In rotation: 1/6/20

Weekly Vinyl Album Sales Top 1 Million for First Time in Nielsen Era, Thanks to Harry Styles & More: Last-minute Christmas shopping helped yield a record number of vinyl albums sold in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music. In the week ending Dec. 26, a whopping 1.243 million vinyl albums were sold, marking the single largest sales week for the format since Nielsen Music began electronically tracking music sales in 1991. Further, it is the first time vinyl LP sales have surpassed 1 million copies in a single week in the Nielsen Music era. The biggest-selling vinyl album in the week ending Dec. 26 was Harry Styles’ Fine Line, with 16,000 copies sold. Rounding out the top five sellers for the week: Billie Eilish’s When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (16,000), The Beatles’ Abbey Road (12,000), the Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 soundtrack (12,000) and Queen’s Greatest Hits (11,000). The previous largest week for the vinyl album format in the Nielsen Music era was set just a week earlier, when 973,000 vinyl LPs were sold…

UK recorded music market up 7.5%, hits 114 billion streams in 2019: …In contrast to the streaming result, physical sales were down 22.8% year-on-year and now account for less than 20% (18.2%) of the total. CDs slumped by 26.5% year-on-year to 23.5m units, although the value of box sets will likely soften the blow. Physical sales were also significant in chart terms. They accounted for over half of chart-eligible sales of the Official Charts No.1 artist album in 29 chart weeks last year. For the last quarter of 2019, there were 13 consecutive weeks where physical accounted for the majority of chart-eligible sales. Digital albums were down 28.2% to 7.3m units, as the industry faces up to a future in which downloads are likely to be a niche business. Digital albums now account for 4.8% of the total, compared to 21.1% in 2015. Geoff Taylor, chief executive BPI & BRIT Awards, said: “British music proved once again in 2019 that it has a bright future. Strong demand for streaming music and vinyl, fuelled by the investment and innovation of UK labels in discovering and promoting new talent, boosted music consumption to levels not seen for 15 years…”

Scotland, UK | BROKEN RECORD: Glasgow’s Byres Road Fopp store to close just months after outcry from devastated music fans saved it from shutting down: Glasgow’s Byres Road Fopp store is set to close just months after a last-ditch decision to save it. The record store faced the chopping block last February when trouble hit the HMV and Fopp music chain. At the time, bosses were able to work out a deal to keep it open. It came after an outcry from Scots music lovers when news broke the iconic store would be closing. But closing down signs appeared over the festive period, with the shop rumoured to close on January 25. A source said: “They can’t agree on the terms of the rent – they only got a year last time. “Staff are feeling rubbish but are trying to be cheerful.” Fopp first opened as a market stall in 1981 before taking up its spot on Byres Road. The brand, renowned for its knockdown prices on vinyl and CDS, went into administration in 2007 after a HMV takeover. Canadian retailer Sunrise Records then bought over HMV last February in a move set to save more than 100 stores and over 1,4800 around the country.

Istanbul, TR | Decades-old Istanbul record store set to close its doors: Longtime customers have mixed feelings, both sad and hopeful that fabled store will return from closing. After decades serving Istanbul music lovers, a historic record store is shuttering its doors at the end of this year due to “family reasons.” “Our adventure, which started on May 13, 1954, will end on Dec. 31, 2019,” said the store’s Twitter account last week, saddening its longtime customers as well as musicians and music lovers everywhere. “Through Lale Plak, we’ve touched the souls of thousands of our friends with quality music for 65 years,” it added. Located in the city’s teeming Beyoglu district, the 35 square-meter (4,020-foot) store is credited with providing top-notch vinyl records and CDs to its customers. All the albums on offer were being meticulously selected by Hakan Atala, 58, the store owner, who boasts a profound knowledge of music, particularly jazz and classical. “I was trying to stock and sell different albums compared to other stores. I did all this with love,” Atala told Anadolu Agency.

Barrow, UK | Barrow vinyl store celebrates a year of success: A Barrow record store has seen huge success in it’s first year since opening. TNT Records has seen huge support from the community, and recently bagged itself the UK’s Record Shop of the Year 2019 award. Owner and founder Dave Turner said: “We opened last year on the 22nd December, and within three days everything was cleared so we knew that this was going to be something big. “We had to rethink our strategy and sign up with all the big dogs – we managed to get that sorted in six weeks, it normally takes about three years. “We had over 300 people queued up in April. “There is always a massive buzz around the store, it’s great. “People say that we are running our store off of passion. “We’ve already expanded the store and we’ve had a joiner come round three times and we’re looking to open up a vinyl cafe upstairs. “We have now partnered up with Kendal Calling so all being well we could be running the merchandise for them next year.

Berkeley, NJ | Berkeley Record Shop Expands Into Used Books: The Vinyl Dinosaur on Route 9 now offers a new type of product. The Vinyl Dinosaur is pausing the music and curling up with a good book. Berkeley’s record shop recently added a used-book section. The Vinyl Dinosaur opened last April, selling music needs such as vinyl records, CDs, cassettes, 8-track tapes and memorabilia. Now they sell a variety of used literature — fiction and nonfiction, hardcover and paperback. The store is located at 541 Atlantic City Boulevard in Chelsey Square.

