In rotation: 10/14/20

Madison, WI | Strictly Discs in Wisconsin, in a Pandemic: ‘Everybody’s on the Extreme End of Being Tired’ The Madison record store owner Angie Roloff says it’s “impossible not to acknowledge” the strain on retail employees as the coronavirus pandemic wears into its seventh month. In October 1988, Angie Roloff and her husband Ron opened Strictly Discs in Madison, Wisconsin, after Ron left a career in the biomedical research field to pursue his love of music full time. Nearly 31 years later, the couple made the difficult decision to shutter in-store operations due to COVID-19, roughly a week before Governor Tony Evers forced a mandatory shutdown of all non-essential businesses. Now that the Wisconsin Supreme Court has overturned Evers’ stay-at-home order — ruling it “unlawful” and “unenforceable” — the Roloffs and their employees have reopened the store. As part of Billboard’s efforts to best cover the coronavirus pandemic and its impacts on the music industry, we will be speaking with Roloff regularly to chronicle her experience throughout the crisis

Tokyo, JP | Tokyo Vinyl Record Stores: Tokyo is filled with vinyl record stores in all sizes and there are a large number of smaller specialty record shops that focus on a certain kind of music. In the last decade, there has been a resurgence of vinyl record stores in Tokyo. As music lovers have been driving the popularity of the record sound, over the download variety of digital music that has increased in popularity in recent years. Some of these record stores also sell compact disks (CDs), cassettes, and more. Here is a list of Tokyo Record Stores. These record stores are chain stores with many various outlets across Tokyo and Japan. They offer a huge variety of new and used vinyl and are a great place to start shopping, especially if you are looking for “Japan Only” release or more modern music. Most of them also have a trade-in service or will purchase old records from you, but generally, they will only offer the lowest prices. Disk Union is one of the largest and most well-known records and CD shops in Japan.

Eau Claire, WI | Eau Claire record shop ‘reviving’ vinyl amid pandemic: It’s not often 19th century technology makes a comeback. After more than a decade of increasing sales, vinyl records are back. Revival Records on Barstow St. transports customers back in time. “I want them to feel like, like they’re walking into a store from the 1970′s,” Siegel says. With a lack of concerts and live music during the pandemic, Revival Records owner, Billy Siegel says music enthusiasts are stocking up. “When they came in, the purchases were larger than normal, which is amazing, and then it just hasn’t stopped,” Siegel says. The record stores sales are up 15-30% year over year, continuing to grow each month according to Siegel. While distribution centers are still stunted due to COVID-19, longtime employee Spencer Fairclough says their biggest challenge is keeping up with demand. “There are certain albums that we like to have on all the time, Fleetwood Mac Rumors is a staple of anybody’s collection, there’s been a couple of days that have been kind of hit and miss, touch-and-go of like, are we going to be able to keep these in stock?” Fairclough says.

Peoria, IL | Pandemic Fails to Slow Vinyl Resurgence in Peoria: Craig Moore wasn’t sure how the public would respond after his record store was closed for 2 1/2 months this spring due to the state’s coronavirus lockdown. “Initially, the pandemic didn’t treat us too well. We were shut down when everything had to close. It took awhile to adjust,” said Moore, who’s been selling records since 1984 when vinyl was the norm, and for more than 20 years at his Younger Than Yesterday shop at 2615 N. University St. “But when I opened the doors on May 29, there were 20 to 30 people outside. I thought maybe this will be okay,” he said. Moore not only requires customers to wear masks at his store, but supplies gloves they can use to flip through a record collection he estimates tops 50,000. “Business has been normal since we reopened. At times, better than normal,” he said. “One thing the pandemic did was force me to go through a massive backlog of things I’ve been accumulating. When we opened, I had 40 boxes of new music to add,” said Moore. When the 73-year-old musician/store owner says new music, he means new to the store. Used records make up about 80 percent of his stock, he estimates.

Cleveland, OH | Cinematheque Showing ‘Vinyl Nation’ Documentary in Its Virtual Screening Room: The advent of the compact disc in the 1980s almost made vinyl records extinct. Yet, in the past decade or so, vinyl has made a huge comeback and now reportedly accounts for more sales than CDs. Vinyl Nation, a new documentary currently showing in the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque’s virtual screening room, chronicles vinyl’s resurgence with interviews with both fans and industry experts. Filmed last year at record conventions, record labels, record stores and pressing plants in 14 American cities, the movie features interviews with vinyl aficionados who love the way the format “elevates the totality of an album,” as producer and musician John Vanderslice puts it. The movie commences with interviews with fans lined up outside of Mills Record Company, a Kansas City store that’s stocked with Record Store Day specials. From there, the filmmakers travel to Brooklyn, New York, where two writers talk about their love of vinyl.

Harry Styles Announces ‘Fine Line’ Limited Edition Vinyl Box Set: Harry Styles is issuing a special release of his sophomore album! The English crooner will be dropping a limited edition vinyl box set to celebrate the first anniversary of his number-one second studio album, Fine Line. Arriving on December 11, Styles’ Fine Line — 1 Year Anniversary Limited Edition Box Set will contain several special items, including two black LPs, 10 prints of Styles shot by photographer Tim Walker (who also photographed the album’s cover), a 24-page Fine Line at the Forum lyrics zine, as well as a pair of white gloves. The box set comes nearly a year after the singer-songwriter put out his highly-acclaimed follow-up to his 2017 self-titled debut album. Styles signaled his return to music in the latter half of 2019 with the LP’s leader “Lights Up,” following the song with other tracks like “Adore You,” “Falling,” and “Watermelon Sugar.”

David Bowie’s ‘most creative’ early album set for 50th anniversary edition: Rhino/Parlophone are releasing a 50th anniversary edition of David Bowie’s The Man Who Sold The World. The album is being reissued by Warner Music’s catalogue division under its original title, Metrobolist. The 2020 re-release has been remixed by original producer Tony Visconti, with the exception of the song After All, which Visconti considered perfect and is featured in its 2015 remaster incarnation. Artwork for the new edition is based on the original design, which was used for the first US edition in 1970. The name was changed at the last minute to The Man Who Sold The World (the original stereo master tapes had the title crossed out). The album was released in the rest of the world in 1971. In a previously unpublished 2002 Bowie interview by his biographer Paul Du Noyer, published in Mojo magazine’s September 2020 issue, Bowie said the album was a personal favourite.

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