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Vinylize‘s handmade specs are perfect for vinyl aficionados and music lovers. The company has been transforming dusty old records into modern designs for almost ten years. They prefer to source older, heavier vinyl from the 1960s and before to make their durable, individually crafted frames. With due respect to the resurgence of vinyl, Vinyilze seeks out records that have been passed over and are headed to the landfill.
Here’s a short video by Pallas Group on how splattered vinyl is made.
Dan Harper of Bear was driving through Arden last year when he happened upon Jupiter Records “in the middle of nowhere.”
“I can smell vinyl a country mile,” said Harper, an avid collector of vinyl records.
Now, Harper, 52, is a regular at the record store located in an historic building at the corner of Grubb and Marsh roads. On a recent morning, Harper, who has 8,000 vinyl albums, was in the store to buy Pink Floyd’s newly released “The Endless River” album – on vinyl.
Thanks to vinyl lovers like Harper, Jupiter Records has had a very good first year in business, cashing in on a growing national demand for analog music, said owner Steve Zimmerman. Sales at the store, which opened in August 2013, exceeded what Zimmerman had projected, although he doesn’t release numbers.
Vinyl’s resurgence is the kind of comeback story the music industry loves. Its hit season coincided with the birth of rock and roll, beginning in the 1950s and continuing through the 1980s, according to the Record Collectors Guild. But by the 1990s, compact discs had knocked vinyl LPs to the bottom of the charts.
Now, it’s the flip side. Sales of vinyl LPs are up 48 percent so far this year over the same period in 2013, while CD album sales plummeted 17 percent, according to the latest Nielsen SoundScan industry report. And those numbers only represent sales of new vinyl, including re-releases. Sales of used albums are not tracked, Zimmerman said.
Zimmerman, 40, who owned a store in Phoenix from 2007 to 2012, said his sales at the Arden store surpassed the numbers the Arizona store was doing in its fifth year of business.
“It’s almost like a rebellion against the virtual music,” Zimmerman said. “It used to be in the ’60s and ’70s, people would sit around and listen to records and hang out. And that completely went away in the ’90s. It became people sitting alone listening with iPods or their phone. Now, it’s become a social event again.”
Today, young people will sit down and listen to an entire album, said Debbie Rich, manager of The Mad Platter in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
The store, which has been in business since 1976, has seen vinyl “come full circle,” Rich said. It managed to “hang in there…through the ups and downs of the music business” and continued to carry some vinyl records even when CD sales were at their peak. Now, vinyl represents almost half of the store’s sales, Rich said.
“Who knew that the thing that would turn it around would be vinyl?” she said.
While some buyers are collectors like Harper, many of today’s shoppers come from a generation born after grooves had given way to compact discs.
“You could walk in here on a Saturday and see kids 15 to 16 years old,” Zimmerman said.
To vinyl aficionados, analog sound is warmer and truer, as if the vocalist or musician is in the room.
Take John Castellaneta, 25, of Wilmington.
“I just like listening to it – it’s a nice experience. It’s kinda fascinating to me,” said Castellaneta, who was buying a “Flight of the Conchords” album from the HBO series.
Gerald Young, owner of Grooves and Tubes in Centreville, described vinyl as “more mellow.”
“It’s like the difference between biting into an apple or biting into a lemon,” said Young, who said he’s having his best year since he went into business nearly six years ago.
Young, who only sells used albums, said people also want to have more of a physical connection to the music, including reading the jacket or liner notes.
And there’s also the art on the covers, which adds another aesthetic dimension to albums.
“I think there’s something to having a tangible piece of art,” said Miranda Brewer, 40, of Rainbow Records in Newark.
For others, there’s an element of nostalgia, such as seeing their first Led Zeppelin album. Brewer, who has clear memories of her father’s record collection, said families will sometimes shop for vinyl records together.
At Jupiter Records, customers can find vintage Beach Boys, Beatles and Jimi Hendrix albums but also represses of classic LPs from the same artists.
What’s more, contemporary artists like Jack White and the Arctic Monkeys have had some of the top-selling vinyl albums this year, according to Nielsen SoundScan. At the front of Jupiter, Zimmerman features the soundtrack for the “Elf” motion picture on vinyl.
And it’s not just the small, independent retailer like Jupiter Records selling vinyl music. Large retailers, like Urban Outfitters, Amazon and Whole Foods, have been “riding the wave created by indie retailers,” according to Billboard. Other chains are reportedly looking at it, Billboard reported.
Still, vinyl is a small fry in the physical albums, Zimmerman said. While 7 million vinyl LPs were sold so far this year, CD album sales were 107 million, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
“It’s definitely a niche market,” Zimmerman said.
