10 facts about the history of vinyl
Vinyl records have weathered the test of time and, as a result of their timeless relevance, are growing in popularity among music fans year after year. Vinyl has become the epitome of the phrase "everything that is new is quickly forgotten old." So, why not learn more about what vinyl used to be, why it was lost, and when it was rediscovered?
The phonograph, developed by Thomas Edison in 1877, was the “granddaddy” of the vinyl record player. Rollers coated with foil or waxed paper were used instead of records. The phonograph worked on the same concept as today’s record players: a needle moved over grooves on a roller to produce sounds.
Emile Berliner invented records as we know them in 1897. He spent ten years looking for the ideal material to manufacture them out of before deciding on shellac, a wax-like substance generated by tropical insects native to South Asia.
The initial records had a diameter of 7 inches (175mm) and could carry audio recordings of up to 2 minutes. Then came 12-inch (300mm) and 10-inch (250mm) records, which could carry up to five-minute songs.
Records with a diameter of 7 inches were referred to as minions, 10-inch records as grands, and 12-inch records as giants.
Sound could only be captured on one side of the record at first. The Odeon Company didn’t figure out how to make them reversible until 1903.
Until the mid-1960s, nearly every LP had only two tracks on it: one side was a hit song that people purchased the record for, and the other side was a completely different tune that people bought the record for “a layer of it on top of it The recordings were often packaged in plain newspaper envelopes with no artwork.
Records were sometimes sold in sets, with five records each set and two tracks per set. They’d put up a concert featuring a specific performer. They were packaged in cardboard or leather cases, and a collection of these recordings was similar to a photo album. This is how an album came to be defined as a compilation of numerous songs by the same performer.
The album became the primary format from the mid-1960s onwards. A typical album lasts around 40 minutes and is produced on 12 tracks “vinyl is a type of material that is used to Albums were packaged in vividly colored envelopes with appealing covers, making them stand out among the vinyl.
The USSR possessed the world’s largest vinyl manufacturing plant. In the 1970s and 1980s, the Melodia company’s Aprelevo factory, for example, produced around 100 million vinyl records each year. However, throughout the 1990s, manufacturing volume fell dramatically, which was due not only to the country’s broad economic problems, but also to the introduction of discs, which were rapidly gaining popularity.
In the Soviet Union, self-made vinyl albums featuring music by foreign and forbidden artists have been popular since the 1950s. Entire artisanal industries dedicated to the smuggling of recordings sprung up. As a source of information, developed X-ray images were employed. “Recorded on the Bones” was the term for such recordings.