They say that vinyl never goes out of style – and 2019 has certainly proved that right. With amazing reissues ranging from old classics to millennial icons, it has been a great year for vinyl lovers. Just as we are about to bid 2019 farewell, let’s look back at our favorite vinyl reissues this year.
Vinyl is back – and riding on our nostalgia fix
In a plot twist as we celebrate the peak of the digital age, vinyl is back with a vengeance – and it is here to stay. Vinyl sales numbers have been steadily rising for the last 13 years in the US. The industry rose from just 900,000 LP unit sales in 2006 to a booming 13.1 million in 2016. The figure rose to 14.3 million in 2017 and just last year it grew by another 2.5 million to reach 16.8 million units in 2018. Apparently, nostalgia is a huge factor in that success. As millennials are now well into their 30s, they seem to be constantly looking back – with the entertainment industry in particular feeling that impact. No one knows this better than video streaming industry leader Netflix. The platform made headlines a lot lately with the incredible sums it is prepared to pay to keep popular 1990s sitcom Friends on its roster, as viewers can’t seem to get enough of the show.
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In the iGaming industry, there is a resurgence in online games that allude to the past. Online provider Betway Casino offers several slots designed to immerse players in a classic casino experience reminiscent of Monte Carlo and the jet set era, while some of its most popular games are based on 1990s pop culture, like the Jurassic Park slot. And in the movie industry, we keep hearing of failed attempts to make yet another sequel for Sex and the City, while a new Lord of the Rings TV series will soon premiere on Amazon Prime Video. It is no surprise then that the music industry is going through a vinyl comeback – which offers that nostalgia feel combined with a very intimate sound.
From Mark Hollis to Philip Glass: 2019 in vinyl
Reissuing albums on vinyl seems like a popular move by contemporary popstars, who are eager to tap into that nostalgia in order to boost sales. Ariana Grande just announced that she will be reissuing her five studio albums in color vinyl, and it is already one of the biggest vinyl news for 2019. They will be available in her online store on December 6th – just in time for Christmas presents, and along with her new Christmas & Chill holiday LP. Fellow pop singer Taylor Swift also released a vinyl version of her seventh studio album, Lover. Pressed onto light blue and bubblegum pink wax, the LP was released on November 15th, a few weeks after she announced the first dates in her massive 2020 promotion tour in the US and Europe.
Former pop icons are also joining in the trend and have given us some of the most newsworthy vinyl releases in 2019. Mark Hollis, famous for fronting Talk Talk, reissued a vinyl version of his only solo album on November 8th. His eponymous album, which is now considered a classic, was first released in 1998 and the repress will feature original artwork. Meanwhile, Christina Aguilera celebrated the 20th anniversary of her self-titled debut album with a vinyl repress, and Destiny’s Child followed suit to celebrate 20 years since they released The Writing’s on the Wall. And on the indie side of things, Foals released their long-awaited Part 2 of Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost on three different vinyl versions. Stereophonics also opted for reissuing their 11th studio album, Kind, on an impressive picture disc.
This list wouldn’t be complete without taking a look at other genres. In jazz, the eponymous album of Mary Lou Williams, originally released in 1964, and later in Europe under the name Black Christ Of The Andes, finally got a deserving vinyl reissue. This gem by the influential jazz pianist who was a mentor to the likes of Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk also includes a marvelous instrumental rendition of ‘It Ain’t Necessarily So’. And Philip Glass saw the vinyl release of Music in Twelve Parts. Concert à Paris, 1975, a rare live performance of five tracks from the particular work cycle.
This year leaves with a vinyl bang. If 2020 is even half as exciting, vinyl enthusiasts are in for yet another good run.