Much of Jupiter’s 2,000 square feet is devoted to vintage vinyl LPs that sell in the $1 to $10 range. There’s hardly a music category Zimmerman doesn’t have, although he’s not big on easy listening.
With 20,000 to 25,000 albums, Jupiter has pop, rock, jazz, rhythm and blues, country, classical and comedy. He even has a section featuring rare albums by Buddy Holly, Queen and Kiss, which sell for $25 and up.
A much smaller part of the store has 45s or what some call 7-inch records.
For Zimmerman, the biggest sellers continue to be classic rock. But a huge part of the business is buying records, he said. People arrive at the shop with boxes of old albums to sell. And some can bring real money to the seller. Recently, Zimmerman bought a collection of 1,500 records for $6,000.
To Zimmerman, the vinyl music format is here to stay.
“That dark ages of vinyl from the 1990s to about 2005 is over,” Zimmerman said.
The recording industry is taking vinyl for a spin. Again.
Twenty-five years ago when Plastics News was ramping up printing presses, record presses were shutting down. The Los Angeles Times proclaimed in a Feb. 24, 1989 headline: “Bye-bye, vinyl, bye-bye: Music Plus and other stores stop selling LP records, cite slow sales and rise of CDs.”
Now newspapers are shrinking and vinyl records are back.
Vinyl in other uses has been vilified in recent years for many reasons, mainly environmental. Maybe it was destiny, given vinyl was “phonetically disadvantaged” from the start, notes textbook author and materials authority Mike Ashby in his “Unappreciated Materials” blog.
Vinyl records suffered the indignity of being supplanted by cassettes, which gave CDs an easy opening: Anything sounded great by comparison. Once prized for their portability, CDs began losing ground to digital downloads and now, to the rising popularity of streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify.
Overall, retail music sales slipped almost 5 percent to $3.2 billion in the first half of 2014, compared with the same period in 2013, according to the Washington-based Recording Industry Association of America’s midyear report.
Total sales in physical formats like CDs (as opposed to downloads and streaming) dropped to $898 million in the first half of this year, down 14 percent compared with the first half of 2013. While vinyl records account for only 16 percent of that category, their sales shot up 43 percent to $146 million in that same period, RIAA said.
Sales of vinyl LPs have grown each year since 2006. Record pressers say the rise is significant.
“We take it very seriously,” said Matt Earley, vice president of sales and marketing for Gotta Groove Records Inc., which launched in 2009 — just after vinyl album sales took a serious jump, almost doubling to 1.9 million units from the year before. Unit sales in 2013 reached 6.1 million, the highest level since 1991, according to New York-based Nielsen Co.’s SoundScan.
“At this point the growth rate continues to climb bigger and faster than any of us had anticipated even a few years ago. I suppose in a few years, maybe, it might begin to level off, but we haven’t seen that yet,” Earley said in a phone interview.
The Cleveland company — located only a few miles from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum — employs about two dozen workers and can put out some 70,000 records a month, running six of its seven presses at a time. It’s currently on the lookout for parts for an eighth machine, which it hopes to operate in adjacent space it is expanding into at the one-time elevator factory.
Gotta Groove owner Vince Slusarz worked 24 years for injection molder Kinetico Corp., beginning as general counsel and later assuming operational responsibility. Slusarz said his manufacturing experience at the Newbury, Ohio-based maker of water-filtration valves gave him the background he needed to start compression molding at Gotta Groove — though the business is “whole unto its own.”
Gotta Groove gets its PVC from Bangkok-based Thai Plastic and Chemicals Public Co. Ltd. and Rimtec Corp., which claims to be the only U.S. manufacturer of vinyl for records. Frank Hutzler, vice president of sales and marketing for the PVC compounder in Burlington, N.J., said the record industry accounts for less than 2 percent of Rimtec’s annual sales of roughly $100 million, but he’s definitely noticed the upswing in the market.
“It’s a medium that can’t really be knocked off. It has extraordinary resilience,” he said in a phone interview. “Audiophiles are adamant that it has a much truer sound. It’s what they like — the feel, the nostalgia.”
Rimtec, which employs about 100, is a joint venture between Riken Technos Corp. and Mitsubishi Corp., both of Tokyo, and Mitsubishi International Corp. in New York.
Independent CD giant Disc Makers of Pennsauken Township, N.J., near Philadelphia, saw the writing on the wall and recently re-entered vinyl records, buying back equipment it had sold some 20 years ago.
“Our managers have been here for decades and know how all this works,” Jim Foley, production and logistics manager, said in a news release. “The guy who manages our CD plant is the guy who managed our record plant.”
