National Vinyl Record Day on August 12 is your chance to go old school. Spin music lovers all around the world have disagreements on a number of things, but one thing we think everyone can agree on is that vinyl records are here to stay. For those who value the quality of sound, owning physical copies of your favorite albums, or simply the nostalgia factor, it’s probably safe to assume you’ve got your own collection of vinyl records stashed away somewhere. So now’s your time to dust off the old needle and let the music take you away on a cloud of good, good, good, vibrations.
History of National Vinyl Record Day
Music enthusiast and founder of the first nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of the cultural influence of vinyl, Gary Freiberg created National Vinyl Record Day as a way to honor the art behind the music, collecting, and recording.
Also known as a phonograph record, the first vinyl ever created was by American inventor Emile Berliner in the 1890s. By 1895, record players were released to the masses, but soon became dominated by the rise of radio. Though record players still sold well in the ’30s and ’40s, it wasn’t until the ’60s and ’70s that the golden age of records reached its peak. The first cassette was released in 1962 and gave vinyl some stiff competition. Because cassettes were more portable and able to rewind, fast forward, pause, play, and stop at the touch of a button, consumers latched onto the new technology. In 1974, the development of the Compact Disc (CD) began, which nearly drained the vinyl market in 1988. From 1988 to 1991, there was a continued decline in vinyl sales, with only collectors and audiophiles remaining loyal to the format. However, since then, records have made a huge comeback for a number of reasons with what is now called “The Vinyl Revival.” Today, we recognize the positive impact vinyl not only had on our lives but also on music itself.
Freiberg explains that “The objective of Vinyl Record Day is to remember that, whatever we go through on a personal or national level, life has its goodness. Music is the primary vehicle to our fondest memories, Vinyl Record Day is to celebrate and remember them.” This event will hopefully say, “Let’s remember our favorite music, let’s remember fond memories, let’s celebrate our good times.” And we couldn’t agree more!
National Vinyl Record Day timeline
While Thomas Edison is credited with inventing the phonograph, the earliest known sound recording device, the phonautograph (a device that records the elements of sound through lines traced on smoke-blackened paper or glass) is invented by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville.
The first phonograph parlor opens, featuring a row of coin-operated phonographs.
The very first collection to ever be referred to as an 'album' is Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Suite," released in April as a four-disc set by Odeon Records.
On September 26, The Beatles release arguably one of the most iconic album covers of all time, “Abbey Road.”
National Vinyl Record Day FAQs
Is today Record Store Day?
August 12 is National Vinyl Record Day. Record Store Day occurs on August 29.
What are the most expensive vinyl records?
Wu-Tang Clan, The Beatles, and Elvis Presley are the creators of the top three most expensive vinyl records to date.
How do I know if my record is valuable?
Some are worth less than $5. If the record has a barcode, scan it with the Discogs App to find it immediately. If that’s not an option, look for a Catalog Number, often found on the sleeve or pressed on the inner ring of the vinyl itself, or search using the barcode number.
National Vinyl Record Day Activities
Visit your local record store
Grab a few bucks and pull from the dollar bin or maybe splurge on that specific album you’ve wanted to add to your collection! It’s always good to support your local music stores.
Give your vinyls some love
Treat your vinyls with care and maybe take some time to wipe them down with vinyl cleaner to make sure they’re in tip-top shape.
Get in the groove
Pick out your favorite record and bust a move, or even one of the sad ones and get in your feels, as long as you’re appreciating the music, you’re doing it right.
5 FUN FACTS About Records
The record record
Wu-Tang Clan’s “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” sold in 2015 for $2 million dollars, making it the most expensive record in history.
Black is better
While they may look really cool, colored vinyl is proven to have a lower-quality sound to their black counterparts.
Where no one has gone before
The Voyager 1 probe containing Carl Sagan’s Golden Record is currently the farthest human-made object from Earth.
"Stairway to Heaven"
It’s true, when played backward, Led Zeppelin’s song 'Stairway to Heaven' did sound a lot like a satanic prayer but this has always been attributed as an unfortunate coincidence by lead singer Robert Plant.
Blood sweat and tears
In 2012, The Flaming Lips pressed a limited run of their album “Heady Fwends” to vinyl that included actual blood samples of some of the artists involved, including Nick Cave, Erykah Badu, Ke$ha, Coldplay's Chris Martin, and more.
Why We Love National Vinyl Record Day
We love music
Music is the language of the soul and no matter which way you slice it, it’s changed our lives in one way or another, so we think it’s important to recognize that impact.
We value quality
The sound of vinyl is incomparable to its competitors, while it might not be convenient or easily mobile, vinyl records will always have a special place in our hearts
We support local record stores
You don’t have to see the movie “Empire Records” to know it's important to support your local music stores. They are the central location for art and culture in your community!
National Vinyl Record Day dates