Music Industry

A side effect of the vinyl revolution: Good used records are in short supply

Every once in a while, I have a couple of vinyl experts comb through my music collection to help keep it a manageable size. The records they keep wanting to buy aren’t what you might expect. Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours. Back in Black from AC/DC. Led Zeppelin IV.

Seems mundane, right?

“These are the records young people want to buy. They want the classics, but they don’t want to spend money on expensive reissues.”

Turns out that the vinyl revival has created a chronic shortage of these albums. And it’s getting worse. This is from The Daily Californian.

But for more than $20 a record, I could afford to add about one new record to my collection every few months. Used records, on the other hand, were what I could take risks on.

But then the used records started disappearing altogether.

Trip after trip to the stores, I would come away empty-handed, because where there used to be predominantly used records and a spattering of new prints, now there were only ever $30 versions of albums released decades ago.

I can no longer take risks on my vinyl purchases, the way I did as a freshman when I bought Led Zeppelin for $7.95 based on its iconic cover triggering my cultural knowledge that it was a piece of music I should listen to. I didn’t know if I’d even like the band, but at the very least I had the invitation to take a chance on it.

In short, I got priced out of collecting records — at least locally.

This is a great read. Keep going.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ 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.

Alan Cross has 38162 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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