WHO would have thought in the digital age of streaming music that we’d be returning to the ‘good old days’?

You can almost smell the lit cigars and taste the cold whiskey and what better way to accompany it than by the sound of static before the needle hits the ‘King of Rock and Roll’s’ single Jailhouse Rock.

Ah, the nostalgia...

Now to the average observant music consumer, it would come as no surprise that vinyl sales have been on the increase over the past few years with HMV dedicating larger floor space to its records and even regular supermarkets such as Tesco introducing vinyl as a product, but by just how much have these sales been growing and, of course, why?

Ewen Duncan, the owner of Europa Music, the largest vinyl record store in Scotland outlines why he believes vinyl is making a resurgence.

"My experience has been it's a matter of people appreciating the artwork on the LP or 7 inch," he explains. "The sound, it’s tactical, you know, you’ve got something physical. You can actually read all the sleeve notes whereas with CDs at times you’d maybe need a microscope to read some of the writing.”

Ewen, who has had the shop in Stirling for 37 years, continues: "We’ve noticed the upsurge, but the main thing we’ve noticed though is the downturn in CDs and digital product. That for us has been a major game-changer in that if CDs had kept going, we’d be very happy.

"At the moment, we’re happy but vinyl has definitely crept in so much so that we’ve brought vinyl into our front shop whereas before we’d have kept it exclusively in our back shop.”

But it's not just nostalgia. Appeal for vinyl is spread across the generation, perhaps with an appreciation for physical product filtering down along family ties. But it's clear a shift has taken place, with Ewen noting that he sells 20 albums for every CD sold.

The shop owner adds: "For us, it’s across the board from young teens through to people aged 60, 70, 80. As it always has been, more on the male side, they will come in and maybe they’ve dug through their dad’s collection or whatever and they’ve started to get their own and buy their own versions before finding their own type of music that they like.”

Ewen’s perspective offered a fascinating insight into the business side of vinyl and the impact this resurgence is having on record shops, for better or for worse.

Taking to the streets of Stirling and asking two music consumers about what their favourite feature of vinyl, Martin Johnson, 57, replies: “It was the artwork on the covers for me.”

When considering the biggest reason why vinyl sales have skyrocketed in recent years, he suggests: “For me, as a music fanatic, people want better quality sounds and vinyl does that.”

Meanwhile, Paul Stewart, 55, adds: “Nostalgia and tangibility of having something to own, not just a song on an iPod.”

In this materialistic world, it is clear that music streaming just doesn’t fulfil that need to be kinaesthetic and real.

“My favourite feature is the sound quality...It’s better than off of a phone or CD because it’s raw."

Finally, the two were asked if they felt that the return was a good thing and, if so, why. Martin says: “Without a doubt. When I played vinyl at first it was on an old mono record player, then a stereo system and now it's on a high-end sound system which brings out every sound and every instrument like it was in the studio.”

Paul adds: “It’s great for the entire music world. Bands still making profits whilst our young listen to the songs of yesterdays. It creates a bond between the old and the young.”

Elsewhere, it was interesting to speak with a millennial and gain some insight from the younger generation. Liam McAteer, 18, is an avid collector of vinyl and hopes that more and more music fans opting for a physical product will bring greater support to artists.

“My favourite feature is the sound quality,” he says. “It’s better than off of a phone or CD because it’s raw. 

"We’re becoming bored of high-tech, anyone can just stick a record on and spin away and you can’t forget the aesthetic.

"People won’t illegally download music anymore; artists are guaranteed profit so, of course, it’s a good thing.”

There seems to be something about each record being a unique artefact to each individual, almost like a fingerprint. Each record will have its own flaws, its own sound and its own scratch – or eventually will.

However, in digital age media, every song is an exact copy. As humans, we all want to feel unique. These flaws personify our music and it makes it intimate for each of us.

Vinyl will always have a flip side, such as taking up more storage space and their fragility. But it seems the modern-day music consumer is not overly fussed by these qualms and, perhaps, there’s a lot to be said about looking to the past to create the future.

Oh, how the turntables have turned. In the words of The Beatles: You say you want a revolution…