THE time has come to dust off your turntable, plug in the cartridge and the diamond stylus because vinyl is back.

In the 1960s and 70s they were called LPs, not albums, and were the cornerstone of music culture. Back then groups of excitable teenagers would gather around Dansette record players listening to their favourite artists with reverence. Or check out the latest releases in a booth in a local record shop wearing headphones.

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But with the massive popularity of CDs in the Naughties vinyl seemed set to die out. Records were boxed up and put in the attic, or sold off to collectors, factories closed down. But, over the last decade, sales of records have been steadily growing and we are now seeing a vinyl renaissance.

Demand for vinyl records has reached a new high. Data from the Entertainment Retailers Association shows that demand for grew by over 60% in 2015 and by 70% in the first quarter of 2016.

Sales of vinyl have also been increasing steadily for eight years, with 222,600 albums sold in 2008 compared with 2,236,800 in 2015. Over the past twelve months 2.39 million vinyl albums have been sold in the UK, supplemented by sales of 222,000 singles on 7” and 12”.

Last year the UK’s first weekly vinyl chart was set up by the Official Charts Company (OCC). Data from the OCC show that 637,056 records were sold in the first three months of 2016, accounting for nearly 3% of the UK music market.

READ MORE: Top Ten Best-selling Vinyl Albums

In terms of sales of physical music formats, vinyl LPs are now responsible for 8.3% of this market. This is in contrast to 2008, when vinyl accounted for a miniscule 0.3% of physical music sales.

In 2015 Adele’s album 25 topped the bestseller lists and sold over 23,000 units over just two months.

Last year, sales of vinyl generated more income for UK artists than YouTube, with performers like Adele and Ed Sheeran feeling the benefit of vinyl’s resurgent popularity.

Supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s and Tesco have also taken note of vinyl sales and decided to stock records in their stores. Sainsbury’s plan to sell them in 171 stores across the UK.

Pete Selby, Sainsbury’s Head of Music and Books, said: “Vinyl is definitely experiencing a revival with demand growing year-on-year.” While the supermarket used to sell records in the 1980s, Tesco have never sold vinyl before, making this a first for the chain.

READ MORE: Top Ten Best-selling Vinyl Albums

One of the factors in the success of vinyl is Record Store Day, which was founded in 2008. Every third Saturday in April, over 200 independent music stores across the UK participate in a celebration of vinyl. The day is marked by special vinyl releases and in-store performances by musicians. Around the world thousands more record shops also join in with it.

According to Record Store Day spokesperson: “There are many reasons as to why vinyl has seen a turnaround in its popularity. In terms of consumer motivation there is clearly a nostalgia/memorabilia angle, and there does seem among some young people a yearning for the tangibility, physicality and large format artwork which digital services simply cannot offer.”

Scottish record labels, such as Chemikal Underground in Glasgow, have been producing records on vinyl for decades. Stewart Henderson from Chemikal says: “We’ve always sold vinyl. It’s always been a part of what we do.”

However, he has noticed that the music industry has been in “a state of flux” for the past 20 years. “There was a spell at Chemikal, around 2005 to 2010, where vinyl was becoming a less integral part of what we do”, he says. This change was due to the fact that it is an “expensive format to make” and also due to a “market driven by CD sales”.

READ MORE: Top Ten Best-selling Vinyl Albums

When CD sales began to collapse vinyl became more important for independent labels like Chemikal. As well as offering “the aesthetic pleasure of putting an LP on the turntable”, Henderson names vinyl as “the only music format that has a margin”, making it of vital importance to his business.

Music stores in Scotland are also contributing to the sales. Sandy McLean, owner of the Love Music in Glasgow, says that over the past few years, vinyl has been “huge”. He believes that its success is partly down to its look, with the artwork being “a lot bigger, 12” – it’s a lot more satisfying”.

But McLean also argues that the sound of vinyl is what makes it so popular: “The number one argument is the sonic argument. You’re getting 100% of the music that’s there… CDs only give you 70% of that, and MP3s even less than that”.

As well as retaining older record-buyers vinyl has gained new, younger followers. McLean has noticed that “young people are buying it now because it’s back, it’s trendy.”

READ MORE: Top Ten Best-selling Vinyl Albums

But it is both age-groups who are helping boost sales. “We’re finding our demographic is split,” McLean says, “between the young people under 25 and people over 40 who’ve always been buying it.”

Tom Keppie, of Hog’s Head music store in Edinburgh, is also benefitting from the vinyl boom. He says: “We’ve been doing vinyl for two years. We were initially quite sceptical because it was motivated by fashion… Without doubt it has helped us”.

However, he recognises that the current sales boom is nowhere near to that in earlier decades: “It’s back but it’s also isn’t back. It’s not selling like it was in the 80s."

As people discover and re-discover vinyl demand may be growing but will its hot new popularity begin to cool? Chemikal Underground's Henderson believes that it will “continue to grow, but within a very specific context”. “It’s always going to be a niche market," he says. "But I think it’s going to consolidate its position as a high-end lifestyle alternative”.