An update (and deeper explanation) of why the entire vinyl industry has been thrown into crisis.

[This was my weekly column for GlobalNews.ca – AC]

When the CD seemed to be on an unstoppable ascent in the 1990s, vinyl pressing plants started shutting down. A few survived, sustained by DJs and turntablists who insisted on doing things the old way, along with a few analogue purists. Even then, these factories struggled with keeping their ancient equipment running. Finding parts grew increasingly difficult and even if you could find them (usually by cannibalizing other gear), who was going to carry out the repairs?

But then, against all odds, interest in vinyl was rekindled after the establishment of Record Store Day in 2008. Since then, countries all over the world have seen double-digit year-over-year demand for new vinyl records.

The old pressing plants began to run flat out. Mothballed plants were brought back online. New facilities were opened. Companies, like Viryl Technologies of Toronto, began manufacturing brand new state-of-the-art pressing machines and exporting them to facilities around the world. Times were good.

But then came a fire in Banning, Calif., the morning of Feb. 6.

Read the rest. It’s important.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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