Tower Records Founder Russ Solomon’s Suprising Take on Vinyl

From Billboard:

Billboard: What was the moment where you realized vinyl records were fading, and when did you know that they were coming back into vogue?

Russ Solomon: It began fading out right after 1983 when the CD came in, but though the vinyl business was reduced to virtually nothing, it never went away. There was an underground of vinyl, and in the early 1980s, you had the advent of companies such as Mobile Fidelity remastering and pressing records on higher quality vinyl. The vinyl pressings coming out of Japan were also much better than the American stuff.

And what do you attribute to the resurgence? 

You’re talking about where it all of a sudden became a little bit more hip [to buy records?] It started out actually with those so-called high quality records pressed on 140 gram, 180 gram or 220-gram vinyl, but they were priced terribly high. And then that evolved into a few rock artists putting out their new albums on vinyl, and the collectors flocked in. The truth of it is it’s still a collector’s market, even though they sold what — 9 million or so vinyl records last year? Most of those are not pressed on this high quality stuff.