Vinyl Rules!

127 Vinyl Rules![pullquote quote=”This is the best year for vinyl sales since 1991.” credit=”Terri Hemmert”]Well yesterday I shared the bad news that overall album sales dropped 13 percent in 2010. That got me on a rant about how much I miss some of the legendary record stores in Chicago, and the people that worked there…not to get rich but because they loved music. The response was overwhelming, so I’m not alone in missing a part of our music culture. Thanks to those who have responded. Keep the discussion going. Like to know which stores you miss and plug the ones you love now. They are few and far between and could use the support. Click on to our Facebook page for a ton of store names and memories that will hopefully trigger some of your own.

So how bout some good news. With all the sales numbers going down, the one that went up was sales of vinyl increased by 14% over 2009. They sold around 2.8 million units. This is the best year for vinyl sales since 1991. CDs were hot then and vinyl was considered old and in the way. In fact a lot of us bought CDs of albums we already had on vinyl, which make the music industry happy. But now, vinyl is back. I noticed in my history of rock and soul class at Columbia College that students were coming into class with 12″ bags full of vinyl. One night a student was thrilled to show me that he found a used two record set of the best of Louis Jordan. This is one of the reasons I teach! Made my day.

The best selling vinyl artists for 2010 were [lastfm]The Beatles[/lastfm], [lastfm]The Black Keys[/lastfm], [lastfm]Radiohead[/lastfm], [lastfm]Arcade Fire[/lastfm], [lastfm]Jimi Hendrix[/lastfm], [lastfm]The National[/lastfm], [lastfm]Pavement[/lastfm], [lastfm]Pink Floyd[/lastfm], [lastfm]Metallica[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Bob Dylan[/lastfm]. The top selling new albums on vinyl were The Suburbs by [lastfm]Arcade Fire[/lastfm], Brothers by [lastfm]The Black Keys[/lastfm], Contra by [lastfm]Vampire Weekend[/lastfm] and High Violet by [lastfm]The National[/lastfm]. All those strong contenders for album of the year for XRT people. We’ll find out more Thursday night when we broadcast the results of the 2010 WXRT Listener Poll. The overall bestselling vinyl album in 2010 was…….(drum roll please, Ringo)…Abbey Road by [lastfm]The Beatles[/lastfm]!

So let’s hear from you. Do you still buy vinyl? Why?

Gotta go. Time to turn the record over to the other side.

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One Comment

  1. E.K. Miller says:

    Great article Terri!
    As soon as I get my turntable repaired, I will be buying more vinyl!

  2. Jack says:

    Some time around 1968, I started going to Paul’s Record Shop on the Plaza Del Lago behind my house in Wilmette and looking at and listening to… and finally buying the LPs that I read about in the review sections of ‘Hi-Fidelity’ and ‘Stereophonic Music’ magazines that my dad subscribed to during those days of Dynaco tube amps and Garrard and Dual turntables…

  3. Crockett says:

    180g and 200g Virgin Vinyl = THE BEST!

  4. Ann Marie says:

    Thanks Terri! I also am seeing many young people collecting vinyl. There is a new site to check out It is the official site of Record Store Day.

  5. GEB says:


    Great Article!! Being only 30, I can remember going to Val’s Halla, listening to Traffic’s Welcome to the Canteen on vinyl with my father & buying my 1st CD, Led Zeppelin IV. As I matured & became really interested/concerned with the quality of the sound, analog was the only choice & vinyl is the most economical. The best part of vinyl is that there is no shuffle, you have to listen to the album as the artist intended & oh yeah don’t forget the album art. Also, it is great work out every time I move.


  6. Lindy Johnson says:

    I used to drive from Grayslake to Skokie to go to Record City for the 3 for $10 & then $12 albums. They got alot of my money & I got a lot of records. I spent hours looking through the “Obscure Bin”in the back looking for that Ultra Cool Treasure album I could brag about (a bootleg Yes album dude!). and getting Jimi Hendrix playing “Wipe the Sweat” parts 1 & 2 which wasn’t exactly up to the quality of playing in say “Voodoo Chile” or his solo at Woodstock to say the least. Great memories & I still have ALL of my albums except for the lent out ones that didn’t come back ie. Captain Beyond with the 3D cover 😦 Great article Terri!!!

  7. Mark Miller says:

    Just received a turntable for Christmas. Cannot believe the difference between vinyl and any other listening media (CD, MP3, Cassette, Streaming) There is no comparison to the sonic depth of vinyl. Even on a smaller stereo system you can hear the true separation without the digital shadow that is all-to-prevalent in modern day recordings. Long live vinyl!!!

  8. robert says:

    i am white album number 0534932

  9. Rob Lambert says:

    I’m a fellow Chicagoan and an XRT listener! You might like my site vinyl-themed site!:

    Rock on Terri!

  10. kat says:

    Yes! great article. NOW I see I must jump on the links to see comments, caught up -not this year, not yet. maybe May. okee dokee.. LAST COMMENT on this page.. has the WEBPAGE link to RECORD DAY anyway. How FUNNY -comments are posted elsewhere, away from the links. HA!

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