Vinyl records are made from polyvinyl chloride, which is derived from oil. Immediately following the oil crisis of the early 70s, record labels were faced with a spike in prices for polyvinyl chloride. This also caused a shortage and a spike in prices. Faced with higher costs, labels took fewer chances on signing artists, simply because making vinyl records had become so expensive.
Fewer records got distributed to stores and radio stations. Smaller labels suffered because any available polyvinyl chloride went to the big labels. And pressing plants started recycling old records. Before long, it wasn’t uncommon to find a record that was 70% recycled product. The rest was made up of “extender” compounds. The result was worse-sounding vinyl and growing disenchantment with the state of records by the public.
No wonder everyone was ready for the CD when it arrived in 1983.