Film Review: The Vinyl Revival

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“Music is actually being bought by people again!”

If you’re anything like me then you spent a lot of time during your most formative years inside of a record shop discovering new music from cover art you saw while flipping through bins of albums, from the RIYL (recommended if you like) walls on one side of the shop, and through conversations with the employees, who then used their knowledge of music to point you in a direction of what else you might like based on your personal favorites.

While cassettes, 8-tracks, and even CD’s have gone the wayside in the aftermath of the digital downloading and streaming explosion, vinyl records have seen a tremendous resurgence. The documentary The Vinyl Revival, directed by Pip Piper and based on the book The Vinyl Revival And The Shops That Made it Happen by Graham Jones, sets out on a mission to uncover the reasons why vinyl has returned in such a powerful way.

A range of folks are interviewed in this 45-minute film, giving you the entire wide lens perspective that the modern era’s vinyl fascination impacts: Authors & historians Graham Jones and Dr. Jennifer Otter Bickerdike, musicians such as Nick Mason of Pink Floyd, Philip Selway of Radiohead, Adrian Utley of Portishead, and Rhys Webb of The Horrors, and record shop owners including Jack Christie (Container Records), Mairead Hayden (Lion Coffee + Records), Stewart Baxter (Warren Records), and more!

They pack a lot into the film as they take us through the effects that downloading had on record shops and how people bought music in the modern age, how important the annual Record Store Day was to starting the resurgence of vinyl, and ultimately, how the younger generation is a huge player in the revival.

The younger generation calls going to record shops sort of a pilgrimage, the middle-aged folks (like me) rediscover the albums you grew up listening to in your parent’s collection at the modern record shop, but everyone regardless of age loves the experience of physically looking for something, taking it home, and playing it!

“People want to be able to hold something. There’s this fear that the internet will go down one day, and you’ll have nothing to show for it - but you’ll still have your records and magazines!”

While this film is based in the UK, there’s countless record shops popping up in every corner of the world. The Vinyl Revival does a wonderful job of discussing the importance of music and vinyl, but there’s still nothing quite like sitting in front of your record player and staring at it like it’s a television while you get lost in the spinning vinyl record and the music pumping through your headphones – that’s  a magical experience you can only discover by visiting your local record shop and playing your part in the resurgence!


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