In the age of streaming and downloading, nostalgia for decades past and frustrations due to a technology-based corruption of art has led to a vintage music revival and a growing interest in low-tech methods by which to listen to it.
Cultural recycling is where a generation reuses the culture and trends of a past generation.
According to Intro to Psychology teacher Ryan Boyd, cultural recycling is a “trend that happens in each generation. They look back to other things and they get interested in other types of music and art and movies and so forth.”
“Partly, it’s a reaction against what’s being produced today, and a great percentage of people think that what was made in the past was better, more creative, and so forth,” added Boyd.
Whether it is for the trend or for the music itself, many teens have been passing up using their phones for music and reverting back to older methods like record players, leading to an increase of vinyl album sales.
“I think the recent sales high is mainly due to a nostalgia for the time when vinyl records were in their prime. You know, the 80s and the 90s,” said Vinyl Club leader senior Patrick Jacobson. “We are kind of going back to that time period and looking for what’s best there and it’s part of the nostalgia. I think it’s because of a certain generation of people who lived and grew up in that time period: millennials. I think it’s because they want to relive that time.”
Many aspects of pre-iPhone decades are making a come back, such as musical artists and bands, clothing trends, and TV shows.
Called “the comfort food of television” by NBC News, “Friends” is a 90s sitcom that has become a modern obsession thanks to Netflix, and is just as popular now as it was when it first aired.
In addition, despite the increasingly high quality cameras on today’s cellphones, Polaroids are once again being used for the trendy vintage look.
The influx of recent movies and TV shows set in the past, such as Stranger Things, Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman, Blinded By The Light, and Yesterday further promote these trends.
A distinct sign of nostalgia was the successful response to Bohemian Rhapsody, which led to a revival of Queen’s 1970s music. Since the movie’s release, there’s been an upsurge in Queen music downloads, and more and more of the next generation know the name Freddie Mercury.
According to Forbes, “More than 40 years after it was recorded, the original song and official video for “Bohemian Rhapsody,” taken from Queen’s seminal 1975 album A Night At The Opera, surpassed 1.6 billion streams globally across all major streaming services.”
Freshman Amrita Malhotra, president of the Project Music Unlimited Club, said, “I do think it’s great that old music is being brought back,” and credits the revival of old music to being “fueled by the creation of these movies.”
“I think that the music from the late 1900’s is just so good that people don’t want to stop listening to it. That probably applies to listening to vinyl records too,” said Malhotra
“I would assume that some of these movies are potentially getting people excited again about these artists… In the last 6 months, there have been all of these movies coming out about these artists from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and I think it’s great that it makes people excited about these artists because it informs people that weren’t aware, but I also thinks it is a little cheesy to make a movie where you basically just play the artist’s greatest hits, and might not be entirely factually accurate,” said math teacher Petro Petreas.
“Vinyl is very in. I think that’s sort of a counter to all of this technology and so on, and looking back on a time where things were simpler and what not,” added Petreas.