Girl, put your records on

Lina Al Taii, Entertainment Editor

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As time goes on, technology continues to develop and grow in an unprecedented manner. Recently, the entertainment store Best Buy announced its plan to remove CD’s from all of its stores, and many people are speculating that Target will follow suit.
Although many people are turning to digital media as apps like Spotify and Apple Music offer more convenient and accessible options, some people are still holding on to old school forms of accessing music. In fact, according to Forbes magazine, 18-24 year olds were responsible for over half of the purchases of physical media in 2017.
Many teenagers are looking to physical media forms like records and CD’s as a way to appreciate music and its history. Collecting records is becoming more and more common among young people, because of the history and meaning behind it.
“It started off when I got a record player for my 14th birthday,” senior Megan Lee said. “My grandma gave me a kick start by giving me some of her old Beatles, Michael Jackson, and Bee Gees vinyls. I was obsessed with The Beatles and really asked for a record player so I had a reason to buy all of their albums.”
Evenmore, collecting records is a great way to find new music and appreciate music that isn’t of this generation. It’s a way for any real music lover to learn more about music and see how far it’s come.
“I started going to record shops and buying used vinyl because I like the cracks and pops the older ones have and they feel more authentic,” Lee said. “So basically, I had just about every Beatles album, bootleg, you name it. Then I got into Led Zeppelin, Elton John, etc. and I kind’ve grown with them and collected them chronologically. I eventually gave in and bought a brand new album when I saw Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” up for grabs. All together, I have to have well over 100 vinyls… collecting records has given me another hobby that broadens my music taste and brings me back to the music my family grew up making and listening to.”
Records are also a form of music that is handed down from generation to generation, and it’s important to note that once stores look to turn fully digital, these important pieces of history could get left behind and become obsolete.
“I have about 60 records now and I started collecting back in 2014,” senior Kendall McCleary said. “The one that means the most to me I would say is the first record that I owned, which my mom got for me. It was the 1975’s first album. It means a lot to me because it was the first record I ever owned and it was the one that started me actually wanting to collect more.”
Furthermore, unlike listening to digital music where it will sound a certain way no matter what, listening to records is an experience you can tailor to your own preference.
“I like it better because the sound for me is like deeper because you can change the base on it, and so you can feel the music more through the speakers than you can if you’re just listening to it on your phone,” McCleary said. “The appeal of owning them and listening to them is just a different experience than listening on a regular speaker.”
The sound of the record also grows the more frequently it’s played, and it shows a true connection with the music.
“My favorite thing about listening to records is the physical aspect of it. You have to set the needle and physically pick it up to mess around with the tracks,” Lee said. “I think the pops and cracks that you get out of listening to them over and over again gives it a broken-in feel and just makes you feel like you’ve really interacted with and enjoyed the music.”
Unlike creating a lengthy playlist of your favorite songs on an app like spotify, owning records gives you an opportunity to showcase your music taste within your collection and even witness it grow as your music taste changes.
“I think the main part of the physical appeal is just being able to show them off,” Lee said. “I have a wall in my room dedicated to vinyl shelves where I just display some of my favorites. Again, I think it just makes you feel closer to the music and the artists.”
People also lean towards purchasing records because of the ability to get different colors and even the same record in different forms.
“I like having a physical copy because especially for records they all look different because you can get different colors, not all of them are black, and I like watching them spin when you put it on to listen to it,” McCleary said.
Although people look towards apps like Spotify and Apple Music because they are presumably cheaper than buying a physical copy, with research and planning, anyone can start a record collection.
“It’s a really expensive hobby to have because like each record is $20 so you have to pick which records you want, wisely,” McCleary said. “You have to be smart about it or else you’re gonna spend way too much money in one go.”
However, there are other options, like purchasing used records from thrift stores, or looking for deals on new records before purchasing them.
“I buy used records all the time that are much cheaper than buying them new,” Lee said. “The used records coincide with my music taste since I love classic rock but even with modern artists, a record with a skip or two knocks down the price without losing a ton of the music. Also, with the current artists that release music on records, they often include digital download codes for free so you pay for the vinyl, but also get the entire album downloaded on your computer/phone for free!”
Stores need to recognize that there is still a consumer demand for physical media forms, and completely removing them from stores shuts out that entire demographic of people. Continuing to sell and produce physical media forms is important to appreciating the progression of music and how far it has come, but also to remember where it all started.
“I would say that some old school media forms are coming back like records,” McCleary said. “It’s smart to keep them around because you can see more clearly the progression of music and especially if you can still use it, like records and record players which you can still buy and use. It’s smart to keep some old things that can still be used.”
With the path music is heading to right now, in the next decade CD’s could become as hard to access or even harder to access than records. Even though the advancements in technology are great and should be appreciated, physical media is still important to have and own, especially for music lovers who want to see and hear the way music was first made.
“I think music is really where I let myself go vintage,” Lee said, “Because it’s such an important aspect of my life and I love seeing and having the roots of where music sharing first began.”