Don't throw away your old turntable. Vinyl records are making a mini-comeback, according to the latest data from the Recording Industry Association of America. In 2007, RIAA estimates that 1.3 million vinyl LPs and EPs were shipped in the United States. That's up for the first time since 2004, when shipments were at 1.36 million (in 2006 they fell to 900,000). Recording artists like Elvis Costello prefer vinyl for the superior sound -- and perhaps the harder-to-steal format has some appeal, too. Wired music critic Eliot Van Buskirk noticed the trend back in October when he wrote this column, which explained the phenomena:
Golden-eared audiophiles have long testified to vinyl's warmer, richer sound. And now demand for vinyl is on the rise. Pressing plants that were already at capacity are staying there, while others are cranking out more records than they did last year in order to keep pace with demand. Don MacInnis, owner of Record Technology in Camarillo, California, predicts production will be up 25 percent over last year by the end of 2007. And he's not talking about small runs of dance music for DJs, but the whole gamut of music: "new albums, reissues, majors and indies ... jazz, blues, classical, pop and a lot of (classic) rock."