Evansville, IL | New Record Store Brings Vinyl Back to Evansville Music Fans: Despite constant innovations in music streaming, vinyl records have shown real staying power over the years. Through the eras of Napster, iTunes and Spotify, older generations helped keep vinyl alive, and millennials are discovering the joy of endlessly sifting through records at a store and the experience of finding sounds of a different era. It’s been adding momentum to a true vinyl revival. In 2019, records are poised to outsell CDs for the first time since 1986, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. A close-to-home sign of the resurgence is the opening of Space Monkey Records at 1201 East Riverside Drive. Owner Patrick Holl opened the store in August and is already impressed by the community’s response. He said he’s seen customers of all ages walk through his doors. Holl has two passions in life: music and comedy. After he retired from a 20-year career as a local DJ playing hundreds of weddings throughout the Tri-State area, the next step for Holl was to open a shop that reflected his interests.

Wethersfield, CT | After 48 years, Wethersfield’s Integrity ‘N Music record store is taking its final spin: Ed Krech was a survivor. His Integrity ‘N Music store in Wethersfield survived competition from the big box music stores, bookstores and department stores. He survived the internet and eBay. But he couldn’t survive iTunes and Spotify. After 48 years in the business, Krech is closing his Silas Deane store that has become a sort of pilgrimage for many customers still enjoying the experience of listening to records on the turntable, tapes or rare CDs — all at a bargain price. “I’m going to miss it for sure,” Krech said Friday, as he opened up his store for a half-dozen customers who trickled in over the first hour. “It has become more of a hobby for me now. I haven’t really made any profit over the past few years. I’ve kind of been doing it for the love of music. This has been pretty much my life.” The year was 1972 and Krech was a computer programmer stuck in a cubicle at Travelers insurance company. After a few months, he and a friend left the corporate world and opened a storefront alternative record store that specialized in rock and his beloved jazz. He notes he bought a house one week and opened a store the next.

Ellwood City, PA | Music to the ears: Ellwood City shop celebrates 25 years, 75 years of family business: Hoots Music Center is celebrating 25 years of providing anything and everything music to the community, and 75 years as a continuous family-owned business in the building at 1001 South Second St. Owner Tony Mazzei said he is humbled and grateful for the support he has received from his family, friends, the Ellwood community and professional services. “I am blessed because there is a master plan, set up by, well, let’s say, a force above and beyond my lucky stars,” he said. Hoots Music Center has everything a musician or a budding music players could need including family-friendly instruments sales and services and private lessons on all instruments. “Ellwood City and the surrounding communities have such a rich past and present history of arts and music,” Mazzei said. “I’m very humble and blessed that I’ve been able to contribute a small part.” Walking into Hoots Music Center is walking into the past, present and the future all in one place.

Worcester, UK | Worcester’s HMV store closing after Christmas: Signs have gone up at a Worcester music store to confirm the retailer is closing in the city next month. Music, DVDs and games retailer HMV – which is based in Worcester High Street – has had signs placed in the shop window announcing the store will close on Saturday, January 25. Pop culture blogger Malicia Dabrowicz, said she was devastated after she noticed the posters in the store window on Monday, December 23. Ms Dabrowicz said: “A big poster has been placed in the shop window which says it will be closing on January 25. This will happen just after Christmas. “It came as kind of a shock. “I think this is disgraceful and ridiculous. “All these shops closing on our high street are ruining our city.” She added: “The staff will lose their jobs. I can’t believe they’ve been told just before Christmas.” Ms Dabrowicz says the closure will have a ‘devastating impact’ on the music community in Worcester.

Sheffield, UK | New ‘all-in-one’ bar, cafe and record shop opening in Sheffield: A record shop, café and bar all rolled into one is opening in Sheffield – combining music, homemade food and locally-brewed ale. Cole’s Corner is the latest addition to Abbeydale Road, continuing a national trend for appealing places that sell meals, drinks and vinyl LPs. The place has permission to open until 1am, and was due to launch last night with a party called an ‘election night howl’ as there was a full moon on December 12. Records, rather than the café, will be the main stock-in-trade of Cole’s Corner. The name has a double meaning – it is a nod to the popular meeting spot outside the former Cole Brothers department store in the middle of Sheffield that provided the title for an album by city musician Richard Hawley, and a reference to a certain Nicole who came up with the idea for the venture. Specialist genres including jungle, reggae and Afrobeat will be stocked, with many titles sourced directly from labels.

Birmingham, UK | HMV’s Bullring store closing within weeks: HMV is closing one of its shops in Birmingham city centre. The record store chain opened a giant new HMV Vault in Dale End last August. It is now to shut its site in the Bullring shopping centre and has started a closing down sale. No date has yet been announced for the closure. The Bullring store replaced former sites in the city centre including one in New Street which served the city for many years. HMV, which celebrates its centenary in 2021, was bought out of administration by Canadian businessman Doug Putman in February last year.

