More than a dozen independent businesses in Iowa are set to take part in an event designed to celebrate an old music format that’s making a comeback. According to Nielsen SoundScan, sales of vinyl records increased 14% last year while overall album sales fell 13% compared to 2009.
Nate Niceswanger, owner of ZZZ Records in Des Moines, says many listeners prefer the “needle-to-vinyl” sound over the digital presentation. Others are getting back into buying records after years of building an i-tunes library.
“Some people are nostalgic for (vinyl). They remember it (from their childhood),” Niceswanger said. But, it’s not just Baby Boomers who are collecting vinyl. Niceswanger says a big part of his clientele is people under 30.
“I think a lot of it is some of these kids are going through their parent’s closets and finding old Beatles records, they throw it on the turntable and they really like what they hear,” Niceswanger said. “So, they start looking for what else is out there…things like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Doors and The Rolling Stones.”
New bands are now releasing albums on vinyl with free digital downloads. ZZZ is one of the official participants in Record Store Day, scheduled for Saturday. The now international event is in its fourth year. Record stores will be selling hundreds of new vinyl releases from artists made exclusively for Record Store Day.
“This event has turned into such a big deal. This is always our single biggest day, sales wise, for the entire year,” Niceswanger said.
The participating stores in Iowa (according to www.recordstoreday.com)
Vinyl Cafe, Ames
Weird Harold’s Records, Burlington
18th St. Vintage and Metro Records, Cedar Falls
Co-op Records, Clinton
Ragged Records, Davenport
CD Warehouse, Des Moines
ZZZ Records, Des Moines
Moondog Music, Dubuque
Real CDs and Records, Iowa City
Record Collector, Iowa City
Odds N Ends Music Movies & Video Games, Marshalltown
CD Warehouse, West Des Moines
Listen to Pat Curtis’ report on vinyl records: Records 1:09 MP3