In rotation: 6/22/20

UK | Vinyl sales surge as record shops reopen: Finally, here’s some good news for physical music sales. According to the latest Official Charts Company data, sales for the past week were back to pre-Covid 19 levels. Record shops were allowed to reopen under strict safety guidelines from June 15. HMV returned with a new personal shopper system. The Love Record Stores event (June 20) is set to deliver a further boost for the following week. ERA reported strong trading following the reopening. While it wasn’t the busiest week for releases, Liam Gallagher’s No.1 MTV Unplugged album (17,938 physical sales) and the reissue of Manic Street Preachers’ Gold Against The Soul (2,838 physical sales) were among titles to drive footfall. Lady Gaga’s Chromatica racked up 7,107 physical sales last week. Of course, a big chunk of those sales – particularly for Gallagher and Gaga – were D2C pre-orders. But there is no doubt that record shops have had an impact on the market since reopening. Physical sales increased by 14.55% to 345,443 units for the week – the biggest tally for 14 weeks.

Hagerstown, MD | Hub City Vinyl turns auto shop into something groovy: Hub City Vinyl, a record store, has opened its doors in the once-vacant and now-restored Massey auto building at 28 E. Baltimore St. Lloyd Thoburn, an owner of 339 Antietam LLC, bought the property from the city and had it renovated. His wife, Sheree Thoburn, owns the record store. Thoburn, owner of Coinopwarehouse, has restored other buildings in the city, including structures on Antietam and Franklin streets. “I’m really thrilled with how it came out,” he said of the Baltimore Street building. “This is our jewel,” Sheree Thoburn said. “This is the one that’s beautiful and fun and functional. … I love it. I just love being here.” Hub City Vinyl offers new, used and vintage 45 and LP records, ranging in price from $2 to $3 to expensive collector editions. The Thoburns said people have traveled from as far away as Delaware to browse through the crates of records, which range from metal to country, and from jazz to comedy.

London, UK | There is nothing more sexy than a vinyl lp, says Etienne Daho, the godfather of Record Store Day this year, as a prelude to the Fête de la musique celebrated on 21st June, the 10th edition of the “Record store Day” has all of the same place, but in condit. This year, as a prelude to the Fête de la musique celebrated on 21st June, the 10th edition of the “Record store Day” has all of the same place, but in conditions that are a bit special due to the health crisis of the sars Coronavirus. The organisers of this event dedicated to independent record stores have decided to “ventilate” in four sequences, the festivities related to the vinyl record : the 20 June, 29 August, 26 September and 24 October. The godfather of this edition, Etienne Daho display at the AFP, “the idea is to have fun, to self, to support the record stores, to accompany the culture. With the beautiful. What could be sexier than vinyl?

Wirral, UK | Wirral author unearths the amazing story of Skeleton Records: Bebington-born author, Graham Jones, who claims to have visited more record shops than any other person and had one of his books turned into a film, takes us on an adventure into Wirral’s legendary Skeleton Records. Any vinyl fan visiting Liverpool should make the effort to take the ferry across the river to visit the legendary music institution known affectionately as Skellys. As a 13-year-old schoolboy, growing up in Bebington, I would get the bus each weekend into Birkenhead to visit Skeleton, a magical and mystical experience. The shop had no window and to enter you walked along a dark corridor. The throbbing sound of progressive rock could be heard coming from the end of what seemed like a cave, while the air was filled with the heady smell of joss sticks and patchouli oil. Time has not dimmed the memory of my first visit. I recall entering a dimly-lit world where anyone with less-than-perfect eyesight would struggle to read the sleeve notes of the LPs on sale.

Edinburgh, UK | Record shops have a future, but does the industry agree? We’ll find out if labels and artists still love stores in a year’s time, writes Kevin Buckle. Today (6/20) is LoveRecordStores day which goes ahead in the place of Record Store Day, which itself was the postponed from April. There are several dozen previously released albums in new limited formats, mostly coloured vinyl, available, in a twist, only online from 9am. Some big names are involved including an Oasis picture disc and Arctic Monkeys silver vinyl as well as Belle and Sebastian’s first album Tigermilk on baby blue vinyl. Lots of online events are planned for the day and more can be found at the website www.loverecordstores.com. Record shops in England and Northern Ireland are of course, at least in many cases, already open again, albeit fairly tentatively, but certainly the crowds that Record Store Day attracted could never have been managed so this for now is a good compromise. Record Store Day is now planned for later in the year and spread into three different events over three months but by the very nature of the queueing and the crowds normally associated with the day it is not something that will bear much resemblance to years gone by.

Los Angeles, CA | How L.A.’s black-owned music companies hope to change an unjust record business: In 1977, Richard Griffey opened the doors on Sound of Los Angeles Records. Formed from the ashes of Griffey and Don Cornelius’ Soul Train Records imprint, SOLAR became one of the definitive independent voices of Black music in the late ’70s. Acts like Shalamar (featuring future solo star Jody Watley), the Whispers, Midnight Star, Dynasty and Klymaxx all enjoyed a string of hits, but perhaps even more importantly, the label was a nexus for a new generation of producers and executives like Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Antonio “L.A.” Reid who would go onto reshape American pop through their music and entrepreneurship. “[Griffey] was a genius in many ways in terms of what he built, creating the label at the time that he did it. He created music with a force behind it.” Edmonds told The Times in 2010, following Griffey’s death. “He was a Black man to the depths, he was a Black activist. He believed in Black businesses and Black people standing on their own two feet.”

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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