Boston, MA | Iconic Boston record shop Skippy White’s will play its final tune: An iconic Boston record shop that has been open for 59 years will soon be closing its doors. Skippy White’s, located in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood, is going out of business. The shop’s owner and namesake, Skippy White, is a walking music history book with the kind of knowledge you can’t get online. He opened his first record store in 1961. His business survived a fire and decades of new styles of music, and outlasted eight-track tapes, cassettes and CDs. But it could not overcome the rise in streaming. “The record business is not what it used to be,” White said. White announced on Facebook that he will be going out of business, which was disappointing news for hundreds of his loyal customers. “I’ve had people in all day long (Friday), feeling that they love me,” White said. “It’s the rapport I have with people who come into the store.”

Montreal, CA | Montreal record shops petition Quebec to change store hours bylaw: Monday afternoon, 14 record stores sent an open letter requesting that record shops be added as an exception to the bylaw, tabled in 1970. Montreal record stores are banding together in their bid to get Quebec’s bylaw on store hours changed to allow them to stay open later. Last week, four Mile End record shops — Phonopolis, Sonorama, La Rama and La fin du vinyle — went public after three of them received fines of more than $2,000 each for being open past 5 p.m. on the weekend. Mile End clothing shops General 54 and Citizen Vintage received similar fines. Monday afternoon, 14 local record stores sent an open letter to Pierre Fitzgibbon, the minister of Economy and Innovation, requesting that record shops be added as an exception to the bylaw, which was tabled in 1970. The bylaw, which states that retail stores cannot be open past 5 p.m. on weekends, already includes exceptions for pharmacies, grocery stores, bookstores, shops selling artisanal products and businesses in tourist zones, among other things.

Modesto, CA | More music, more movies, more clothes; Rasputin’s reborn in Modesto as Mad Monk: Traditional retail stores are shrinking across the country. But instead of getting smaller, Rasputin’s Music is getting bigger. The unconventional move comes from an unconventional store which has been renamed, appropriately, to Mad Monk. Rasputin’s Music moved from its Dale Road location to its current much, much larger former Babies R Us space on Sisk Road in August. But it’s only in the last month that the true vision for the upgraded store has come to fruition, bringing together the music and movies of Rasputin’s with the clothes of Anastasia New & Vintage Clothing. Both stores are owned by Berkeley-based Rasputin founder Ken Sarachan. Rasputin is the largest independent record store in the Bay Area, starting with the Telegraph Avenue site in 1971, and has about half a dozen other locations across mainly Northern California. Sarachan also owns the one current Anastasia store on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley.

Bury, UK | Records growth leads to new Bury store proposals: Blueprints have been drawn up to install a fledgling vinyl record shop in a new home. Wax and Beans was only launched in premises at The Art Picture House in Haymarket Street last summer. But planning agents say the records boutique – the first such venture in Bury since 2011 – has already outgrown its current location. And plans have now been lodged with Bury Council to convert the former Nationwide Building Society shop in Market Street into a fresh base. The grade II listed building has not been vacant for long, after the building society announced plans to switch trading to an outlet in Central Street, as part of The Rock shopping centre. Planning agent Harry Jackson has told borough planners that the move was required as the current Wax and Beans has “outgrown its existing premises and needs a larger property to suit the needs and requirements of its expanding clientele.”

Baltimore, MD | Baltimore’s 5 top spots for cheap vinyl records: Looking to sample the best vinyl records around town? Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the best affordable vinyl record hot spots in Baltimore, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of where to venture when cravings strike. 1. The Sound Garden: Topping the list is The Sound Garden. Located at 1616 Thames St. in Fells Point, it is the highest-rated inexpensive vinyl record spot in Baltimore, boasting 4.5 stars out of 190 reviews on Yelp. If you’re hungry for more, we found these details about The Sound Garden. “We are an indie record store run by people who worship indie stores,” its Yelp profile states. Concerning signature items, “Massive selection of new/used music, movies and games,” it notes on Yelp. “Killer vinyl section and lots of cool stuff. We buy your CDs, DVDs and video games…”

Cumming, GA | Cumming record shop destroyed by early morning fire weeks away from re-opening: When Bob Johnson, owner of His Rock Music record store, decided to reopen this year, he decided that it would be an opportunity to start fresh, providing albums and live music on a smaller scale than his previous location. But those dreams were smashed Friday morning after flames engulfed the building where His Rock Music was readying to reopen at, destroying Johnson’s collection of albums and music equipment. “The albums are completely gone – the CDs, the DVDs, all my sound equipment, it’s all trashed,” Johnson said Friday morning. “We’re looking at about $30,000 worth of equipment and albums that are gone.” Authorities say that the 3,000-square-foot building at 318 Dahlonega Highway in Cumming, which housed four small businesses, including His Rock Music, suffered extensive damage after catching fire Friday.

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