In rotation: 1/12/21

‘Spending more on home entertainment’: Vinyl sales skyrocket thanks to COVID-19 pandemic: The record renaissance has gone from niche novelty to record-breaking sales thanks, partly, to the global pandemic. Vinyl purchases in the United States have eclipsed those of compact discs for the first time in over 30 years, with local sales echoing the trend. Apera Te Hemara’s record collection is a story of his life. From the first LP record that he bought in the ’70s, he’s been hooked on the total experience. “Just the action of putting the vinyl onto a turntable, putting the stylus on and hearing all the crackles and pops… I think that’s great,” Te Hemara says. New Zealand’s largest music retailer Real Groovy says for the first time in 40 years, record sales both here and overseas have surpassed those of CDs. “The Christmas week, not the week before, we sold more new vinyl records than we ever have in the history of Real Groovy,” Grant McAllum from Real Groovy says.

Ipswich, UK | From 45s to CDs, which record shops were your favourites over the years? Which was your favourite record shop in Ipswich as a teenager? Long before the days of CDs, let alone streaming and downloads, youngsters across the area saved up their pocket money to buy the latest 45s and albums. Today we’re looking back at some of the most popular music shops Parrot Records, in Queen Street in Ipswich town centre, was the place to browse through endless stacks of LPs back in the 1970s. Top DJ Noel Edmonds carried out the official opening in 1976. Later on the store became Rex Records, and continued to be the town’s best-known independent record shop until it finally closed in 2005, marking the end of an era. The Ipswich branch of Virgin Megastore was another popular place to buy records, and our gallery includes a photo of DJ Bruno Brookes cutting the cake at an official opening in 1986. Another fondly remembered record shop was Andy’s Records, which had branches around the area. In more recent years, vinyl fans have also been able to seek out their favourite music at pop-up shop events in Ipswich Tourist Information Centre, which has now sadly closed.

“Are You Now or Have You Ever Been”… a Side-ist? OK, before we start, a word about the title. The late Scott Campbell, a remarkable musician from Tallahassee, had just released what would be his final recording late in 2016, An Old Photo, that included a great song with that title. But what, you may ask, is a SIDE-IST? Good question. This goes back to the glory days of vinyl (and it is delightful understanding that vinyl has come roaring back), when people often gravitated to one side or the other of a record album. Yes, of course many albums were solid all the way through, but if you “are now” or “have ever been” a vinyl junkie, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Take last night. I was listening to Argus, the third album from Wishbone Ash (1972). I was impatient with the first three songs (on CD or Spotify), waiting to get to Side 2, with “The King Will Come > Leaf and Stream > Warrior > Throw Down the Sword.” Same with Sisyphus from Cold Blood (1970); I rarely listen to Side 2. How about Paul Kantner’s Blows Against the Empire (1970)? Side 1 was fun, but usually we headed straight for “Sunrise”! (You can call it Jefferson Starship if you want.)

Washington, DC | Interview With Cool Kids Vinyl Record Shop Owner “…D.C. needs a space like Cool Kids Vinyl to give all guests the opportunity to not only take in the history of vinyl records, but to experience the pop-culture side of it. Cool Kids Vinyl has a focus on Hip-Hop and we are trying to preserve its essence in the city by allowing people to come in, chat, ask questions and learn from one another in their community. We have that time capsule almost that puts you in that 70s, 80s, 90s realm, where the music can just be appreciated a bit more. In a generation of online streaming, vinyl gives listeners a piece of memorabilia that online streaming doesn’t offer. The listening experience is unmatched, it transforms you back in time and provides more of a listening experience than online streaming. Because vinyl is more tangible than streaming music, we are giving the current generation the opportunity to physically feel the music and connect with it on a more intimate level.”

Billie Joe Armstrong & Norah Jones’ ‘Foreverly’ album to be reissued on vinyl: Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones’ collaborative album Foreverly is being reissued on vinyl. The record will be released January 15 as part of Rhino’s “Start Your Ear Off Right” campaign. It’ll be available on orange vinyl and will be limited to 3,000 copies. Foreverly was originally released in 2013. It consists of Armstrong and Jones performing renditions together of traditional songs from the 1958 Everly Brothers album Songs Our Daddy Taught Us. Meanwhile, Armstrong recently released a new compilation called No Fun Mondays, which collects the covers he released in 2020 during the pandemic.

Vinyl reissues scheduled for Chet Baker’s iconic Riverside catalog: Chet Baker’s iconic Riverside catalog will get vinyl reissues for four titles this March via Craft Recordings. Craft Recordings is pleased to reissue four classic, remastered titles from legendary jazz artist Chet Baker. Set for release on March 5th and available for pre-order now, the albums comprise Baker’s entire output as a leader for the renowned jazz label Riverside—all recorded and released between 1958 and 1959: (Chet Baker Sings) It Could Happen to You, Chet Baker in New York, Chet and Chet Baker Plays the Best of Lerner and Loewe. The recordings, which feature such icons as Bill Evans, Johnny Griffin and Kenny Burrell, have all been cut from their original analog master tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio and pressed on 180-gram vinyl at RTI. Each title will also be available on March 5th across digital platforms in hi-res 192/24 and 96/24 formats. A special bundle offer including a Riverside T-shirt is available exclusively at the Craft Recordings store.

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