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´╗┐Real class never goes out of style PITTSFIELD I don't know about you, but I'm glad to see that vinyl records are making a comeback. And it isn't because of nostalgia, or to escape into the past. It's quality. I grew up with vinyl records, that's true, but they always represented something more to me than eight tracks, cassette tapes, Compact Discs, and whatever the heck people use to obtain music nowadays. Vinyl records were classy. Buying an album was like looking at a piece of art, or buying a book. Besides the record, there were the liner notes, which were written in all kinds of strange ways by people who either knew that they were hip, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan albums come to mind or who were desperately trying to sound that way. Then, there was the cover art, usually a big, creative picture of either the band or something the group or the artist wanted to portray. Eight tracks, cassettes and CDs had cover art too, and everything except eight tracks had notes, but due to the packaging and the size of these items everything was really small compared to an album. Instead of thumbing through the several picture book size pages that an album contained, you could hold everything in the palm of your hand. Especially with cassettes, the pages were so small that you could barely read the nike q-lok replacement spikes liner notes. It just wasn't the same. So why am I so happy? It's because vinyl's comeback makes me hopeful that lots of other things that businesses used to provide may also resurface. Quality and class. They never go out of style. I was thinking about this the other day when I was driving past a gas station. At most gas stations nowadays, you have to pump your nike windbreaker own gas, or check your own oil, which is OK. But it pales in comparison to when gas stations were called service stations, and the attendant would automatically pop the hood to check your oil before even thinking about filling the tank, then finish things off by cleaning your windshield and back window. It was classy. Here's a look at some businesses that were once classy, fell on hard times, but have rebounded in recent years, courtesy of the business website, Fast Company. Marvel Comics: The home of Spiderman, Captain America and the Fantastic Four, Marvel fell on hard times in the mid 1990s when the comic book market crashed. The company went broke. But Marvel restructured, changed its approach by focusing on movies, and is once again an iconic brand. Stan Lee, who originally drew most of these characters, has even guest starred on nerd nirvana, the television show, "The Big Bang Theory." It doesn't get much more classier than that. Pabst Blue Ribbon: Enormously popular during the "eight track era". according to Fast Company, this beer company also bottomed out in the 1990s. After sales hit an all time low in 2001, Pabst brought in nike shoes for boys a new management team that included a brand manager who was only 27 years old. They decided to concentrate on one of the few places where Pabst was still popular, Portland, Oregon, where the hipsters related to the brand's no frills image. Instead of traditional advertising, Pabst began to sponsor events like art gallery openings. Bingo! National sales of Pabst have increased 165 percent since 2001. Converse: Maybe it's because I played sports in high school, but when I was growing up everyone seemed to have a pair of these ubiquitous athletic shoes that were more commonly known as "Cons". It was almost sacrilegious not to wear them if you played basketball. But deep pocketed companies like Nike and Adidas began to muscle in on the athletic shoe market, Reebok and other companies followed, and goodbye market share. By 2001 Converse had filed for bankruptcy. Then Nike bought Converse in 2003 and decided to change the company's image, making the brand more about style than sports. In 2005, Converse extended a previous partnership and created a clothing line. Today, it's a hip fashion brand that is popular with artists and musicians.