While many people try to come up with the next big format in the digital age, some people are more concerned with reviving the past. A handful of independent record labels have found a new love of cassettes, and vinyl is one of the few growth sectors in the music business is in the sale of vinyl albums (though that's mostly because vinyl sales bottomed out a few years ago). Many artists have followed suit, making their music available in record form and even treating the vinyl aficionados to bonus tracks, exclusive artwork and deluxe box sets. For example, the truly hardcore Soundgarden fan probably wasn't interested in Telephantasm on CD or as a digital download, but that deluxe box set (which features three LPs, two CDs and a DVD) is a must-own item.
Though Taylor Swift is only 20 years old (and thus was born at the dawn of the CD era and came of age at the beginning of the digital revolution), she still respects the old school, which is why she is committed to having her upcoming album Speak Now available in vinyl format. "The vinyl is really important to me," Swift told Entertainment Weekly in a feature that hits newsstands today. "I'm so in love with the concept of an album — a collection of memories from your life that you're giving to people. It's a piece of you. Buying them on vinyl is just taking that one step further and acknowledging that albums are important."
With that logic in mind, Speak Now makes extra sense on vinyl, as it is composed of 14 tracks, each of which is written for a specific person for a particular purpose. Listening to the album straight through (a necessary choice when dealing with a vinyl album, lest the record acquire damaging nicks and scratches) will be giving the listener a full experience of what it has been like to be Swift in the two years since Fearless turned her into one of the biggest pop stars in the world.
The addition of a vinyl release also turns Speak Now into more of an event. The double LP version of Swift's album will hit stores on November 16 (a few weeks after the rest of the formats come out). In the Entertainment Weekly feature, Swift bought a few LPs during a record buying spree with the magazine (including a pair of Bruce Springsteen records and the Black Keys' Rubber Factory), so if she is really looking to expand her vinyl collection, might we suggest the recent double LP reissue of the Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street and the upcoming box set from Slayer, who are collecting their entire back catalogue for a collection they are calling Vinyl Conflict.
Will you be buying Taylor Swift's new album on vinyl? Let us know in the comments!