Vinyl records are popular again. Reason for the Philips Museum to organize an ear and eye-catching exhibition. With record sleeves, music, photographs, record players, golden records and other unique exhibits, Vinyl! is reliving the heyday of Philips’ music industry.
It all began in 1942, when Frits Philips purchased a small record company. This started an enterprising adventure, which developed into Polygram, one of the largest music industries in the world. Due to acquisitions and mergers, the number of labels and artists expanded considerably in the 1970s and 1980s. James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Donna Summer, The Bee Gees, Elton John, Dire Straits and many others released albums under one of the Philips / Polygram labels. The sales of the Bee Gees album with the soundtrack of the movie Saturday Night Fever hits sky high records. Philips was also prominent in classical music, jazz, cabaret and chansons.
Vinyl! focuses on the most eye-catching items: the record covers. These were often of an artistic high level with designers / artists such as Cornelius van Velzen, Dick Elffers and Marte Röling. Photographer Paul Huf even elevated the genre to art with his 1956 series for classical music.
In 1982, Philips introduced the new worldwide standard for playing recorded music: the compact disc. This heralded the demise of the gramophone record, although vinyl records certainly didn’t disappear completely. Quite on the contrary! Vinyl records are very much in demand among collectors and many have even achieved cult status