WYCKOFF, N.J. — The vinyl revolution has hit Bergen big time, just as analog guru Michael Fremer of Wyckoff has predicted for 30 years.
This year, he said, an estimated 80 million records will be pressed worldwide.
Why the comeback?
There are lots of good reasons, said Fremer, noted sound expert and editor of Analog Planet .
“There’s a generation who has only heard MP3s, which are seriously degraded sound,” Fremer said.
“When young people hear a record for the first time,” he added, “it’s like they’re seeing high-definition TV for the first time.”
The qualities of the sound attract them, he said.
So does the immersive and sensory experience of a record – the feel of the vinyl, the smell of the packaging.
Fremer believes people remember what was happening in their lives when they bought a particular album.
“With a record, I turn it on, put the lights out and it’s a time machine,” said Fremer, 69. “I can guarantee you nobody will remember when they first streamed an MP3 from Spotify.”
Lastly, he explained, young people realize their favorite musicians aren’t making any money on music downloads. They like supporting their artists by buying albums.
Case in point: Taylor Swift sold more than 50,000 copies of her latest album, “1989,” on vinyl.
Women the same age as Swift – late 20s to early 30s – are getting together for record parties, Fremer said.
With the vinyl revival comes renewed interest in equipment and accoutrements, too.
That includes everything from vintage-style album jackets to state-of-the-art turntables that can run from $200 at U-Turn Audio to $100,000 at Higher Fi.
There are plenty of places in Bergen County to shop for vinyl records. They include Music Country in Cliffside Park, A&M Music Center in Lyndhurst, Record King in Hackensack, Music Merchant in Westwood, EZ2collect in Fair Lawn and Music Connection in Elmwood Park.
The same is true for Passaic County, where Flipside Records in Pompton Lakes and Sound Exchange Records in Wayne are particularly popular.