In rotation: 7/20/22

More than 19 millions records have been sold in the US already this year: A small increase on last year’s figures. Sales of vinyl LPs in the US rose to 19.4 million for the first six months of 2022, according to a report by Luminate Data. This figure represents just over 53% of all 36.5 million physical album sales in the US so far this year. The slight bump (from 19.2 million in the same period last year) suggests a slow down in the rapid 51% growth recorded across the whole of 2021. Sales in the first half of this year have skewed away from existing catalogue releases and towards newer releases. Former One Direction member Harry Styles broke the modern-era record for first-week physical album sales earlier this year, shifting 183,000 copies of his third studio album, Harry’s House, in May. The report unearths distinct demographic trends too. Among women, the younger Gen Z audience accounts for 34% of sales; while the older Millennial and Gen X generations tend to do the bulk of the buying on the men’s side, with 31% apiece.

Iloilo City, PH | Vinyl is not dead in Iloilo, hear it out: Anthology Iloilo puts Ella Fitzgerald, Coldplay, Fleetwood Mac, and Taylor Swift in one room where you are warmly welcomed by an office staple that supersedes all business requirements – the owner’s pet dog. In the heart of this La Hubre-curated record store in Ledesco Village, wooden-letter blocks pose a question that rings through today’s earphones: “Have you heard it on vinyl?” On a 2018 round up of Acoustic Fridays in Festive Walk Parade, a pop-up came with its own rhythm: a crate of vinyl records with Queen’s Greatest Hits starring front, just still and there. I would later know the owner to be hobbyist Arvin Gangoso, after a green transparent “An Evening with Billie Holiday” record I purchased as a High School graduation gift. Gangoso met the steady and fast rise in the demand for vinyl, and made space for Anthology in Iloilo City which he knew to lack vinyl record stores.

UK | Queen’s Greatest Hits sells seven million copies, breaking UK chart record: Queen have made UK chart history by becoming the first act to sell seven million copies of an individual album. Their first Greatest Hits collection, from 1981, is now owned by one in every four households in the UK, said the Official Charts Company. The record, which features classic singles like We Will Rock You and Bohemian Rhapsody, has been a perennial best-seller for years. It recently spent its 1,000th week on the UK album chart. Queen guitarist Brian May called the latest achievement “joyous news.” “No album has done this before in history,” he said in a statement. “Thank you, we appreciate it.” Drummer Roger Taylor added: “The British public and their infinitely-great taste have made this the biggest-selling album in history. “Thank you very much; we’re humbled and honoured. We salute you!

Why the sleeve to Closer by Joy Division was controversial: Who exactly are the mysterious figures on the cover of Joy Division’s final album? And why did the image prompt accusations of “bad taste?” Joy Division’s classic debut Unknown Pleasures features a sleeve design that spawned hundreds of pieces of merchandise and many more parodies. But what about their second album, Closer? What’s that one all about? Dressed in sober black and white, the cover artwork features the title of the album written in a font that looks like it’s been chiselled into marble, while a monochrome photograph appears to show four cowled figures grieving around a man lying on a bed. …Because Joy Division had an album cover showing a group mourning a dead associate, Factory were accused of poor judgement by some Joy Division followers, who were shocked when they saw the sleeve in the shops for the first time – the cover was literally a wake for the departed singer.

Rapid City, ND | Here comes the sun-warped vinyl: Why records should not be left in cars for too long: Dropping a vinyl record can scratch the disk and ruin the quality if it doesn’t break, but leaving that brand-new album in a hot car can do much more serious damage. Vinyl records have a melting point of around 200 degrees Fahrenheit — but if left in a hot car for too long, it will start to warp and lose its shape which could even render them unplayable. Placing a record in a dark spot such as under your seat can help, but Black Hills Vinyl strongly recommends placing it in a bag and taking it with you if you are out for an extended period of time. “The windshields act as a magnifying glass almost, and that amplifies the heat,” said Jory Andre from Black Hills Vinyl. “That is why even in the high eighties, you can still warp your records because it just magnifies all of that heat. On a sunny day, it’s around 80 degrees and you get in your car and you are baking. It is kind of that effect.”

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