Tampa's Vinyl Fever to close months after Rolling Stone named it a top U.S. record store
One of the many sad codas from news that Tampa record store institution Vinyl Fever will close in February after 30 years, is the knowledge that even major props from Rolling Stone couldn't stop the inevitable.
Back in September, Rolling Stone named Vinyl Fever to its list of the top 25 record stores in America, a space it shared with such august institutions as Amoeba Music in Los Angeles and Dusty Groove in Chicago. Another Tampa Bay area music mainstay landed on that exclusive list: Bananas Music in St. Petersburg, which just opened a new location, defying industry trends.
Presumably, the small hiccup of hipsters returning to vinyl hasn't been enough to keep some record stores going, as the masses increasingly turn to online outlets such as iTunes or just steal songs for free via file sharing networks.
But, as somebody who spent many long moments combing through Vinyl fever's unique library of old discs and used CDs, I can confirm: There's little in the online experience to compare with stumbling on a title from your youth or a great album you never knew existed. It's the closest to panning for gold that I ever want to get.
RIP Vinyl Fever. you were an amazing experience while you lasted.