In the days before CDs and digital downloads, the regular format of records was vinyl. Albums came in glorious 12 inch format double sided with one of the by-product attractions being the often intricate and magnificent cover artwork. But it did not stop there as vinyl offers flexibility and collectability thanks to the ability to make the discs themselves available in different colours or even picture disc format where the record itself looks just like the cover artwork. This gives coloured vinyl records and picture discs some attraction to both fan and collector alike with the potential to increase in value.
Coloured vinyl and picture discs were very popular in the 1970s and 1980s before CDs came along to take the market share away. Record companies would often create limited editions in the alternative formats as a ploy to get the fans to buy two (or more) copies of the same album. The regular boring black vinyl and the great looking coloured or picture disc as a collectible item they’d treasure. All sorts of recording artists had their stuff out in the various vinyl formats and different colours.
As the popularity increased so did the collectability of coloured vinyl and picture discs with the limited numbers available immediately adding to the resale value via record fairs and collectors’ fairs that spring up. The rarer items would sell for good sums of money and that’s even more the case today with well cared for alternative format vinyl records being much in demand on the collectors’ circuit.
This is still very much the case today with the resurgence in popularity of the genre as people recognise that the traditional twelve inch slab of vinyl and accompanying artwork is much more luscious than a CD cover or digital download. The collectability value is still very much there with more and more artists’ latest releases being made available as a coloured edition or a picture disc and also back-catalogues being re-issued in those formats also.
This means that the music fan who fondly remembers the glorious days when vinyl ruled can reconnect with albums they used to have back then but may have sold or lost over the years and the newer fan can discover the delights of the format by starting their own collection which can increase in value.
But it’s not just colour that the flexibility of vinyl allows. Some more intricate things which have appeared over the years are “shaped” discs. The playing surface itself is still round because it has to be due to the grooves, but the disc itself is shaped differently. For example Tangerine Dream’s Warsaw was in the shape of Poland.
To the music fan of any age or genre, there’s nothing quite like the look and feel of a traditional slab of twelve inch vinyl. Even in today’s digital age the old format still has its place as shown by the new and re-issues available for sale. Hunt out the coloured vinyl and/or picture disc formats and not only do you have something fascinating to look at together with the full sized cover artwork, you also have something which, if cared for well, can potentially increase in value over the years due to the inherent collectability surrounding it.