In rotation: 9/23/19

Ebay has sold over 24 million vinyl records since 2007: eBay are celebrating their second Vinyl Obsession Week. With special deals in a bid to sell more physical music, Vinyl Obsession Week allows eBay customers to shop exclusive record bundles, as well as a search function that allows you to shop by featured record stores and records of the year. The online retail giant states they have sold more than 24 million vinyl records since 2007, with 3.6 million sold in 2017 alone. With vinyl sales continuing to increase, these figures only look set to rise in the coming years. For this year’s Vinyl Obsession Week, eBay has partnered with Record Store Day, using their Authorised Seller Network so that buyers can shop for collectible releases at reasonable prices. Users can also shop for special signed editions of their favourite records.

The man behind the album covers: He didn’t paint the Mona Lisa. But Robert “Bob” Heimall’s unique artwork – and its context in pop culture – is sure to endure, like all great art, for many years to come, or as long as rock music exists as part of our cultural landscape. Heimall pioneered, mastered and enhanced the art of record album design during the heyday of rock ‘n’ roll in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. But his career, ultimately spanning six decades, ended up being much more than that. And his new book, “Cover Stories,” chronicles the circuitous route he took through the world of “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll” to find a different god, the God of Christianity. “I’m a Christian now and this is a spiritual book,” said the man who had partied with the likes of Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Heimall’s book, self-published and available at Amazon, starts out with the stories behind the art – stories of how Heimall got to know many of the rock legends of the time, even became friends with some of them, while designing their album covers. But, whether intended or not, it quickly turns into an autobiography.

An introduction to Black Jazz in 10 records: …When Los Angeles-born, Oakland-based pianist-turned-producer Gene Russell co-founded Black Jazz in 1971, the 39-year-old journeyman was just two years removed from a small-trio release on Decca that landed squarely in the lighthearted, pop-friendly, ‘Up-Up And Away’ and ‘Born Free’-covering world of cocktail-bar jazz. But with the turn-of-the-seventies emergence of revolutionary developments from electric Miles to the spiritual directions of Pharoah Sanders and Alice Coltrane – and all sorts of funky mutations in Russell’s soul-jazz wheelhouse, to boot – the tight-knit collection of artists he assembled took full advantage of all the possibilities that lay ahead for jazz in the young decade.

Valuable Vinyl: Caring for Your Prized Classical LPs: Tonight’s selection is determined as much by the caress of the finger across the spines as the music itself. The choice is slid from the collection into the waiting hand of the enthusiast. It is cradled gingerly in the arm as the other hand slides off the glossy jacket and then the sleeve to reveal multiple glistening shades of black reflecting off the vinyl. The disc is reverently placed on the turntable, and the tone arm is raised in anticipation of the full-frequency stereophonic sound immersion. The multi-sensory, ritualistic experience of listening to a vinyl record transcends any digital playlist. Whether new or vintage, you’ll want to make sure that your prized classical albums are well cared for.

Pro-Ject launches two new record cleaners to keep your vinyl healthy: Because your vinyl is worth it. It’s well worth keeping your vinyl in pristine condition, since even tiny bit of dirt can seriously kill your groove. That’s why it’s worth resisting the bucket-and-sponge method, and investing in a record cleaning machine instead. And the Austrian company Pro-Ject has just unveiled two new wet-clean options, which it claims are its fastest yet. Let’s start with the premium model, the VC-S2 ALU (£399). It features a vacuum motor to remove dirt from the grooves, leaving your vinyl residue-free in as little as one or two rotations. Each rotation takes less than two seconds. According to Pro-Ject, that’s “three times faster than comparable products.” In terms of design, the VC-S2 ALUs sleek aluminium box totes a few interesting upgrades. There’s a new aluminium screw-on clamp, lined with a rubber pad plus a 2.5 litre tank to collect the cleaning fluid. Pro-Ject supplies its proprietary ‘Wash-IT’ non-alcoholic cleaning concentrate (£15 per 100ml), which promises to reduce static charge and stylus wear.

View All The Contents Of Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘See You On The Other Side’ Box Set: Rock fans can now get an inside look at the “See You On The Other Side” box set, the definitive vinyl collection of all of Ozzy Osbourne’s original solo material. Due out Friday, November 29 on Sony Legacy, this set marks the first-ever all-vinyl collection of all the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee and Grammy-winning singer and songwriter’s career music. Vinyl: 173 songs total on 16 albums, each of which is 150-gram, hand-pressed multi-colored splatter vinyl, making each pressing unique. Many of the albums are previously unavailable or are currently out of print on vinyl. The collection also includes “Flippin’ The B Side”, a new collection of non-album tracks, which has never been pressed to vinyl. In addition, “Black Rain”, “Down To Earth” and “Scream” have never been pressed in the U.S., while “No More Tears” was remastered from the original flat analog album masters and is offered as a two-LP set which will allow the album’s songs to be uncompressed for the very first time ever on vinyl.

Incubus will release the 20th Anniversary edition of Make Yourself on vinyl: Incubus will be releasing the 20th Anniversary edition of Make Yourself on vinyl this November. Incubus carved their own musical niche and earned a huge following by tireless touring and releasing ever-improving quality albums. They merged Nu-Metal grooves with Funk, Rock and Hip Hop. Their Southern Californian vibe resonated with fans all over the world. Incubus returned to the studio shortly after touring in support of their sophomore album S.C.I.E.N.C.E. Then they released Make Yourself in 1999. Make Yourself attained Double Platinum status and it further expanded their fan base by entering the album charts and selling over two million copies. The radio hit “Drive” definitely drove the popularity of this five piece from California leaps forward. Also included in this Multi-Platinum album are popular singles “Pardon Me” and “Stellar.”

Warp Records Announces WXAXRXP Sessions Box Set Featuring Boards of Canada’s One and Only Radio Session, Aphex Twin, Flying Lotus and More: Legendary electronic music record label Warp Records has just announced the WXAXRXP Sessions Box Set, which will contain work from ten specially selected sessions recorded for radio from across the history of the label, featuring artists such as Boards of Canada, Aphex Twin, Flying Lotus and Oneohtrix Point Never. These sessions include Aphex Twin’s 1995 Peel Session, one of his two radio sessions ever, Boards of Canada’s 1998 Peel Session, Flying Lotus’ 2010 Maida Vale session, Oneohtrix Point Never’s 2018 KCRW session, and two sets from the label’s NTS Radio takeover. This boxset comes off the heels of Warp Records NTS Radio Takeover, which featured 100 hours of original music programming pulled from original mixes, documentaries, live performances, film and sessions from the whole Warp roster. The boxset will be released on November 15th.

My reverence for the album is dying, and I miss it: “Buying an album used to feel like a real event. Now, it doesn’t.” I’m old enough, just about, to remember the days before digital music was a big thing. In fact, the very first album I ever owned – Oasis’ (What’s The Story) Morning Glory – was on cassette tape. It was a long-desired gift alongside an old-school, shoulder-carry boombox one Christmas, and I listened for the first time huddled in a corner beneath a Christmas tree, trying not to disturb my siblings and cousins playing with Lego and board games. That wasn’t my first experience of albums, of course. That probably came from my dad’s collection: Paul Simon, Pink Floyd, and Abba particularly stand out. Even early on, there was something special about the album. Back then you’d buy it, most often, based on a single or two. Many of them were loaded with filler, of course – I can still remember a band or two famed for being rubbish past track four – but they presented some real, lasting memories, too.

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