Maybe you’ve thumbed through a trend piece in The New York Times, crediting analog-loving millennials as the impetus for the revival. Or, you’ve read in Billboard or on Pitchfork about the trouble that comes with manufacturing vinyl. Perhaps you passed through a Barnes & Noble store over the holidays to find LPs of current releases from Adele and Taylor Swift dominating displays in the music section. Or, could it be that you’re an audiophile who has more than 1,000 records stored meticulously in your apartment—and can’t resist rolling your eyes when yet another magazine piece proclaims that the ancient vinyl record has been resurrected in a digital age and might just resurrect the recording industry along with it.
There are also those like President Obama, and so many others, who got a turntable as a gift (a record player was the top selling home-audio product on Amazon this past holiday season) and are just now building up your LP collection, four decades after the medium was overtaken by the compact disc and declared dead—before the MP3 came along and, in turn, virtually did in the CD. “Even the leader of the free world has rediscovered vinyl,” notes John Sykes, president of entertainment enterprises at iHeartMedia, who gifted Obama—who gives a keynote address on the first day of South by Southwest in Austin, Texas—all of the Beatles’ remastered albums. “He’s a music fanatic, and I always bring him music when I see him. We have this joke: ‘You don’t get out and visit a record store when you’re in the White House.'”