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Why Embracing Vinyl Will Help Save the Music Industry

23/04/2015 16:52 BST | Updated 22/06/2015 10:59 BST

The rise of vinyl sales has been one of the greatest success stories of the music industry in recent years. It wasn't that many years ago that the once dominant medium was going to go the way of the minidisc and cassette singles and become the number one topic of music reminisces for a silver generation.

There has been a reversal of fortunes though in the past couple of years and it seems that vinyl will have a voice in an increasingly digitised industry, especially now that sales look to be topping two million and the UK's first official weekly vinyl chart has been established.

Whilst the headline news will concentrate on Noel Gallagher and his High Flying Birds as they become the fledgling chart's first number one artist, there are a swathe of bands that are turning to vinyl to showcase their material and it will be these new, up and coming believers in the format that will help vinyl become a force again.

Among those that are embracing it are Devon blues-rockers Moriaty and Leeds emo outfit Track and Field, who both feel that it's important that listeners should have a physical product to accompany the downloadable version.

"Vinyl is saving the music industry," claims Jordan West, the frontman and half of the duo that make up Moriaty, "It's something physical that people are spending money on, thus bringing actual money into the industry."

This is a sentiment that is echoed by Mick Grogan, lead singer of Track and Field that have just released their debut EP on 7" vinyl. "It was important to us to have a physical product to distribute alongside the digital as I feel digital only releases can cheapen an album or EP and that is not how we want our music to be perceived."

So will this mean that there will be bands giving digital releases a cold shoulder so that they go back to the future with their products?

"Downloads don't earn bands huge amounts of cash these days (unless your massive) and the revenue from Spotify is insulting." Bemoans Moriaty's West, "I very much believe that having a 7" or 12" in your merchandising stand helps give people something to collect, and helps create the whole mystique of a bands saleability."

There has been the danger that producing vinyl versions would become a gimmick and not taken seriously by the music buying public. Equally though, there had to be a move to ensure that it was a quaint hark back to days past. Events like Record Store Day and artists of the calibre of Jack White have a devotion to bringing vinyl into the 21st Century, especially the technology he has at his disposal, have helped restore a belief in vinyl and give it a credibility that artists are now capitalising on by making sure that they have a top quality product.

"There is something about vinyl. The size, the smell, the big artwork on the sleeve; but most of all it's the sound." Enthuses Jordan West, "putting on a record and listening to the stardust dance through the grooves, it hypnotic and endless circling."

This is a point that Track and Field's Mick Grogan agrees with. "We grew up listening to vinyl and a well presented great sounding 180 gram record is a great thing to have and hold. You hear people going on about 'that new record smell' and it's true."

With the hope that vinyl will last as a medium, will there be any chance of the glory days returning? Jordan West has a few doubts, "I would put a caveat on that and say that it's 'a generation of music lovers'. The audience is quite specific. There will always be those of an older generation reminiscing of younger days buying vinyl and they tend to have the cash."

There is light shone on the matter by Grogan though, "Vinyl sales and pressing demand has definitely been on the up for a while now and with large scale events like record store day breathing new life into the market with generations of collectors queuing out of doors to snatch up the trendy new represses. I wouldn't be surprised if turntables were soon commonplace for all music fans."

With bands still enthusing about recording for vinyl and a new generation embracing the physicality of a 7" single it looks like there is still a future and despite it still being the preserve of the few with downloads clocking in to the billions a year, at least it hasn't been dead and buried. The likes of Track and Field, Moriaty and Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds are going a long way to ensuring that their music is committed to vinyl and the hope is now that those of us that consume music remember the importance of keeping vinyl alive.