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For the Record:  Vinyl That Is..

By Jeffrey Pearson ISA

1/1/2012


It isn't uncommon to see the everyday items of our past make it back into the mainstream again.  We are in the middle of the largest format revolution since the advent of the compact disc; but this time, young people all over the world are picking up a once forgotten format: vinyl records.  Almost extinct, vinyl records, especially the full-length LPs that helped define the golden era of rock in the 1960s and '70s, are suddenly cool again.  I'm here to tell you that vinyl is back in a big way and some could be of a value to you more than just sentimentally.


First and foremost, if you ask record collectors it's the sound quality they love the most about vinyl. Then of course, there is the element of "collectability".   Collectors buy vinyl as an investment in hopes that over time the records will appreciate in value; I myself hope that The Oak Ridge Boys greatest hits becomes a collector's dream only because I have fond memories growing up in Minnesota but I don't see that happening anytime soon.


Some of the new fans are baby boomers nostalgic for their youth and to the surprise and delight of those music lovers of past, increasing numbers of what had been deemed as "the iPod generation" are also purchasing turntables (or dusting off dad's), buying long-playing vinyl records and giving them a spin.  They are also drawn to actually owning a physical product and enjoying the ritual that is involved in listening to a record. The album cover artwork and the sound have all lured youngsters in the hobby of collecting vinyl records as well; however, both the cover and the album must be in prime condition.


Did you know that known murderer Charles Manson had released records back in the 1960's?  Many underground record collectors know this and have helped establish vinyl albums as a big business. The old records on the auction sites, as well as the hundreds of other vinyl related web sites, are not selling their collectible vinyl for rummage sale prices.  It isn't just the garage sales, estate sales and record and music conventions that carry collectible vinyl, the online community has responded as well such as the auction sites, and literally hundreds of web sites that exclusively sell vinyl in any and every musical genre.  In fact, at any given moment there may be more than six thousand collectible Beatles' albums for sale on eBay. Some have sold for thousands of dollars, and it is reported that the album that is bought and sold the most in vinyl format is the Beatles' "White Album"? 


I can assure you it is not only the Beatles that sell well.  I recently went through a client's vast collection of 6,000 records, and I never would have guessed a Miles Davis album could have a value of $425.00.  The value was concluded for how well the album cover and vinyl conditions were and the age of the pressing and that particular title.  Cole Porter, Ella Fitzgerald, Henry Mancini, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, and even newer artists such as Nirvana are highly sought after. There is also a peaked interest in mid-century modern furniture and style, which means Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Connie Francis and many other lounge and jazz musicians are being picked up left and right.


The resurgence in the sale and visibility of vinyl records has begun!  Along with this is an increase in the hobby of vinyl record collecting and album cover art. This hobby is as old as records themselves, and a wonderful hobby that will continue to thrill its participants for years to come.




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