In rotation: 9/15/21

Recorded-Music Revenues Climbed 27% — And Vinyl Sales Skyrocketed 94% — in First Half of 2021, Per RIAA:Vinyl sales skyrocketed 94% to $467 million, although that number was also dramatically skewed by store closures during the pandemic and severely impacted last year’s Record Store Day, which is traditionally the biggest sales day of the year. Revenues from CDs increased 44% to $205 million, but still remain 19% lower than they were in in the same period in 2019. CDs only accounted for 30% of physical revenues, while vinyl accounted for more than 2/3 of physical format revenues. Digital download sales revenue continued to drop, down 6% to $319 million, as did digital track sales revenue (down 12%) and digital album sales revenue (down 4%). Looking at the overall pie chart, streaming comprised 84% of revenues, physical sales 10%, digital download sales 5% and synch 2%.

Record Store Day reveals full list of exclusive Black Friday vinyl releases: More exclusive vinyl albums coming in November. Black Friday isn’t all about the best TV deals. OK, so it is mostly about that, but it’s also a chance to grab some limited-edition, rare and exclusive vinyl releases thanks to Record Store Day’s participation in the global shopping event. The organisation behind the biggest annual celebration of the beloved vinyl format has just announced its full list of releases for this Black Friday. The list includes anniversary editions, rarities and reissues from Ghostpoet, Hall & Oates, Fleetwood Mac, Lana Del Rey, U2, Tricky and John Carpenter, to name a few. These (and others, listed below) will only be available in independent record stores on Black Friday, which this year takes place on Friday 26th November. You can see a full list of those participating record stores in the UK here. So, while you’re trying to bag a deal on speakers, TVs and headphones, or anything else for that matter, don’t forget to take some time out to pick up some new vinyl. Here’s the full list of releases for this year’s Black Friday…

Derbyshire, UK | Derbyshire music fans with a vintage vinyl collection could pick up a small fortune: Music memorabilia is big business and it reaches out to everyone. We’re not all lucky enough to own a rare antique, Chinese vase or diamond ring but countless people have a musical item tucked away, possibly valuable, that may be forgotten. For example, if you reached your formative years before CDs and digital downloads became the norm you may own a vintage vinyl collection. Roxy Music, The Police, David Bowie, The Jam, Oasis, Blur, Madonna … the list of rock and pop stars who inspired us to head to the nearest record shop is endless. And if you missed out on buying a record back in the day, auctions offer a route to source rarities and classics. Right now, vinyl from the 1980s and 90s is often desirable because people in their 40s and 50s with disposable incomes are collecting the music they loved in their youth. Keen to find out what your vinyl collection might be worth? On September 22, Hansons’ music memorabilia consultant Claire Howell will be offering free valuation appointments at Hansons’ Etwall Auction Centre in Derbyshire.

Bangkok, TH | Where to find Bangkok’s best record stores and vinyl bars: Get in the groove with this primer to vinyl culture in Bangkok. The debate between analog and digital music will never end. Even if today’s technology enables you to listen to music effortlessly, many believe it will never replicate the concert-like experience you get from listening to vinyl. It’s no wonder we’re seeing a resurgence in analog music appreciation in Bangkok. From old-school record shops to swanky vinyl bars, these places will help you build your collection, upgrade your gear, and join the vinyl revolution. Tonchabab Record Shop: Teeming with old and new records covering genres from Thailand and all over the world, Tonchabab is the kind of classic family-run vinyl shop that your father might’ve frequent- ed when he was young. It has two branches. Both are goldmines for seasoned and beginner crate-diggers alike. Think rare world music finds, from luk thung to ’60s and ’70s stalwarts like Diana Ross and The Carpenters.

How to Properly Clean and Store Vinyl Records: Many music lovers prefer the rich, high-quality sound of vinyl over compact discs and digital files. However, vinyl records are prone to developing pops and clicks over time. While you might think these unwanted sounds are the result of damage, they are often due to dirt and grime that can be washed away. Whether your vinyl records are brand new releases or vintage classics, try these four tips to give your collection a good scrub and keep it clean with proper storage. Make Your Own Cleaning Solution: Are you on a budget? Making your own DIY cleaner from common household ingredients is a great way to save money and avoid harsh chemicals. Start by mixing equal amounts of distilled water and isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle. Add two small drops of dishwashing liquid, and shake the bottle until the solution is well blended. Spray your homemade cleaner onto the record’s surface, then wipe it away gently with a soft microfiber cloth.

Best record players to get the most from your vinyl collection: The vinyl revival may have hit its peak, but the appeal of a record player over minuscule voice-assisted speakers is going nowhere fast. Cue GQ’s take on the best turntables you can buy. Can you even call it a vinyl “revival” any more? It will never be a mainstream format ever again, but during the course of this century records and the record players we play them on have demonstrated that they can coexist alongside the mainstream quite happily and is a format that refuses to die. The reasons for this are debatable. Is it sound quality? Is it tactility? Is it a backlash against the “music for rent” model of streaming services? What’s for sure, though, is that there’s more to it than just wilful hipster Luddism. Vinyl has an appeal that’s all its own – and the sound it makes has to be a big part of it. However, whether if you’re a vinyl veteran or just dipping a toe in the warm analogue waters it’s important to make sure you’re using the best record player you can afford.

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