In another declaration of faith in vinyl’s comeback, one of the biggest producers of vinyl LPs is getting even bigger.
United Record Pressing LLC of Nashville, Tenn., recently bought a second facility there. Marketing director Jay Millar said the company hopes to start some production at the 142,000-square-foot facility this year and expects the site to be fully operational in 2015.
“Our business has been growing for over 10 years now,” Millar said by phone.
A quarter-century ago when vinyl LPs began their decline, United had about 12 presses. While other pressers were going out of business, United was buying up their equipment. It now has 22 presses — and will be putting 16 more into operation when it opens the second plant.
“Things have never really gotten bleak for us,” Millar said. “And we’ve been running 24 hours a day, six days a week, for the most part, for two years now.”
Digital files satisfy the desire for convenience, but audiophiles, die-hards and DJs want “a bigger, better concept,” Millar said, adding he thinks the trend is sustainable.
“We don’t believe [vinyl] is going anywhere,” he said.
Source: Plastics News
The soundtracks to both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises are coming back to vinyl through Hot Topic. Batman Begins is being released on dark orange marble double vinyl and will be priced at $26.50. The Dark Knight Rises will be a double LP for the first time and will be on dark blue marble vinyl. The latter will include “Necessary Evil,” which according to primary music buyer at Hot Topic, Travis Peacock, was cut from the original pressing. It will also be $26.50.
Check out some images below, again courtesy of Peacock. They will reportedly be on sale on Nov. 25 online.
Source: Modern Vinyl
Motown legend Jimmy Ruffin passed away on Monday in Las Vegas at the age of 78.
Although details are sketchy at this time, he had been reported in a coma in a Las Vegas hospital in mid-October.
Jimmy Ruffin was born in Collinsville, Mississippi, and was approaching his second birthday when his brother David was born. As children, the brothers began singing with a gospel group, the Dixie Nightingales. In 1961, Jimmy became a singer as part of the Motown stable, mostly on sessions but also recording singles for its subsidiary Miracle label, but was then drafted for national service. After leaving the Army in 1964, he returned to Motown, where he was offered the opportunity to join the Temptations to replace Elbridge Bryant. However, after hearing his brother David, they hired him for the job instead so Jimmy decided to resume his solo career. Jimmy Ruffin recorded for Motown’s subsidiary Soul label, but with little success.
In 1966, he heard a song about unrequited love written for The Spinners, and persuaded the writers that he should record it himself. His recording of “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” became a major success. The song reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #6 on the R&B Chart. It also initially reached #10 in the UK singles chart, rising to #4 when it was reissued in the UK in 1974. “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” remained Ruffin’s best-known song. Follow-ups in the US were successful, with “I’ve Passed This Way Before” and “Gonna Give Her All the Love I’ve Got” reaching the US charts in late 1966 and early 1967.
Jimmy Ruffin found success in the United States difficult to sustain, and began to concentrate instead on the British market. In 1970, “Farewell Is a Lonely Sound”, “I’ll Say Forever My Love” and “It’s Wonderful (To Be Loved By You)” each made the UK top ten, and he was voted the world’s top singer in one British poll. He also teamed up with brother David to record the album I Am My Brother’s Keeper, a modestly successful 1970 album for Motown that included the songs “When The Love Hand Comes Down”, “Your Love Was Worth Waiting For” and a cover of Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me”. Following the success of his first two hits, Ruffin found it hard to maintain an identity, as most of his songs were later covered by other Motown artists, most prominently “Everybody Needs Love,” a hit when covered by Gladys Knight & The Pips, “Maria (You Were The Only One)”, a hit for Michael Jackson and “If You Let Me,” a minor hit for Eddie Kendricks. In addition, he had recorded the first version of The Temptations hit “Beauty Is Only Skin Deep.”
He then left Motown, and recorded for the Polydor and Chess labels, where he recorded “Tell Me What You Want.” In 1980, Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees produced his album Sunrise and the hit single “Hold On To My Love”, which reached #10 in the US and #7 in the UK, on the RSO label.
In the 1980s, Ruffin moved to live in Britain, where he continued to perform successfully. In December 1984 he collaborated with Paul Weller of The Style Council for his benefit single “Soul Deep”, produced to raise money for the families of striking miners affected by the UK miners’ strike. This went under the name of The Council Collective and Jimmy appeared with Paul on Radio 1 to say he is involved because his father worked down the mines and “he understands the suffering.” In 1986 he collaborated with the British pop group Heaven 17, singing “A Foolish Thing To Do” and “My Sensitivity” on a 12″ EP record. He also recorded duets with both Maxine Nightingale and Brenda Holloway. Later, Ruffin hosted a radio show in the UK for a time, and became an anti-drug advocate following the 1991 drug overdose death of his brother David. Ruffin was portrayed by Lamman Rucker in the 1998 mini-series The Temptations.
