This month heralds one of the most unlikely anniversaries – the 60th birthday of the 7” single. With focus firmly on the rise of digital sales and fall of CD sales, this much loved vinyl format is making a stealthy comeback.
West London factory Portalspace (previously EMI’s pressing plant) was predicting its death back in 2000 when sales had dropped to below 180,000. Eight years later and they are back over the million mark.
As far as buying music goes, nothing can beat buying a perfectly formed, individually pressed, lustrous black piece of vinyl; the CD’s only advantage over vinyl was that they took up less shelf space. They destroyed the concept of cover art, the disc is shiny and nasty and they lost the warmth you get from a vinyl pressing.
Together with Apple finally announcing DRM free tracks on iTunes and more and more high quality downloads available to buy online, it’s hard to see what the CD has to offer.One of the reasons we started the B&W Music Club was to provide DRM-free, high quality lossless downloads as we knew there was a world of people who cared about how things sounded.
If all releases came on vinyl with a free lossless download I’d never have to buy another CD again.