Surviving Teenagers: Vinyl Is Back

14/08/2014 16:47 | Updated 22 May 2015

Surviving Teenagers: Vinyl is back

Vinyl is back. It's cool. And the reason it's back is that teenagers like buying records. I am, as usual, mystified.

The Observer says that a quarter of a million vinyl albums were sold in the UK in 2011, mostly to young people.

This puzzles me for two reasons. First, since most of these vinyl survivors are changing hands at car boot sales, on eBay and in independent shops like Rat Records in London and the wonderful Replayed Records in Swanage, how can anyone possibly know how many are being bought and sold?

But the more pressing anxiety is trying to work out why teenagers are doing it. Why do they want to go to all the trouble of putting a record on a turntable? This, after all, is the iPod generation.

(Although technology is changing so fast, there's probably something else on the market that I haven't even heard of yet – something slim and shiny holding a billion tracks and controlled entirely by thought waves.)

This is the generation that downloads. This is the generation that can access limitless entertainment even while they're sitting on a bus.

Why would they want to blow dust off shiny black plastic? Why would they want to learn how to train needles to skip scratches?

"It sounds better," says my daughter. "And we like the artwork on the covers." I want to believe her. I really do.

But I think I know why teenagers like vinyl. It's to make parents like me – who still remember the thrill of buying their new 45s – feel very, very, very old.

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