In rotation: 7/22/21

Roanoke, VA | Vinyl continues to set records: Assuming you were paying attention, Saturday was a banner day. For starters, it was World Emoji Day. The first of these emotive symbols was :-), introduced by computer scientist Scott Fahlman in 1982 on a school message board. When Apple added emojis to their iPhone keyboards, emojis blew up. On an average day, 5 billion emojis are used on Facebook Messenger each day. But alas, this post is not emojis. This past Saturday was also Record Store Day in the U.S., a day that had special significance this year. This special day was begun in 2007, highlighted by Metallica’s appearance at Rasputin Music in San Francisco. Since then, artists from around the country show up at their favorite record stores. If anyone values the allure of vinyl, it is musicians. In Detroit where I’m from, Jack White has built not just an homage to vinyl—his Third Man Records operates as a vinyl stamping plant. I made the trek to take in the sweet sounds and smells of his retail tribute to record albums, a trip well worth taking.

IE | Ireland’s Official Top 50 biggest vinyl albums of 2021 so far: New releases from Glen Hansard, For Those I Love and Taylor Swift have proven popular with record collectors. Sales of vinyl albums in Ireland have increased 81% year-on-year as the vinyl revival shows no-one signs of slowing down. A mixture of carefully crafted new releases celebrating the format and heritage classics are among the Top 50 best sellers of 2021 so far, with almost 150,000 vinyl records purchased so far this year. Leading the list is a staple among many record collections, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours. Ireland’s most popular vinyl album of 2019 and 2020 remains in pole position with over 2,000 sales in the first half of the year. Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon lands in second, Fleetwood Mac are back in third with Greatest Hits, the same title album as the album in fourth from Queen. Rounding out the Top 5 in fifth is Legend from Bob Marley & The Wailers. The best-selling new release of 2021 is Glen Hansard’s Live at Sydney Opera House which comes in at Number 8. The self-titled debut album from Dublin singer and spoken word artist For Those I Love also bags a top flight placement at Number 10.

Extreme record collecting: Confessions of an analog vinyl snob: …I became pretty leery of these heavy vinyl reissues, but I did still buy a few more. One day I went to the record store and picked up new reissues of the Fall’s I Am Kurious Oranj, The Slider by T.Rex and A Kiss in a Dreamhouse by Siouxsie and the Banshees. All three of them, from different labels and each a 180 gram platter, sounded like shit. Lifeless. All of the energy had been drained out of them. They were so bad that I knew that I would probably never play any of them ever again—all of them sounded far better on CD or streaming—and I felt ripped off and disappointed. Why would anyone want products like this? Are they viewed merely as “collectibles”? Maybe they look nice sitting next to your Crosley, but to actually listen to them?

Centre, AL | Dolly Parton releasing limited edition of ‘Songteller’ that features two unreleased songs: When Dolly Parton drops the limited edition of Dolly Parton: Songteller in Octoberl, fans will have access to two songs that have never been shared before. Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics, Limited Edition will come with a pink vinyl record featuring a pair of unreleased songs, “I Don’t Care” and “The Fall,” with the lyrics printed on the back. The special version of the book is also housed inside a denim-wrapped clamshell box and features a ribbon bookmark. Originally released in 2020, Songteller chronicles the stories behind the lyrics of more than 100 songs from Dolly’s catalogue, including “Jolene,” “9 to 5” and “I Will Always Love You,” alongside photos and other memorabilia gathered during her more than 60-year career. The limited edition is available for pre-order now.

Final Fantasy X soundtrack gets limited vinyl release: On 2xLP picture disc. Final Fantasy X’s soundtrack is being released on limited edition picture disc, via Square Enix this October. Its music was created by series composer Nobuo Uematsu, as well as Masashi Hamauzu and Junya Nakano. FFX’s theme song, ‘Suteki de na (Isn’t It Wonderful)’, was performed by Japanese folk singer Ritsuki Nakano. The vinyl release features 19 tracks from the video game score, which includes 91 tracks. Each LP is adorned by artwork of Tidus and Yuna. Head here for more info in advance of its 27th October release, check out the picture discs and tracklist below.

Super Furry Animals announce 20-year anniversary reissue of ‘Rings Around The World’ Super Furry Animals have announced the 20-year anniversary reissue of their ‘maximalist’, fifth studio album, Rings Around The World, newly presented on 180g gatefold, double vinyl, triple CD and double digital album in September. Paul McCartney’s playful addition of carrot and celery chewing percussion is released on its own for the very first time as one of 75 curiosities from the vaults, including unreleased outtakes, remixes, hidden sounds and demos appearing across the multi-format release. A story that starts with a chance encounter at the NME Awards in 2000 and ends with McCartney’s enthusiastic chewing being delivered by post and then woven into the production of the Furries’ single, Receptacle For The Respectable, the ex-Beatle’s contribution is just one of the wild bends in the road of the expansive, Millennium-era, classic alt-pop album’s remarkable story.

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