Following the 2010 release of his 1970 album I Am My Brother’s Keeper to CD for the first time, Jimmy Ruffin had been writing and recording songs for a new album that he had planned to release on his recent 77th birthday (May 7, 2013). It was never issued.
In 2012, a compilation album entitled There Will Never Be Another You, including his hit songs “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted”, and “Hold On To My Love”, was released.
Living in the Las Vegas, Nevada area, on October 17, 2014, it was reported that he was gravely ill and had been taken into an intensive care unit in a Las Vegas hospital. Ruffin died on November 17, 2014, in Las Vegas, aged 78.
Estimated at $500,000, Elvis Presley’s first ever recording is being sold at Graceland in January.
They don’t come much rarer than this. Five months after his eighteenth birthday, with just four bucks in his pocket, a young Elvis Presley made his way to Sun Records’ Memphis Recording Service to cut a single copy of his first acetate disc, and the first of millions he would go on to sell on the way to becoming the biggest rock n roll star in history. As the story goes, Elvis was simply making the recording as a present for his mother.
Recorded on 18th July 1953, the single includes ‘My Happiness’ on one side and ‘That’s When Your Heartaches Begin’ on the other, the single eventually found its way into the hands of friend Ed Leek and has now been put up for auction for the first time, when Graceland hold their second such event on 8th January to coincide with what would have been The King’s 80th birthday.
Although Graceland have not provided any estimates, Record Collector magazine once valued the record at $500,000, significantly higher than pre-Beatles outfit The Quarrymen’s original 1958 single ‘That’ll Be The Day/In Spite Of All The Danger’, which tends to top ‘most valuable records of all time’ lists at around $200,000.
A signed, 78rpm copy of Elvis’s first Sun Records single ‘That’s All Right’ will also be included in the lot from Leek’s collection, along with a copy of Elvis’ driving license and a signed radio show contract from 1955.
Source: The Vinyl Factory
NOTHING HAS CHANGED released by Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings collects together for the first time the definitive collection of Bowie’s music from 1964 to 2014.
Fifty years on from his first recordings, David Bowie continues to be at the vanguard of contemporary culture as a musician, artist, icon and a nonpareil to generations of writers, artists and fashionistas. He remains to be a unique presence in contemporary culture.
NOTHING HAS CHANGED (named after a lyric from the ‘Heathen’ album opener ‘Sunday’) compiles tracks from every period of Bowie’s career from his earliest incarnations with ‘Liza Jane’ and ‘Can’t Help Thinking About Me’ right up to James Murphy’s ‘Hello Steve Reich Mix’ of ‘Love Is Lost’ from last year.
The album features Bowie’s first new music since he stunned the world with the critically lauded ‘THE NEXT DAY’. The new single ‘SUE (or IN A SEASON OF CRIME)’ was especially recorded for NOTHING HAS CHANGED with long time collaborator Tony Visconti.
22nd BANBURY – Methodist Church Hall, Marlborough Rd, OX16 5BZ - www.vinylbank.co.uk
22nd DERBY – Guildhall, Market Place DE1 3AE – MVF Music
22nd DUNKELD – British Legion – G&S Duncan
22nd KETTERING – Parish Hall, Market Place NN16 0AL – Out Of The Past Records
22nd LONDON – Catholic Centre, Dukes Avenue, Chiswick High Rd – Soundbite
22nd LONDON – Dalston Jazz Bar, 4 Bradbury St, Dalston N16 8JN – Robert Beckford 07730789557
22nd MANCHESTER – Sachas Hotel, Tib Street, Piccadilly M4 1SH – Premier Fairs
22nd NORWICH – St Andrew’s Hall NR3 1AU – VIP Events
22nd SKYE – Portree Community Centre – Allander Record Fairs
22nd SUTTON-IN-ASHFIELD – St Josephs Church Hall, Forest Street NG17 1DA – Ian 01623 757730
23rd ELGIN – Bishopmills Hall – Allander Record Fairs
23rd HASTINGS – Ore Community Centre, 455 Old London Road TN 35 5BH – John 07778 213476
23rd MOFFAT – Buccleuch Arms Hotel – G&S Duncan
23rd READING – Rivermead Leisure Centre, Richfield Avenue RG1 8EQ – USR Fairs
23rd SKIPTON – Town Hall, High Street BD23 1AN – Premier Fairs