Since the rise in popularity of digital recordings, vinyl has been considered by many to be just a quaint relic from the past, a remnant of a by-gone era when the music industry was vibrant and record sales were in their millions.
Yes, there may have been some who clutched their PVC memories to their chests in a gesture of shear defiance but no-one can deny that the golden age of the 12″, 10″, and 7″ vinyl as the preferred method of recording music is now just a distant memory.
Vinyl enthusiasts, however, have ensured that this well-loved medium has not been totally relegated to the history books with the UK and US even seeing a vinyl revival in the last seven years or so and a new generation of music buyers now enjoying the unique audible experience.
The resurgence in interest in vinyl amongst collectors has spurred many musical artists to look at their back-catalogue and take to reissuing their most popular releases with performers from Rick Wakeman, Sparks and Blur to Coldplay, The Clash and The Stone Roses all producing collectors editions on the fantastic plastic.
Over the summer, I was very fortunate to be involved in the management of one such project for the classic band The Marmalade. Best known for hits such as Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da and Reflections Of My Mind, the band has evolved over its 40 year history into a modern rockin’ outfit and this year recording together in the studio for the first time since 1979.
The result, Penultimate, has been released as an MP3 and CD but what makes the project great is the production of the album as a limited edition, triple gatefold vinyl, released on Finyl Vinyl.
For the collecting connoisseur, both of the recordings come complete with a 24 page booklet featuring visual concepts and photography by acclaimed rock photographer Nick Elliott and sleeve notes from rock biographer Alan Clayson.
It was also immensely enjoyable being involved in the photography for the project and the culmination of the collection will be the production of a limited edition coffee table book by specialist musical art publisher, Red Label Publishing, which I am so looking forward to managing.
So it appears that the death knell for vinyl may have been rung a little prematurely and, as someone who remembers the ‘golden age’, I will be happy if this particular release is not the final vinyl I manage the production of.