Records OLD SCHOOL-From used to be a staple in horror movies, phonograph (vinyl) records are now back in the market and the buyers are not in their 60s or 70s but as young as 25.

Vinyl records back; buyers mostly GenZs, millennials

June 11, 2024 People's Tonight 75 views

Records1THESE musical items were so popular from the 20s to the early 90s.

Name any musical great from the 20s to the 90s–Frank Sinatra, Loquie Armstrong, Neil Diamond, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Smokey Mountain, Eraserheads–definitely you can hear them through this medium.

These are vinyl or phonograph records.

Yes, you nail it, we’re talking about that analog, James Brown-dominated black round plastic old school music material that comes in 45 rpm (revolution per minute) and 33 rpm.

We are not in the time warp but what is real and becoming clearer is old school is not off the charts when it comes to music.

The People’s Journal observed at Plaka Planet, one of the top vinyl stores in the Philippines at the Makati Central Square, how buyers react when looking for their favorite artists’ albums.

What is more amazing is most of the crowd are not in their 60s or 70s but early 30s and even teens.

The store owner, Bobby Banaag, said there are several factors why there was a 360-degree turn in the public preference in music medium.

“Maybe the biggest reason is there are elements that are lacking when listening to digital music.

The owner said since digital music is compressed, the mid section of the sound is lacking.

“When you listen to it through vinyl, you can clearly hear the big difference,” Banaag, a member of La Salle’s Kundirana batch ’79, explained.

Another reason is the sentimental value. For the store owner, phonograph record is the flashpoint of music so why not let this music medium proliferate again.

The most sellable albums are those of VST and Co., Eraserheads, Apo Hiking Society and Barbie Almabis among Pinoys while The Beatles and Taylor Swift are the top sellers among foreign artists.

Vinyl prices, he said, differ depending on the quality but in general a brand new album costs around P2,000 while pre-used ones cost P450 above.

“Hard to determine average cost because brand new records are more expensive than pre-loved records. Average (price) of used records is between P800 to P1,200,” he added.

Since opening Plaka Planet, Banaag said the most expensive record sold was Eagles’ “Hell Freezes Over” at P30,000.

“Pardon me, I wouldn’t tell you who bought it,” he said in jest. It is also a myth that old artists don’t sell. In fact, the most sellable are The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Apo Hiking Society and VST and Co.

The popularity of the phonograph records prompted today’s biggest recording artists–Billie Eilish and Dua Lipa–to launch their music on vinyl.

Observers said there is a price disparity in listening to music via vinyl or through Spotify.

The latter costs less than P200 per month and you can listen to any music 24/7 while the first needs an amplifier and turntable plus the record to hear the sound.

Listening to Spotify can be done through streaming which is now the most common medium in music listening.

According to the store owner, “When it comes to equipment, sky is the limit.It all depends on your budget. Some start with portable players ranging from P5,000 to P10,000.

A basic vintage setup of a turntable, amplifier and speakers would range from P20,000 up. (It) depends on the specs of the system.”

Rocker Riera Mallari, lead singer of Johnny Cross, whose current hits “Kamote Rider,” “Hangganan,” and “Chill Song” are currently heard, affirmed the good sound quality of vinyl records.

“Oo mas maganda sound sa plaka pero magastos,” he said, referring to the elements needed to hear phonograph music. By ED VELASCO