If there is one trend in the music industry that is causing a bit of a stir it is that vinyl is making a historic comeback. While this cannot be attributed to DJing on its own, in fact I think most of it is from students wanting to have something to discuss at their chosen coffee shop, it is an intriguing turnaround worth looking at.
Vinyl is making a historic comeback after decades of declining sales
With the introduction of CD’s vinyl sales unsurprisingly began to decline. CD’s are smaller, lighter and much more durable than their vinyl predecessors making vast collections of records redundant. The amount of space needed just to store them was vast. Not to mention the actual weight of them.
Any vinyl DJ can tell you how much of a pain taking records to a gig was. Hell I remember carrying Trevor Nelson’s records a few hundred feet from the loading bay to the DJ booth at a Student event at UWE in Bristol around 15 years ago. From that point on even I was convinced that my records needed to go, even my precious limited edition Café Del Mar – Energy 52 album. So will the vinyl DJ once again be back in vogue? I really don’t think so for several reasons. Depending on the genre of music and what you play there are several reasons I do not think vinyl will make a real come back.
Why DJ’s won’t return to Vinyl
The number of remixes available as MP3’s is so vast any other format pales in comparison. By returning to vinyl you would actually be restricting your choice and potentially alienating your fans. Vinyl is so heavy I cannot see any DJ’s thinking about the good old days of choosing a limited number of records for a set. A set restricted by the weight of the records and how many would fit into a few flight cases.
The type of music being released on vinyl appears to be more albums than singles. Vinyl music releases are also more focused on bands and soundtracks rather than dance, trance, techno or R & B. Vinyl albums have always had large album art due to their size. It is what made them collectors items in the first place and this I can see continuing in the future.
Using digital formats allows you to store many cue points on memory sticks which you are not able to do with vinyl records. The best you can do is use a sticker to mark a point on a vinyl record. These can of course fall off over time and you can only really have one because if there are more the record will stop when it hits the next sticker.
Could Vinyl make a DJ comeback? It is yet to be seen and I think it is purely wishful thinking to believe vinyl is making a historic comeback. With the advances in technology and the benefits it offers it is hard to see how vinyl could ever take back its position. It will however be interesting to see how this develops.