life or fantasy. Yes, as fantastical as it sounds, this is real life baby. Vinyl is back. The clip also interviews a man who managed to snag one of those extremely rare copies of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours. Damn, enjoy early retirement dude. There’s also a Doors reissue, and a guy holding up a vinyl copy of Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill who says he likes the sound of vinyl, and the quality, and the grooves. Because you haven’t heard “Hand in My Pocket” until you’ve heard it on 180gram virgin wax. The clip ends with a nice narrative from the news broadcaster recalling her days of listening to ABBA on vinyl as a child.