Vinyl: A History of the Analogue Record

New book
Vinyl: A History of the Analogue Record
Richard Osborne


Vinyl: A History of the Analogue Record is the first in-depth scholarly study of the vinyl record. Richard Osborne traces the evolution of the recording format from its roots in the first sound recording experiments, to its survival in the world of digital technologies. The book addresses the record’s relationship with music: the analogue record was shaped by, and helped to shape, the music of the twentieth century. It also looks at the cult of vinyl records. Why are users so passionate about this format? Why has it become the subject of artworks and advertisements? Why are vinyl records still being produced?

Of all recording formats, it is the vinyl record that has had the most profound effect on the production and consumption of popular music; vinyl has also had the longest-lasting and deepest appeal. This book explores its subject using a distinctive approach: the author takes the vinyl record apart and historicizes its construction. Each chapter explores a different element: the groove, the disc shape, the label, vinyl itself, the album, the single, the B-side, the 12″ single, and the sleeve. By anatomising the object in this manner, the author brings a fresh perspective to each of his themes.