The Return Of The Black Circle
Back in 1994 Eddie Vedder revealed his love of vinyl in the Pearl Jam single "Spin The Black Circle". It was a "not-so-cool" thing for a rock star of the 90s like Vedder to do. Especially at a time when vinyl records were a relic of the past. Fast forward 20 years in the future and that beautiful black circle Eddie was singing so passionately about is "cool" again.
Just recently I was walking through the mall and decided to stop into Best Buy for a look around. As soon as I walked in there it was. Much to my pleasant surprise there was a display of vinyl record players on sale. They were brand new...at the front of the store....on display for teenagers and 20-somethings to see. The last time I saw record players on display they were positioned across the aisle from the brand new KISS album "Dynasty".
I can't say I was shocked by what I saw. Over the last decade the interest in vinyl has been slowly creeping back to prominence. Since 2008 "Record Store Day" has come around around every spring reminding music fans that vinyl is still alive and well. In fact, according to a recent article by Fortune, as of 2015 sales of vinyl records were up by over 30% to just over $415 million. It's been almost 30 years since the number was that high.
Does this mean the vinyl-record business is now a multi-billion dollar industry? Not quite. But maybe it's right where it should be. It's no longer on the over-saturation radar of corporations. It's strictly there for those who love the sound of vinyl and the unique visual experience it brings to the music fan.
I grew up with a father and an old brother who had a ton of vinyl records. From the swing-era of Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey to the classic rock era of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin there was no shortage of music on vinyl in my house.
Just recently Marty and I were talking about one of our favorite bands Jethro Tull. He went down to his cellar and grabbed his old albums from the band. They are as impressive to look at as the day I first set eyes on them. Even more so I would say. They have taken on a vintage feel. He gave me his copy of "Thick As A Brick", an album that pulls out into a newspaper, articles and all. He then handed me the band's album "Stand Up". Open the gatefold and there are the band members on cardboard literally standing up. Brilliant!
A friend of mine recently told me that his 18 year old son was packing up for his first year of college. He wanted to bring his entire vinyl collection with him to school. It turns out that vinyl is pretty much all his son listens to these days. Once he dropped the needle on his first record he never looked back.
So to you vinyl lovers of all ages keep dropping those needles. Keep buying those records. Keep spinning those black circles. And while you're at it give Pearl Jam's "Spin The Black Circle" a listen. Preferably on vinyl.
You can listen to Eric Senich live on Saturdays from 10am to 3pm on 95.1 FM. You can also listen online by clicking here or by downloading the radioPup app for your mobile device.