By Cody McEachern
Jan. 13, 2016
Chris Doyle walked down the hall of his Summerside apartment.
He turned the corner into a small room, decorated with guitars, posters, a couple of chairs and a large stereo system.
He walked over to a closet in the corner and pulled open its door, revealing stacks of milk crates filled with vinyl records.
“I think I started collecting in the 90s, and I have lost count of how many I have,” he said with a smirk.
He started shuffling through the albums, occasionally pulling one half way out to look at it.
He stood up, holding a mint condition copy of The Smashing Pumpkins Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.
“This is my favourite album of theirs,” he said as he placed the album on the turntable of his record player.
Doyle has over 800 records and, like other collectors, he often visits pawnshops and used record stores in hopes of adding another album to his collection.
A recent spike in popularity around vinyl records has made finding old and original albums harder, but it isn’t necessarily a bad thing, he said.
“Now more than ever, we have people buying and collecting vinyl. While this does drive the price up, it also means more people are sharing their collections and selling more frequently.”
Pat Deighan is the owner and operator of Back Alley Music.
The renewed popularity of vinyl has also helped small record stores, increasing the profit for some, and keeping the doors open for others, he said.
“We wouldn’t be here if vinyl hadn’t spiked. For mom and pop shops, if vinyl didn’t come back, we would have gone out of business. It saved our butts.”
In 2015, sales for vinyl records jumped 30 per cent, and marked the 10th year in a row vinyl sales increased, while CD sales plummeted.
“Vinyl is making money for artists and labels again, whereas before, CDs weren’t doing that,” said Deighan.
“People want to buy something from these artists, and vinyl records are something fans can take home from concerts and admire both physically and through listening.”
While older albums are usually the most sought after, today’s big named artists such as Adele, Taylor Swift, and Kanye West are leading the vinyl market in sales.
“I think this new generation of young people have really grabbed onto the idea of records,” said Doyle.
“While I may have all the cool, unique records, they are buying up the new stuff and re-issues like crazy.”
As sales continue to stay high, labels are re-issuing older records from artists like The Beatles and Pink Floyd, giving listeners a chance to experience music history in its rawest form.
“Listening to a record is like being in the exact same room as the artist who made it,” said Deighan.
“I find it warmer and more intimate personally. The sound quality is just unmatched. I think vinyl is back and it is here to stay”