Record sales are at an all-time low. The tidal-wave of shit in the charts is at an all-time high. Have you seen what sells right now? It’s an avalanche of Ed Sheeran and Cheryl Cole, every music channel host to gyrating adolescents and whiskery-faced public school-boys with guitars. As more festivals close, singles are selling like never before; Tescos sells more CDs than HMV. The music industry is stagnant because the only people buying are idly browsing mums in the supermarkets and jeggings-clad fourteen year olds, buying up everything with Harry Styles’ face on it; its seemingly useless appealing what used to be the music industry’s biggest consumer, teenage boys, because somewhere along the line everyone got a Mac and decided that they were Benga.
Despite this depressing state of affairs, vinyl sales are at an all-time high. Does this mean the UK’s dickhead quota has been grossly over-filled? Have art students realised that “do you want to come back to my flat and see my portfolio?” in no way guarantees a night-time visit to said flat? I took off my cynic goggles to investigate…
This is the bit where I would love to write that I went to my nearest independent music shop to peruse the vinyl section, but then I realised that my nearest independent music shop is 25 miles away, that the two independent music retailers in my town shut down because of the ole’ economic recession; now our only accolade is having the highest teen pregnancy rate in the county. Life sux.
So, to Amazon. Want to buy Tyler’s bastard child, Goblin? Me neither. But if you do, you can download the album for free when you buy the vinyl. Ditto Grimes. It seems that a new wave of musicians are realising that if you “gotta stack yo paper” (four for you Lil Flip, you go Lil Flip!) you gotta sell yo records, and if that means pandering to the wants of the ankle-bearing, urban outfitters-clad masses, so be it. Is this a bad thing? Of course not. If Charles’ across the country want to spout shit about the “authenticity” of vinyl whilst fondling the sleeve to their new Kooks album, so be it: for every shitmucher shipping in an Avril Lavigne vinyl there will be ten more buying new exciting new music and actually paying for it. Who cares if they listen to it on a pretentious medium? Anything that stops U2 from headlining festivals, and encourages new talent can only be a good thing.