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Vinyl stages a surprise comeback in the UK

Jukebox

It has been over a decade since I last purchased a 7-inch record and the idea seems almost quaint in our modern iTunes world. But the old 45 RPM single was once a staple of the industry; 89 million were sold at their peak in 1979. They gradually lost favor as our tastes shifted to cassette and CD formats. Believe it or not, a mere 178,831 7-inch records were sold in Britain in 2001.

Things are looking up for vinyl, thanks to renewed interest in analog technology. The British Phonographic Industry reported sales of 1.87 million units in 2005 -- the highest volume in a decade. Billboard reports that releasing a 7-inch single is now akin to a badge of honor: Dougie Souness, founder of Glasgow, Scotland-based artist management firm No Half Measures, says a limited edition pressing of 7-inch singles strengthens its appeal. "There's been a backlash, dare I say, against the digital world. People are now thinking that little bit of plastic with a hole in the middle is actually a pretty cool thing to own."

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