Andy Mitchell from Radio Wave - June 20, 2018

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Vinyl revival takes me back

There’s a vinyl revival out there like you wouldn’t believe. Sales of records are surging in a market that’s been dominated by downloads, uploads, streaming etc.

After a gap of 20 odd years, you can now produce a 7- inch single and anyone under 30 won’t look vacant when you tell them what it is.

For those of use who’ve been building up our vinyl collection since the early 70s, this, of course, is great news. We all remember the first single we bought. In my case my mum bought it for me... It was Wizzard’s ‘See My Baby Jive’ and we got it from St John’s Market.

The market, and indeed Roy Wood have long gone, yet the vinyl single (and indeed my mother I’m pleased to report) continues to flourish. It may be a bit scratched (the single not my mother), but it still sounds good (like my mother).

Saturday night thrills these days come in the form of vinyl nights.

A chance to recreate those heady days of the early 80s, sat on the floor, playing tunes and scattering records all around on the promise you’d match them up with their sleeves in the morning.

There are even radio shows now that celebrate the best of vinyl and even play the originals, scratches and all to add to the atmosphere. My very good friend Stephanie Hirst has captured this to perfection on BBC Radio Manchester every Saturday night. It’s as though everyone is round at Steph’s sitting on the lounge floor with the Dansette on the go....and it’s fabulous.

Escapism is the key to survival these days and for a few precious hours there’s a chance to disappear off back to the 80s and rediscover the sound of vinyl records. Yes the latest downloads and digital files may mean we have the very best copy of a song available, but who doesn’t remember smiling when the record playing on the radio got stuck, and the presenter had to give the needle a clout?

Now Stephanie revels in the fact that many of the records may have a few scratches, but add that to the general warm sound you get from a record and it takes you right back.