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Vinyl accounts for less than 1 percent of overall music sales, but it’s been making a bit of a comeback: sales almost doubled between 2007 and 2008 and grew another 33 percent in 2009, according to Nielsen. That’s only 2.5 million records out of a total of more than 370 million albums sold in all formats, but record companies don’t see many growing business areas, so they’re suddenly jumping aboard.

New vinyl hasn’t been this abundant since the mid-1980s–you can even find it in Best Buy and Wal-Mart. I give particular props to independent labels like Merge and SubPop, which issue codes for downloadable MP3s with new vinyl, so I can get them to my iPod almost immediately. Vinyl reissues also seem to be at a 20-year-high–in the last couple of months I’ve picked up new records from bands I haven’t heard since college, like Galaxie 500, Mazzy Star, and the Cocteau Twins.


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