In rotation: 9/9/19

The United States is about to become a $10BN recorded music market again—for the first time since 2007: New stats confirmed by the RIAA today (September 5) show that, on a retail basis – i.e. the money spent on streaming subscriptions, as well as physical and digital music – the US record industry generated $5.39bn across all formats (plus sync) in the first six months of this year. That was up by $822m (or +18%) on the equivalent H1 figure from 2018 ($4.56bn), which in turn was up by $383m (+9%) on the RIAA’s retail figure for H1 2017 ($4.18bn). In fact, the US record industry – on a retail basis – is collectively now turning over more than $200m every week, and approximately $30m every day. And with over $5bn generated in the first half of this year, it’s also now clearly on course to turn over more than $10bn at retail in a calendar year for the first time since 2007. …Vinyl albums grew 13% to $224m, but still only accounted for 4% of total revenues in 1H 2019. That $224m was actually close to the revenues generated by the CD format ($248m) in the same period.

Vinyl Is Poised to Outsell CDs For the First Time Since 1986: In the near future, the revenue generated by record sales is likely to surpass the revenue generated by CDs. Sales of vinyl records have enjoyed constant growth in recent years. At the same time, CD sales are in a nosedive. Last year, the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA) mid-year report suggested that CD sales were declining three times as fast as vinyl sales were growing. In February, the RIAA reported that vinyl sales accounted for more than a third of the revenue coming from physical releases. This trend continues in RIAA’s 2019 mid-year report, which came out on Thursday. Vinyl records earned $224.1 million (on 8.6 million units) in the first half of 2019, closing in on the $247.9 million (on 18.6 million units) generated by CD sales. Vinyl revenue grew by 12.8% in the second half of 2018 and 12.9% in the first six months of 2019, while the revenue from CDs barely budged. If these trends hold, records will soon be generating more money than compact discs. Despite vinyl’s growth, streaming still dominates the music industry — records accounted for just 4 percent of total revenues in the first half of 2019. In contrast, paid subscriptions to streaming services generated 62% of industry revenues.

A Precise Protractor for Vinyl Enthusiasts: With vinyl records back in demand, setting up a record deck properly ensures you get a clean, undistorted sound without putting unnecessary wear on your beloved collection. The Turntable Protractor is an ideal tool for vinyl enthuiasts, allowing for accurate setup of the stylus, to ensure it runs parallel with each of the tracks – minimising pressure on the sides of the record groove. The Turntable Protractor is made of fibreglass and comes with gold lines on a black background for precise visibility of each measurement. This video shows you all you need to know about setup of the stylus using a turntable protractor. For anyone who’s ever set up a record deck, you’ll be aware there are a number of variables and settings at play, including balancing tracking weights, choosing cartridge types, setting tonearms, and adjusting anti-skip wheels. Everything else you need to know is available in this guide from TechRadar.

Tool’s $45 CD Draws Huge Crowds at Indie Record Stores — With Lines Out the Door at Multiple Locations: Tool’s first album in 13 years, Fear Inoculum, has made a major splash at independent music stores. Mobs of Tool fans lined up for the record’s midnight launch, and countless others appeared during the following days, clearing many establishments’ inventories. Most impressive of all is the album’s considerable sales price: $45. This includes an art book, a high-definition screen, and a pair of speakers. Per a statement released by the Executive Director of the Coalition of Independent Record Stores, Michael Bunnell, Fear Inoculum “was the biggest thing to hit retail in years.” Bunnell went on to say that the album’s remarkable success should serve as reminder that the retail industry is alive and well; artists and manufacturers need only produce quality content and aesthetically pleasing packaging, respectively, to reap the profits.

James Brown’s complete 1969 homecoming concert newly mixed for its debut release via Republic/Ume: The 50th anniversary of James Brown’s October 1, 1969 homecoming concert in Augusta, Georgia, will be celebrated with the first-ever release of the complete show, newly mixed and including seven never-before-issued performances. Available now for preorder on CD, 2LP vinyl, and digital audio, Live at Home with His Bad Self will be released on October 25 by Republic/UMe. James Brown’s roof-raising performance at the city’s Bell Auditorium was captured on tape, with the intent to make an album of the show the cornerstone of a move back to his Augusta roots. Live at Home with His Bad Self was scheduled as a 1969 holiday release. But Brown and his band, featuring saxophone legend Maceo Parker and three legendary drummers – Maceo’s brother Melvin, Jabo Starks, Clyde Stubblefield, together for this tour only – soon broke up. Soul Brother No. 1 called in a new, young group, featuring bassist Bootsy Collins, and within a few weeks they recorded the funk anthem “Sex Machine.”

Stax Gems By Johnnie Taylor, Bar-Kays And More For 180 Gram Vinyl: They include titles by the Bar-Kays, Booker T and the MGs, Delaney & Bonnie and Johnnie Taylor. Four soulful gems from the album vaults of Stax Records will be reissued by Craft Recordings on high quality, 180 gram vinyl on 1 November. They include titles by the Bar-Kays, Booker T and the MGs, Delaney & Bonnie and Johnnie Taylor, each cut from their original analog tapes by Jeff Powell at Take Out Vinyl and manufactured at Memphis Record Pressing. The new editions form the next part of the year-long celebration of Stax Records and its remarkable legacy, and in particular of the 50th anniversary of the redefining “Soul Explosion” period that followed its separation from Atlantic Records. Newly independent at this time, Stax released 27 albums and 30 singles within a matter of months, by both established and emerging talent.

Jackson 5 ‘Greatest Hits’ Collection Arrives In Rare Quad Mix Vinyl LP: Jackson 5 ‘Greatest Hits’ Collection Arrives In Rare Quad Mix Vinyl LP on October 25, 2019. Firstly the Jackson 5’s first singles collection, titled Greatest Hits, was originally released on December 27, 1971. Overall it encapsulated an extraordinary 18-month span of back-to-back hits. Surely it was in itself a hit souvenir of Jacksonmania. Equally important, it featured incredibly popular records. In detail, Jackson 5’s legendary Motown debut, “I Want You Back”. Then two iconic B-sides, “I Found That Girl” and “Who’s Lovin’ You”. Also something new: “Sugar Daddy”. Specifically, a single which was then not available on any other Jackson 5 LP. So the Jackson 5 Greatest Hits quad mix is rare and sought-after because it was originally issued only in Japan in 1975. Basically, the Quad Mix includes alternate vocals, as well as some instrumentation not heard in the tracks’ well-known single and album mixes.

Sonos Port will make your turntable into a multi-room turntable: Stream your record collection around the house, or plug in any other analogue source. Sonos Port is a replacement for the venerable Sonos Connect that promises to make any analogue source you have into a multi-room component – the most obvious being a record player. Aimed primarily at the custom install market, it’s also going to have allure for a lot of turntable owners. Once your trusty old record player (or trendy, new vinyl turntable) is plugged in, you can stream your old Jethro Tull LPs, or 90s rave 12-inches, all around the house… to the delight of your partner and children! Sonos announced the all-new Sonos Port today at IFA 2019, alongside the Sonos One SL – essentially a Sonos One without Alexa or Google Assistant – and Sonos Move, Sonos’ first battery-powered speaker, which also introduces Bluetooth streaming to the range for the first time.

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