Audiophile rocker says there’s no point in buying vinyl these days.
Neil Young has dismissed the boom in sales of vinyl records as “nothing but a fashion statement”.
“A lot of people that buy vinyl today don’t realise that they’re listening to CD masters on vinyl, and that’s because the record companies have figured out that people want vinyl,” the Pono inventor told The Frame, an arts show on Southern California Public Radio.
“And they’re only making CD masters in digital, so all the new products that come out on vinyl are actually CDs on vinyl, which is really nothing but a fashion statement.”
That isn’t quite right, as plenty of new records are mastered specifically for vinyl, particularly in the realms of electronic music – and think of all those vinyl-only house and techno imprints that have sprung up in recent years. But it’s certainly true of the lucrative reissue market, which is where a huge proportion of the boom in vinyl sales is coming from.
“It’s a niche and it’s a great niche and it’s a wonderful thing and I hope people continue to enjoy vinyl and it continues to grow, because it’s a good thing,” continued Young, but he added: “This is a convenience-oriented society and vinyl is not a convenient thing.”
Young’s own high-quality Pono player, which he says offers the best possible digital listening experience, has been getting mixed reviews so far – one journalist from Yahoo tested the prism-shaped player against an iPhone in blind tests, and his 15 subjects preferred the Apple product.