In rotation: 1/6/22

UK | Best year for vinyl albums since 1990: Despite a global vinyl shortage and the ubiquity of streaming, sales of vinyl records last year were the highest seen for 30 years. More than five million vinyl records were sold in 2021. Hold on a moment, this all sounds a little familiar. Perhaps. The truth is vinyl sales have been growing for more than a decade now. Last year’s 8 per cent rise in sales marks the 14th consecutive year of growth for the format. Vinyl album sales haven’t been this high since 1990. There can’t be that many people who don’t have their Beatles albums on vinyl now, surely? I don’t know about that, but I do know that ABBA’s new album Voyage was the year’s best-selling vinyl album, followed by Adele’s 30. In fact, eight out of 10 sales of the album 30 in December were of physical copies – vinyl, CDs or cassettes – rather than via streaming.

Watertown, MA | In Watertown Square, Wanna Hear It Records celebrates a year in business: Joey Cahill has wanted to open a record store his whole life. “When you’re a kid, you say you want to grow up to be a baseball player or an astronaut, or whatever. I was always saying I wanted to own a record store. I never thought it would happen,” he says. His store, Wanna Hear It Records in Watertown Square, just celebrated its first year in business on Dec. 12, and Cahill is riding high. “I’m drowning in vinyl,” he laughs. “It’s amazing.” Born and raised in California, Cahill started collecting vinyl at age 14. “Back then, an ideal night for me and my friends was a trip to Amoeba Records,” he says. The famous Los Angeles shop made an impression on the young Cahill, and he’d go on to work at another store in the area in college. “Favorite job I’ve ever had,” he says, smiling.

Worcester, UK | Sales of vinyl records in Worcester soaring amid national boom: Vinyl sales grew to their highest level in more than three decades in 2021 as consumers returned to the old school format during the coronavirus pandemic. More than five million vinyl albums were bought in the UK over the past 12 months, up eight per cent on sales in 2020, according to figures from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). This marks the 14th consecutive year of growth for vinyl records since 2007. Nick Banks, who has been running Market Hall Records in The Shambles for almost 20 years, said he’s noticed the industry boom in Worcester, and insisted rock classics remain the favourites among his new wave of customers. He said: “I’ve definitely seen a similar trend in Worcester, sales have been going up for the last three or four years now to be honest.

Surrey, BC | Music shop owner chats about life, music, and his recent Clovie Award win: Bill Haggerty is thankful to everyone who has supported Elevated Music. Welcome to “Cloverdale In Conversation,” a regular feature with a local personality. This week, Bill Haggerty is our guest. Bill is the owner of Cloverdale’s Elevated Music and he recently won a Clovie Award for Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Bill talks about his Clovie win, what ignited his love for music, and how Elevated Music got its start. “…I’d say a big element was my early introduction and love for music. I started playing drums around the age of eight and was playing in bands by 12 years old. I started collecting records around the same time. Playing in punk bands, prog rock bands, metal, blues, and even live hip hop, this gave me a unique perspective and a diverse exposure to all cultures of music that contributed to who I am today.”

Charlotte, NC | Noble Records Offers up Rare Vinyl and Good Vibes: “Peel slowly and see,” read the instructions on the album’s cover — but no one has in the 54 years since the sticker was placed there. Somehow, the previous owner or owners of this original edition of the Velvet Underground’s 1967 debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico, resisted the temptation to peel off the banana-skin sticker on the record’s cover to reveal the phallic-pink fruit beneath. That makes this particular piece of vinyl rare and collectible, but it’s also what makes it fun and exciting, says Dillon Smith, owner of Noble Records. “That’s the kind of stuff I like to find,” Smith says. “You can’t just go on Amazon and buy it new. You have to get lucky.” Noble Records is situated in a shopping center on East Independence Boulevard on the border of Charlotte and Matthews in southeast Mecklenburg County. After 10 year of selling records online and hosting pop-ups at local breweries and other businesses, Smith launched the brick-and-mortar establishment in October 2019.

Vernon, CT | One Of The Largest Music Stores In Connecticut Has Thousands Of Records: The resurgence of vinyl records is a phenomenon not many expected to happen. CDs (and later, digital files and streaming services) were supposed to be the death of the medium. But vinyl certainly has its fans, and in recent years, it’s even outsold CDs for the first time since the 1980s. If you’re a music aficionado, chances are good you’ve got a much-loved record player. And if you’re looking to stock material to play on said record player, one of the best record stores in Connecticut should certainly be on your radar. Records The Good Kind is a delightful shop in Vernon that stocks vinyl records, cassettes, and CDs from all genres. From the outside, this place may look relatively small. It’s tucked away in a strip mall in Vernon. Step inside and you’ll see they’ve got tons of music just waiting to be explored. Their primary focus is on used vinyl records.

Norwich, UK | ‘You spin me right ’round’: Vinyl sales booming in city: Vinyl has made an unlikely comeback in the last few years in the face of stream services. And record shops in Norwich are reporting a boom in business – and a very good Christmas. This year has seen the biggest vinyl sale since 1992 with more than five million units shifted nationwide. Benjamin Venus, the founder of Venus Vinyl in Magdalen Street, saw his sales jump online in the run up to the festive period. He said: “The store starts to get busier around two weeks before Christmas but a lot of the regulars will stop buying around this time as they have asked for some for Christmas. “So, while vinyl is very popular, it doesn’t increase during the festive season it just balances itself out.”

Liverpool, UK | Take a look inside the newly refurbished Phase One bar, which offers guests table service and live music: The Seel Street venue consists of a record store, bar and live music complex. Jacaranda Phase One, an exciting new bar and live music complex, has opened its doors following an eight week refurbishment – and is ready to be a place where anyone can “find a friend”. The Seel Street venue offers visitors a table service bar, an acoustic stage with live music from a range of talented local artists and a wide selection of vinyl at Jacaranda Records Store. Jacaranda’s owner, Graham Stanley, said: “I remember how intimidating record stores could be when I was a teenager, so I wanted to create one that made music buying feel open to all. “I want it to be somewhere my teenage daughter can visit, my 80-year-old father and the guy who knows every Calypso song ever recorded. They should all be able to find a friend here.” The new complex started out as a pop-up in 2018, which looked to expand the store above The Jacaranda bar.

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