The crackling, old-fashioned sound of vinyl LPs is back, the Los Angeles Times reports. Defying the digital music craze, record sales spiked nearly 90% last year and fueled a boom in brick-and-mortar music stores across LA. Why the uptick in a bad economy? Majestic artwork, the fun of LP-flipping, and—aficionados say—better sound can account for the record revival.
Major labels are slowly catching on too, reissuing marquee acts like U2 on vinyl. Manufacturers are meeting demand by turning out low-cost turntables. Critics say consumers' love for pricey LPs will be short lived, but record store owners maintain sales are strong. "Sometimes I wonder, 'What am I doing?'" said one. But "it's the only corner of the physical music business that's growing."