NORTH BAY -- It’s a come back for an old style of music listening and record lovers in North Bay are excited about it.

“I think it’s exciting, I mean, records have made a come back and they’re here to stay, so it’s super exciting,” said collector Johnathan Ducharme who currently owns around 40 records.

A 2020 midyear report from Nielsen Music states that vinyl records accounted for US$232.1 million of music sales in the first half of the year, surpassing CD sales which came in at only US$129.9 million.

Waxman Records owner, Todd Gledhill in North Bay says locally he’s seen more of an interest in his store as well.

“I’ve had the store for almost seven years, in November will be seven years, and I’ve definitely seen growth in the business and interest with records, both new pressings and vintage.”

Gledhill adds, “Now-a-days we have the option to enjoy music in many different formats. At one time it was a cassette or a record or a CD, but overall I think that the records have a tactile experience. The nostalgia of it. There’s definitely a cool factor to it, the art’s a lot bigger.”

“Then it’s kind of a life style hobby in a way too because you’re going to different cities, hitting up different record stores, you never really know when you’re flipping through bins what’s going to show up next, and I think people like that element of surprise and excitement as well.”

This is a statement that rings true for Guy Fortier, who doesn’t consider himself an avid collector, but owns over 700 records.

“I have my records, I also have a bunch of CDs that when records became nearly impossible to get I was buying CDs and I use modern music services as well like Spotify and Amazing and what not,” said Fortier.

“But I always go back to vinyl LPS because it just, to my ears, sounds better and I like the intimacy and process of listening to music on vinyl as opposed to electronic formats or digital formats.”

Gledhill says that vintage records can range anywhere from 0.25c to thousands of dollars depending on the material and more recent stuff comes with a higher price tag.

However, he has noticed that buying vinyl has become a thing for everyone.

“I see all walks of life. I see seasoned collectors, I see entry level collectors, people who are just interested,” he said.

“I see older folks who notice that there’s a bit of a resurgence and they want to revisit their collection, dust off their old records and they come in and buy an entry level record player just to enjoy the nostalgia.”

Ducharme adds that people need to store and take care of records in a different way then digital music as well.

“Make sure you have a cloth on hand, something like you’d clean your glasses with and just very gentle go over and wipe off that dust. Keep them in the sleeves, have them standing up not lying down because they do get quite heavy and then you could crack the record,” he said.

For these three record lovers, they buy vinyl for the music not for the price value.

“They always pop up at the most unexpected time. I do flea markets and I do record stores whenever I see one I try to stop in and go flipping through their used section to see what they have. It always surprises me what you can find sometimes,” said Fortier.

“Sometimes it a rarity and a record I’ve always wanted to buy but never got around to it at the time and there it is.”

This is the same for Gledhill who had a number of records on hand that aren’t necessarily for sale, but aren’t completely off the selves yet .

These titles included the German pressing of the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour, a rare Rolling Stones cover, Nirvana’s Nevermind record and Irwin Prescott.

“Those clicks, the pops, the white noise just adds to the track, it’s amazing. It doesn’t matter if you’re listening to Lady Gaga on vinyl or Miles Davis, Willy Nelson, Johnny Cash, Colton Walt, it just adds to the track,” said Ducharme.

Avid vinyl collectors say that it all depends on the quality of equipment you are using as well, but listening to some of your favourites on record just provides a different type of music.

“The sound quality is different. It’s warmer. It’s less precise. It’s got more feeling to it,” said Fortier.