Vinyl record sales are surging | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Life/Travel

Vinyl record sales are surging

12:00 AM CST on Thursday, February 18, 2010

By KATHLEEN GREEN / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News
Kathleen Green is a Plano-based freelance writer.

Disco? Dead. Mood rings? Obsolete. Vinyl records? Retro-cool and spinning back to life.



Ethan Berman, 13, an intern at Good Records, isn’t the only teen interested in vinyl these days.

Vinyl sales nationwide topped 2.5 million in 2009, a 33 percent increase from 2008’s 1.9 million, according to Nielsen SoundScan. At Half Price Books, vinyl sales for the past year were up about 3 percent in Texas.

“Vinyl is kind of going crazy, and we thought it was going to be the dinosaur,” says Kirk Thompson, public relations manager at Half Price Books in Dallas. “And actually, it’s CDs that are kind of going by the wayside.”



Jennifer Smith, 22, shops at Good Records on Greenville. Vinyl sales nationwide jumped 33 percent in 2009.

Thirty years ago, smaller, supposedly indestructible compact discs were the wave of the future. But a small, dedicated group kept their vinyl, preferring its sound and collection-worthy cover art.

“I think the death of vinyl was kind of a hoax to push compact discs,” says Chris Penn, part owner of Good Records on Lower Greenville. His store, like many others, is expanding its vinyl section. “The labels stopped pressing stuff, to really give you only one option.”

However, some independent artists kept pressing vinyl, and audiophiles favored the older format for its warmer tone, he says.

“You think, ‘Oh, the digital music is a lot clearer,’ ” Thompson says. “But you can’t get that sound on digital like you can on vinyl. If you have a record in pristine condition, the sound is fantastic.”

Recent artists such as Justin Timberlake, Coldplay and Radiohead began offering their music on LPs with an MP3 link so buyers could get a digital copy, too. And the nearly phased-out LP is unexpectedly winning favor with a new crowd: teens.

“It’s kind of a weird phenomenon,” Penn says. “Certain days we’ll do the same amount of vinyl as we do CDs, dollarwise. It doesn’t show any sign of slowing down.”

This vintage comeback wasn’t lost on Crosley Radio, a Kentucky manufacturer that’s been churning out turntables and other electronics for 26 years.

“We kind of got in on the front end of this more recent trend,” says Cristal Mathews, Crosley account manager. “It’s a tough industry to try and stay in front and be a pioneer, because it’s continually changing.”

But their entertainment units, including those that burn vinyl to CD and come with USB cables to facilitate digital recordings via computer, have caught on with a whole new demographic.

“Things always come back full circle, and this is something the younger demographic has caught on to right now,” she says. “The buying power of high school and college kids, or their parents’ buying power, is huge, and they can help push a lot.”

Those teens have certainly been spotted buying vinyl at Good Records, says co-owner Penn.

“It’s more of an event to listen to an album with your buddies around,” he says. “You can check out Side 1 and then flip the record. It’s more of a communal thing that I think a lot of kids are really into these days.”

John Tilton, co-owner of Paperbacks Plus in East Dallas and Mesquite, is happy to see the LP resurgence.

“It used to be it was all coming in and none going out,” he says. “Now it’s at least some going out.”

Kathleen Green is a Plano-based freelance writer.


1. Abbey Road, the Beatles

2. Thriller, Michael Jackson

3. Merriweather Post Pavilion, Animal Collective

4. Wilco, Wilco

5. Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes

6. Backspacer, Pearl Jam

7. Veckatimest, Grizzly Bear

8. Appetite for Destruction, Guns N’ Roses

9. Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King, Dave Matthews Band

10. In Rainbows, Radiohead

Nielsen SoundScan


Here’s a sampling of Dallas-area stores that buy and sell LPs:

• Bill’s Records, 1317 S. Lamar St., Dallas, 214-421-1500

• CD Source, 5500 Greenville Ave., Dallas, 214-890-7614

• Forever Young Records, 2955 S. Highway 360, Grand Prairie, 972-352-6299

• Good Records, 1808 Greenville Ave., Dallas, 214-752-4663

• Half Price Books, multiple locations

• Paperbacks Plus, 6115 La Vista, Dallas, 214-827-4860; 108 E. Davis St., Mesquite, 972-285-8661

Prices vary, depending on the store, the supply and demand, rarity and the vinyl’s condition. A typical LP will net a seller from about $2 to $8, then sell for anywhere from $6 to $15. New vinyl can retail from $8.99 to about $32.99.

Posted via web from The LP Revival Blog


~ by lprevival on February 20, 2010.

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