THEY were the main method of playing music at home for more than 40 years until.
But record turntables – which fell out of favour in the 1980s as cassettes, then CDs took over – are enjoying a resurgence this Christmas.
The vinyl revival is one of the fairy tale success stories of recent years”Gennaro Castaldo
Retailer HMV, which has doubled the floor space it allocates for vinyl in recent years, said it had sold a record player every minute in the past week, as the popularity of the classic system continues to grow.
Sales of records have risen in recent years as the younger generation embrace the traditional technology, particularly to listen to Seventies rock acts such as Pink Floyd, as well as modern bands including the Arctic Monkeys. Fashion shops such as Urban Outfitters also sell record players, while Tesco is stocking vinyl LPs for the first time in decades.
Official Charts data for 2015 shows that LPs are on track to reach the two million unit mark for the first time in more than 20 years.
Ian Topping, chief executive of HMV, said: “Entertainment products form a major part of the Christmas shopping list.
“The gift of the year in 2015, though, has to be a turntable as we see a huge resurgence in the sales of vinyl.”
Gennaro Castaldo, spokesman for music industry body the BPI, said: “The vinyl revival is one of the fairytale success stories of recent years.
“Having faced near-extinction in 2007, when only 205,000 LPs were sold, it’s likely we’ll see the best part of two million copies purchased this year.
“People of all ages are reconnecting with the format, including a new generation of engaged younger fans drawn to its emotional appeal at the heart of rock music’s heritage.
“While some fans are buying vinyl simply to own and collect it, many, naturally, want to be able to enjoy its warm, authentic sound, but unfortunately no longer have access to turntables.
“So it’s no surprise if retailers are reporting a surge in demand for record players as one of the ‘must-have’ Christmas gifts this year.”
A report released earlier this month by the BPI found that even people who regularly stream music or download tracks digitally are increasing the amount they spend on vinyl.