In rotation: 1/10/18

Record Store Day 2018: The 11th annual event falls on Saturday, April 21, 2018: The eleventh annual worldwide party that celebrates the culture of the indie record store is set for Saturday, April 21, 2018. Stores around the world will open up their doors to celebrate with their customers, the musicians who make the music they sell, and the staff who sell it. In its first ten years, Record Store Day has grown exponentially and is now celebrated by millions of people, in thousands of independent record stores, worldwide. It has spurred the growth of at least one physical media format, inspired new stores to open their doors, and helped existing stores to grow and expand. Thousands of artists have celebrated with performances, in-store events and limited edition special releases. Unknown numbers of people have had a damn good time at their local record store.

The Vinyl Records ‘Fad’ Has Been Going Strong for 12 Straight Years: Music industry moguls and audio experts alike never saw this coming. But somewhere in the late 90s, audiophiles, die-hard music fans, and baby boomers felt like something was missing. Several years later, they were suddenly buying the nostalgic format. And the past 12 years have shown a surge in the sales of vinyl records. And according to just-released 2017 data, this isn’t slowing down. Per figures from Nielsen Music, 14.32 million vinyl records were sold in 2017, an increase of 9 percent from the previous year. That represents 8.5 percent of all album sales in 2017, a 6.5 percent gain from 2016. Vinyl records accounted for 14.3 percent of all physical format sales in 2017, also according to Nielsen. That’s a brand-new record, at least for the modern music industry. (There was also a 35% increase in cassette sales last year. But more on that later.)

The world was running out of cassette tape. Now it’s being made in Springfield. A sprawling factory on Water Street in downtown Springfield will soon be the only place in the country, maybe even the world, to make the tape that goes inside audiocassettes. Yes, people still use those. Lots of people. National Audio Company’s factory makes more than 10 million cassettes per year. In recent years, a worldwide shortage of tape showed few signs of relief. For a long time, National Audio muddled through by purchasing stocks of tape from other manufacturers. Those companies were getting out of the tape-making game, said National Audio president and co-owner Steve Stepp. “Nobody has made audiocassette tape in this country since about 1983 or 1984,” Stepp told the News-Leader in early December.

Sex Pistols’ ‘God Save The Queen’ Unreleased 7″ Sells For $14,690US: Discogs has verified the sale of the Sex Pistols’s ‘God Save The Queen’ unreleased A&M Records 7″ for $14,690US topping the Most Expensive Items Sold on Discogs for November 2017. The Guardian lists this unreleased Sex Pistols single as one of the rarest records in Britain. Originally signed to A&M Records, 25,000 copies of ‘God Save The Queen’ were pressed before A&M’s Herb Alpert reportedly destroyed the Sex Pistols’ recording contract six days after signing. Genuine originals have the serrated anti-slip necklace and 7284 written twice on the B-Side runout, one above the other. Also of note, runout (Side A label) is AMS 7284A and runout (Side B label) is AMS 7284B. View the entire Top 30 Most Expensive Items Sold on Discogs for November 2017 HERE.

The vinyl resurgence is doing the world of good for charities, An Oxfam store made a profit of £100,000 thanks to wax sales: It’s not just record shops that are prime for digging in, charity shops are also full of vintage wax and dusty classics. As vinyl sales are ever-increasing, charity shops are reaping the rewards as proved by an Oxfam music store on Byres Road in Glasgow, Scotland. The store says the records it sold in 2017 – alongside cassettes, CDs and instruments – contributed towards a £100,000 profit. This was more than every other Oxfam outlet in the UK. Manager of the store, Andrew McWhinnie, said: “We have tried to do what the independent shops do,” he says. “Instead of it being just a bargain shop, we have tried to categorise the music and try to make it as fun as we can for people to go through.”

‘ABBA – The Album’ 40th anniversary celebrated with half-speed mastered 2-LP vinyl reissue: In celebration of ABBA – The Album’s original release four decades ago, Polar Music/UMe will release a half-speed mastered, 45rpm-cut, 180-gram 2LP edition on January 26. First released in Scandinavia in December 1977, ABBA – The Album took the world by storm, hitting Number One in several countries, including the UK, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, among others. It also reached No. 15 in the U.S., becoming ABBA’s highest Billboard-charting studio album with platinum-certified sales…The specialized half-speed mastering technique transforms difficult to cut high-end frequencies into relatively easy to cut mid-range frequencies. The result is a cut with excellent high frequency response and very solid and stable stereo images. In short, half-speed mastering produces a master of the highest quality that enables the pressing plant to produce a superlative record.

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