In rotation: 7/13/20

IE | Ireland’s Official Top 50 biggest vinyl albums of 2020 so far: Homegrown releases from The Scratch and David Keenan have shifted lots of copies on the format. Vinyl sales are on the up in Ireland, with an eclectic mix of heritage classics, homegrown 2020 releases and global female artists making up the best sellers of the year so far. Sales on the format are up 11% year-on-year, with a 66% increase of new releases featuring on the Top 50 of 2020’s first six months compared to the same period last year. With the revived format going from strength-to-strength across the world, new record fans are often looking to add staple classics to their collection. With that, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours leads Ireland’s year-to-date list, plus there are other all time greats in the Top 10 including Queen’s Greatest Hits (3), Bob Marley and the Wailers’ Legend (4) and Prince’s Purple Rain (6).

Nashville, TN | Founder of Nashville record shop The Great Escape dies: Gary Walker, the founder of Nashville record shop The Great Escape, has died. He was 87. Although Walker was largely known for founding The Great Escape, he had a long history in the music industry. He was a recording artist, songwriter, recording studio owner, manager, publisher and record label owner. His songs have been recorded by Jim Reeves, Porter Wagoner, Brenda Lee, Kitty Wells and others. Walker was born in 1932 and grew up in Romance, Missouri, near the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. In 1956, Walker and his wife moved to Nashville, where he attended graduate school at Vanderbilt University. After years of selling comic books at flea markets, he opened The Great Escape in a small storefront on Broadway in midtown Nashville in 1977. It was quickly followed by a second store in Louisville.

Canton, OH | Berd-House Deli celebrates Beatles, rock ‘n’ roll in decor, music: …The Berd-House Deli opened in 2010 in what was previously a duplex home, as an extension of Aunt Alyee’s catering, which also uses the kitchen. Barney previously was a meat cutter at Smith’s Waco Market and a salesperson for Shearer’s Potato Chips. The deli’s indoor seating area, now the Vinyl Room, opened in 2016 and Barney covered its walls with albums by the Beatles, Lou Reed, Cyndi Lauper, Neil Young. Elton John, Lady Gaga, the Eagles and many more, including a prized pink-vinyl copy of “Animals” by Pink Floyd. “I just wanted to create something different for when you sat down for lunch,” Barney said. “All these guys who work around here come in. I didn’t want just another burger place.” Larry gave up on vinyl records when compact discs became the chosen music format in the later 1980s. “I was fooled by CDs,” he said, to the point that when he got divorced in 1992, he abandoned his record collection at his ex-wife’s house. Then a reawakening happened.

Despite the COVID-19 Pandemic, Vinyl and Streaming Thrived During 2020’s First Half: In a newly released mid-year report on the music industry, Nielsen/MRC Data highlighted the far-reaching impact of the COVID-19 crisis and shed light upon several telling trends. Predictably, the music industry analysis revealed a sharp drop-off in total album sales following the pandemic’s domestic onset, with sales having fallen 6.7 percent through March 12th, compared to the same period in 2019, and over 25 percent between March 13th and July 2nd. For the first half of the year, the report tracked a substantial year-over-year decrease in digital album sales (14.3 percent) and physical album sales (20.3 percent). Despite these expected decreases, however, vinyl LP sales grew 11.2 percent year over year, with fans purchasing approximately 9.2 million units during this year’s first six months. The total reflects the strength of vinyl’s pre-coronavirus sales, as through March 12th, moved units were up 45 percent from 2019 even though the format has enjoyed commercial growth for 14 consecutive years. Additionally, the figure is impressive given that many indie record stores remained closed amid widespread lockdown measures.

