In rotation: 5/2/22

UK | Vinyl sales continue to soar with Britons now even turning back to CASSETTES: Britian’s love affair with vinyl records shows little sign of fizzling out, with sales rising for a 14th consecutive year, and by more than 10 per cent, a new analysis has revealed. Meanwhile it is not just vintage records by David Bowie and The Beatles which are fuelling the retro renaissance – new records by the likes of ABBA, Adele and Ed Sheeran accounted for almost 43 per cent of vinyl LP purchases. Meanwhile it is not just vintage records by David Bowie and The Beatles which are fuelling the retro renaissance – new records by the likes of ABBA, Adele and Ed Sheeran accounted for almost 43 per cent of vinyl LP purchases. The facts and figures are revealed in All About The Music 2022, the 43rd edition of the British Phonographic Association’s annual yearbook. In terms of being 2021’s top-selling vinyl artist, Bowie, who died in 2016, was top of the pile, with the Fab Four coming in second. However, Voyage, ABBA’s first record in 40 years, 30, Adele’s first in five, and Sheeran’s latest offering, have also proved popular for collectors, accounting for 100,000 vinyl purchases. As a result new vinyl album sales surged to 42.9 percent of the overall total, compared with 30 percent in 2020.

Madison, WI | B-Side’s mercifully short move: In the past few months, bad news about Madison record stores has somehow directly turned into good news! Twice! B-Side, as we reported in February, is being forced to relocate while another large-scale, small-business-sweeping development bears down on State Street. But this week, owner Steve Manley announced that the store has already figured out a new location—and that, perhaps miraculously, it won’t be going far, just scooching down to 514 State St. in September. “I thought about going elsewhere and looked around but my preference and intuition said stay downtown, despite the highest lease rates in town,” Manley says. “It’s a tradeoff for proximity to UW students and general high foot traffic.” (Full disclosure: B-Side is a Tone Madison sponsor.) This happy development follows last week’s news that Atwood Avenue’s Sugar Shack Records will live on in some sense as Madison musician and artist Maggie Denman takes over the now-closed store’s inventory and opens her own place, Boneset Records, at 2565 E. Johnson St. This, of course, still leaves B-Side as the only record store in downtown Madison.

Minneapolis, MN | With Outta Wax, Minneapolis Will Get a Record Pressing Plant of Its Own: Minnesota is about to be home to not one but TWO vinyl record-making facilities. Hot on the heels of last week’s news that Copycats Media will soon open a Maple Grove record pressing facility, we’re just tickled to tell ya that Minneapolis is getting a vinyl production factory, too. Outta Wax has already secured space in a northeast Minneapolis arts building, just a handful of blocks from Grumpy’s. Cofounder Sara Pette tells us that the machines have been ordered and should ship out soon—if all goes according to plan, they’ll be testing the presses later this year. “I’m actually pretty surprised that the Twin Cities area [doesn’t] have a pressing plant yet!” she says. Pette plays in the garage pop band Lutheran Heat (great name) and is the owner of Pette’s Hounds Dogwalking & Pet Care (GREAT NAME). Both of those things were thrown into flux during the pandemic, which is right around the time Pette started talking about hosting a podcast with her brother John. The two avid collectors soon had a tangential idea: What if they got a loan to open a record pressing plant?

Perth, AU | Astral Weeks: Perth’s first hi-fi listening bar opens in Northbridge’s China Precinct: It won’t just be the wine you’ll be raving about after visiting new Perth bar Astral Weeks but also the quality of sound produced by its state-of-the-art hi-fi system. Tucked away in an unassuming space down an alleyway in Northbridge’s China Precinct is Perth’s first listening bar — a 60-person cosy space fitted out with acoustic carpeting and a bookshelf stacked with an eclectic mix of vinyl records. Listening bar culture is all the rage in Japan, where small venues with unique sound systems offer visitors an opportunity to listen to music. Astral Weeks co-owner Sean O’Neill said listening bars around the world had inspired him to open one in Perth. “I thought Perth needed something like this,” he said.

Nashville, TN | World’s Largest Vinyl Record Manufacturer Invests $13 Million in Tennessee Headquarters: The world’s largest manufacturer of vinyl records plans to establish a new production facility in Music City. Tennessee officials announced that Nashville Record Pressing would set up its new headquarters, including manufacturing, distribution, and administrative operations, on its namesake city’s north side. The company is a newly formed subsidiary of GZ Media, a Czech Republic-based manufacturer that claims to be the top producer of vinyl records worldwide. The $13.3 million project is expected to create 255 new jobs over the next five years. NRP officials said they hope the new plant — which would feature best-in-class equipment and infrastructure — would be a source of pride for Nashville and support its music community. Drake Coker, the company’s chief executive, said they are launching the new facility as a “direct answer to customers requests” to produce more vinyl in Nashville. Nashville officials said the facility would be “an excellent addition to our state’s diverse and growing music industry.”

Vinyl, The Music Format That Came Back From The Dead: It is almost 20 years since the late David Bowie looked to a future of streaming and prophesied that “music itself is going to become like running water or electricity”. There is an irony, therefore, in the fact that last year Bowie sold more vinyl records in the UK than any other artist — for the second year running. Vinyl sales were worth more than $1bn to record companies in 2021 — its highest level in 30 years. And there is a lucrative second hand market, too. Log on to Discogs and you’ll find a vinyl-trading community of tens of millions of buyers and sellers with more than 64mn vinyl releases on its virtual shelf. So why, when we’re already coughing up $10 a month to access 78.4mn songs on streaming services, are increasing numbers of us willing to fork out a further $25 per album to own just a handful of them? What is the allure of vinyl albums and why the resurgence?

Special 50th anniversary vinyl editions of David Bowie’s ‘Ziggy Stardust’ album to be released in June: David Bowie‘s landmark 1972 album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was released 50 years ago this June, and to commemorate the milestone, two special vinyl collections will be issued that month. The first is a limited-edition half-speed-mastered Ziggy Stardust LP, while the second is a picture disc featuring the same master and packaged with a replica promotional poster. Both discs are due out on June 17, one day after the 50th anniversary of the Ziggy Stardust album’s original U.K. release. The new master for LPs was created using restored masters of the original master tapes from Bowie’s sessions at London’s Trident Studios.

AU | Things to consider if looking for Vinyl Record Pressing in Australia: You might be thinking why anyone in the right mind would even opt to press music into a medium that dates back to the late 20th century. Things to consider if you are looking for Vinyl Record pressing in Australia. Well, if you are an independent artist, vinyl is one of the few remaining mediums that permit an artist to connect directly to the audience in an intimate, engaging, physical and highly innovative manner. As the famous phrase says, “Old is Gold”, what once was old is new again. People love to groove with their favourite music band via cover art, eye-catching coloured vinyl, and the physical activity of lowering a needle onto a revolving disc that produces pops, crackles, and warm sound. So, your popular band has recorded a new album, and you’re thinking of unleashing it on vinyl. Who does not love a classic vinyl, right? Well, let me take you through the things you should consider for vinyl record pressing to make a knowledgeable decision.

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