The Vinyl Boom


Graphic by Canva

Abbey Hardin, A&E Editor

Collecting vinyls has been a trend since the first long-playing record was invented in 1930, when they were mostly used by radio hosts and DJ’s, but the invention of CD’s began to bring the popularity of vinyl records down in the 80’s and 90’s. 

In 2023, though, vinyls outsold CD’s for the first time since 1987, with artists like Taylor Swift, Harry Styles and Olivia Rodrigo taking the top 3 spots for best selling vinyls in 2022. Other timeless albums like The Beatles “Abbey Road” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” were also in the top 10. 

The vinyl boom, which describes the dramatic increase in vinyl sales starting during the pandemic, has made it hard for record stores to keep up with demands. Supply-chain issues have been especially hard on independently owned record stores because it’s more difficult for small stores and labels to keep up. 

As vinyl sales go up, so does the cost of the product and production. “A container that used to cost about $5,000 to ship now costs about $20,000 to $25,000,” according to the Los Angeles Times. Because of these high prices, record stores depend on support from their customers. One way you can support these independent and locally owned record stores is by participating in Record Store Day. 

Every year on April 22nd, Record Store Day is held as “a way to celebrate and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding nearly 1400 independently-owned record stores in the US and thousands of similar stores internationally” ( On this day, special editions of participating artists’ albums are released, but you can only buy them from independent record stores. 

Because of this restriction, this day causes lines of people outside local record stores starting multiple hours before they open due to the high demand and rarity of the special edition vinyls. Vinyls have become major collectors items because of all the differently colored variants. This year, there are many “must-have” Record Store Day releases, including “Folklore: Long Pond Studiosby Taylor Swift, “Red Rose Speedwayby Paul McCartney and Wings, “Live With the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra by The 1975 and “Sound Emporium EPby Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires who are the 2023 Record Store Day ambassadors. 

Sophomore Neve Nielson has been collecting vinyls for two years and owns about 30. Although Nielson buys most of her records online, she participated in Record Store day for the first time in 2022 and was able to buy one of only 10,000 copies made of Taylor Swift’s 7-inch vinyl “The Lakes,” “I feel like my rarest variant of a record would be the Record Store Day “The Lakes” by Taylor Swift,” said Nielson. Nielson likes collecting vinyls for the experience of collecting them, but also to support the artist she is buying from. 

If you would like to participate in Record Store Day or just want to support a local record store, there are multiple options in Lincoln. Lincoln Vintage Vinyl, located in Meadowlane Shopping Center, is a buy-sell-trade record store where you can buy new and used vinyls, and new and used sound equipment. Another option is Lefty’s Records, located on South Street, where they sell new and used vinyl.