Limerick, IE | Vinyl-isolation: Limerick DJ and audiophile Nicky Woulfe on life in lockdown: When I was asked to write this article, I said why not. However its overall content pales into insignificance compared to the work that has been done by our front line workers which includes our doctors, nurses, gardai, fire personnel, ambulance crew etc. On a personal level I want to applaud their efforts on the Covid-19 Pandemic to date, and also to remember the people who lost their lives during unprecedented health crisis. Anyone that knows me is well aware of my love for music and this lockdown gave me the opportunity to do something that I have being threatening to do over the last ten years. My record collection has now become a treasure trove of music memories and quiet a vast one at that. It came to the point that trying to find something in the record room was becoming a major challenge, so I decided during this period when we were all spending so much time at home, it was indeed time to put it into some sort of alphabetical order and at least make it easier to access and find a record with ease.

Mac Miller’s K.I.D.S. Is Coming to Vinyl: The 10th anniversary pressing will feature a Most Dope ‘silkscreen’ D-side. It has been a big year for Mac Miller fans. Following the release of his critically acclaimed posthumous record, Circles, and as 2010’s K.I.D.S. tape finally found its way on streaming services in April after his label’s long journey clearing the project, the late hip-hop star’s mixtape is officially landing on vinyl for its 10th anniversary. Rostrum Records announced Miller’s Kickin’ Incredibly Dope Shit — featuring classic cuts like “Kool Aid & Frozen Pizza” and “Nikes on My Feet” — will drop on wax on Aug. 14. The special release is the first time the project has officially appeared on vinyl and features 2 LPs in a “widespine jacket,” a “Most Dope silkscreen D-side,” and a 24X24 poster.

Black Sabbath – 2 x 7″ Record Store Day Australia exclusive to include “The Wizard” and “Paranoid” Record Store Day Australia has revealed details of the first lot of releases for this year’s August event. Usually taking place in April, RSD 2020 was postponed twice this year due to the outbreak of COVID-19, with organizers moving the event to June before making the decision to split the festival across three Saturdays in August, September and October. “…Despite a run of legendary hit singles in the 1970s, Black Sabbath and the seven-inch single format didn’t always sit well together. After the release of their debut single “Evil Woman” in 1970, followed by their ultimate explosive chart success with “Paranoid”, the band were not comfortable with the confines of the mainstream pop format and the audience it brought them, leading to their now legendary self-imposed ban on releasing singles in the early 70s. Features four iconic images of the Sabbath band members emblazoned across two 7” picture discs, one image per side packaged in rare picture sleeves.”

Barbara Mandrell’s greatest hits released on new vinyl collection: Few artists better defined country music in the ’70s and ’80s than Barbara Mandrell, and now fans can revisit her acclaimed hits with After All These Years: A Collection. Releasing on vinyl July 10, the greatest hits package was curated by the iconic artist, who retired from country music in 2000. …Mandrell herself selected the songs that appear on the album, which will be available exclusively at all Cracker Barrel Old Country Store locations and online. “My daughter Jaime was the one who suggested the title,” says Mandrell, who has been riding out the pandemic with family at her cabin outside of Nashville. “After All These Years: A Collection just seemed perfect. I told Jamie, ‘That’s perfect because that’s what it is.’”

Vinyl record fan now branching out into pre-internet porn: Not satisfied with listening to crackly LPs on his gramophone, 39-year-old David Prince from Horsham is now boring his friends on the merits of grainy video cassettes of 1980s sex. So far Mr Prince has confined himself to VHS format tapes, except for one Betamax classic of a couple dogging on the bonnet of an Austin Allegro. “There’s a sense of authenticity in these tapes that’s missing from modern online porn”, he explains, “like the one where the man from Currys barges on to the set and tries to repossess the camcorder”. One of the most exciting challenges has been hiding his massive porn collection from his wife. “It’s not for amateurs who think clicking on ‘Delete browsing history’ will solve their problems”, he says. “It took me a while to convince my wife that the VCR is a mini-refrigerator, but she finally bought it.” Meanwhile his wife Tara says, “It beats me what he gets out of it. I know he’s had to rent a small warehouse to hide the amount of porn he used to carry around on a tiny memory card. What an idiot.

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