This Rock Star’s Plea to Record Companies: Time to Make the Vinyl
Jack White, best known as lead singer and guitarist of the duo the White Stripes, is pleading with the three global record companies to start pressing their own records. And ya know, he's right.
Closer to home over at Jammin' Nuggets Music we've been chatting a little bit about the supply chain issues. And how the popularity of vinyl and a lack of record pressing plants along with materials shortages and supply chain issues might be making it harder to find that new record you want to buy on vinyl.
The issues with getting vinyl into record buyers' hands really got the attention of record shoppers and record store owners when Adele's record company, Sony Music, ordered over 500,000 copies of "30" before its release last November, according to Variety.
Making Adele the priority this holiday season left many other artists waiting in line for nine months to get their own albums pressed. And leaving record shop owners nervous about one of their revenue streams at a time when stores are enjoying a renewed popularity.
So, aside from making his own music available on vinyl, why does Jack White care? Well, as part of his independent record label Third Man Records, he built and owns Third Man Pressing, one of the few record pressing plants in America. And he's heard from many small punk bands having to wait months to get their albums pressed because of the issue.
In his video, White proclaims that vinyl is no longer a fad and that the popularity of vinyl has exploded in the past decade and the demand for records is extremely high.
And all that's true. Look at our own experience here in Sedalia. When I moved to town in 2019 there weren't any record stores in Sedalia. Then, by 2021 we had two. Not to mention the thriving record business in Jeff City/Columbia and Kansas City.
Twenty-five years ago, vinyl was all but dead. And I don't mean just new vinyl. I mean used vinyl too. I remember going into used record stores when I was flirting with re-starting my vinyl collection and you could find almost anything. And you could find it dirt cheap too. We weren't talking $10 to $20 dollars for a used record in very good condition, we were talking $4 to $8, maybe $10 if it was a record that you couldn't find everywhere.
When I started listening to vinyl again and restarting my collection. The used, and new, vinyl business was very different than it was back then. Used vinyl costs more today, and it's easier than ever to get new releases on vinyl. And it's harder to find those old releases you loved growing up, because well, they're more popular.
So Jack White's right, if Sony Music, Warner Music Group, and Universal Music Group are going to order 500,000 copies of their superstar artists on vinyl, plus more modest runs of vinyl on their other artists, then maybe it's time the record labels, as we call them in the industry, build a few record pressing plants to meet their needs.
After all, with a price point of a new single vinyl record costing twice as much as it did in vinyl's heyday, it's certainly got to make big music more money than someone streaming the same album. I'd think that might be a good investment.
Rob Creighton is one of Townsquare Media Sedalia's vinyl enthusiasts. He's part of the "Friday Night Music Club" at Jammin' Nuggets Music and has from time to time written about his love of vinyl records on this website. Check out his other stories on vinyl below: