Vinyl records enjoying revival

By Ana Ramirez

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of years and are completely oblivious to the music scene, you know that vinyl records are making a huge comeback.

Classic collectors and new generations of vinyl lovers converge at revival events to swap records and discuss genres from classic rock to techno to rap. Next up will be the annual Tucson Record Show on Nov. 7.

Fans begin listening to and collecting vinyl for many reasons.

Some enjoy sampling songs into their MPCs, making beats. It’s like a puzzle to take parts of an old record to create and mold something completely new.

Others like the familiar characteristics of vinyl records, from the warm vibe it gives off to the faint static of the needle.

“I started buying vinyl at 14 when I bought a turntable and tried to be a rap DJ,” said Matthew Taccone, a 23-year-old student at Pima Community College. “My first record was Dr. Dre 2001, Instrumental.”

What makes people choose vinyl over CDs?

Taccone pondered the question while sitting in his dimly lit bedroom, decorated with mini-shrines of his hometown in Alabama and posters of rappers such as Rich Boy. He sipped from a 24-ounce can of Coors before responding.

“People don’t want to buy CDs,” he said. Vinyl, however, feels like a bigger purchase. “You get more for your money, it’s better and the whole retro thing is coming back.”

Collector and stay-at-home dad Bill Grant never stopped liking vinyl.

“For me it never went away,” he said. “I’ve seen it’s more popular than it had been, probably because there are so many things only on record.”

After nearly 30 years of collecting vinyl, Grant has about 8,000 albums that fill two rooms. He sounds proud and serious about his hobby as he sits at his dining room table, discussing his first purchase: “Abbey Road” by the Beatles.

From there, he collected genres including blues, jazz, country, classical, African and movie soundtracks.

As a history major at the University of Arizona, Grant learned about Homer’s “Iliad” and how people in past eras told stories in song and passed them to future generations by singing.

He says blues in the United States were similar in the way that songs were sung to be remembered until they were preserved on recordings.

Unlike Grant’s wide array of musical genres, Taccone keeps his collection of rap records simple.

Both enjoy in-depth discussions on music, whether it be Grant’s history lesson on how vinyl got started or Taccone’s analysis of rap lyric quotes by Outkast.


Tucson Record Show

When: Sunday, Nov. 7, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Where: 1365 W. Grant Road, Las Cazuelitas Event Center

Details:, 622-0104

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