Chicago Tribune: Success of Wilco's "Sky Blue Sky" LP an Example of Vinyl's Resurgance
The success of the vinyl release of Wilco's latest album, Sky Blue Sky, is one example the Chicago Tribune music critic Greg Kot uses to illustrate the recent resurgence of the medium for music consumers, young and old alike. (An earlier article on the subject in the Wall Street Journal notes that the Wilco release includes the CD of the album as well.)
The Sky Blue Sky LP has sold 18,000 copies since its release last May, and the latest Nonesuch album to be released on vinyl, Buena Vista Social Club at Carnegie Hall, hit stores just last week. Other recent vinyl releases from Nonesuch include this summer's reissue of Wilco's 2002 label debut, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot; the new Danger Mouse–produced Black Keys album, Attack & Release; and The Magnetic Fields' latest, Distortion; as well as a 7" vinyl single from Laurie Anderson of "Mambo and Bling," the first recorded music from her new performance piece, Homeland.
Kot's article begins:
While CD sales continue a double-digit decline, sales of vinyl albums have doubled in the last year to 6 million and turntable sales increased 80 percent last year. The resurgence is being led not just by Baby Boomers nostalgic for gatefold album sleeves and the pops and scratches of favorite records, but by college-age consumers discovering the elaborate artwork of vinyl-album packaging for the first time, and entranced by the grittier, less-artificial sound quality.
He goes on to speak with a number of fans of the format, both on the consumer side and among those in the music business. Sam Phillips, who helmed the controls on her recent, self-produced Nonesuch CD, Don't Do Anything, tells Kot, "There's a huge difference" in the listening experience of digital versus vinyl formats. She explains:
It has a little grit and texture compared to digital. It's heartbreaking not to have all that sound on an MP3 file. I love my vinyl, and I play it all the time. Nothing sounds like it. Who would've thought? In the early '80s, we were trying to take all the noise out by making these really precise recordings. And now, we want it all back because it sounds more real, more like the work of a human being instead of a machine.
To read Kot's article, visit chicagotribune.com.
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