In rotation: 11/16/22

Muncie, IN | Locked Groove Records hosts live performance: The record store hosted its first live show Thursday. Locked Groove Records (LGR), at 519 N. Martin Street in Muncie, opened their first live show Thursday night from 6:30-10 p.m. Owner, Celeste Outen, opened the business in July of 2022. This was after the previous owner of the building, Travis Harvey, moved his record company, Village Green Records, to Alabama. …Outen has been organizing the event with the help of LGR planner David Maginity. Maginity was brought on due to his work with planning venues across various Muncie venues. He met Outen in the LGR parking lot after stopping by to help organize a show. “It was funny because they weren’t even here. When I came up to the door, and as I was leaving, they [Outen and her partner] pulled up, and said ‘It’s like somebody sent you, because we’ve been wanting to put up shows and have music here for a while now,” Maginity said. “Ever since then we’ve been trying to figure out how to show music here.”

Best album covers of the year unveiled for 2022: A new exhibition is putting the 50 best record cover designs of 2022 on show, along with a retrospective celebrating album art that goes back to 1949. Even though most of us don’t buy vinyl anymore, record cover art remains a vital part of music marketing and, indeed, the music fan’s experience. Whether it’s having Graham Norton hold up a physical album cover on TV or seeing a digital version as you listen on Spotify, these evocative designs remain central to our enjoyment of music. But if there’s a certain genre you’re not into or particular artists pass you by, it’s easy to miss out on some of the best works of album art. To right that wrong, Art Vinyl has launched its 18th Best Art Vinyl Award—an annual search for the year’s most creative and well-designed record cover—with the unveiling of a striking record wall display at the Collection and Usher Gallery in Lincoln, which runs until 12 December.

UK | Independent labels’ market share set to increase for fifth consecutive year: Independent record labels’ share of the UK recorded music market is on course to grow for a fifth consecutive year in 2022, according to new analysis from the BPI. In the first 10 months of the year, independently released music made up 28.6% of the UK music market, up from 26.9% for the whole of 2021 and 30% up on 2017, when independents claimed a 22.1% share. A wide range of independents are contributing to this success, including BPI members Dirty Hit, Partisan and PIAS, as well as companies such as Domino and XL Beggars. Indie label market share has grown year-on-year in 2022 across sales and streams, but has been particularly strong in the albums market, where independents accounted for 40.5% of sales during the month of October, including on vinyl LP and CD formats.

Zagreb, HR | Croatia Records and Croatia Airlines sign cooperation agreement: The heads of two large national companies, Croatia Records director Želimir Babogredac and Croatia Airlines CEO Jasmin Bajić, signed a cooperation agreement today at the premises of Croatia Records. The companies with headquarters in Zagreb and with a regional and international reputation will, with this agreement, provide numerous benefits to all their users in the future, related to discounts when buying airline tickets, albums, vinyl records, books about music and other musical content, and they will publish joint actions through social networks. Croatia Records is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, it is the leading record label in the region and a leader in all segments of its business, which with a wide musical repertoire and a large number of performers continues a long-standing tradition and fills its rich archive with valuable recordings.

Des Moines, IA | Vinyl Cup hosts Des Moines Music Collectors’ Show: There was something for everyone, music on sale ranged from 70s rock to modern-day hip-hop. It was a great day for music lovers in Des Moines as Vinyl Cup hosted the Des Moines Music Collectors’ Show. Vendors sold vinyl records, CDs, cassettes and tapes. Many are so rare you probably can’t find them in stores or online. There was something for everyone and music on sale ranged from 70s rock to modern-day hip-hop. “Usually I bring my daughter, she’s 11. She’s more into actually looking through them and recognizing them. She makes her little playlist on Spotify,” said Sarah Petersen. “She won’t put the records on but she’ll listen to it on that. So I like seeing the kids out here doing it, obviously, it’s not as big of a thing as it used to be.” “I got Queen ‘Sheer Attack’ – it’s got ‘Killer Queen’ on it, I got it for my daughter’s birthday because she likes that song,” said Anthony Cross. There were thousands of albums people got to pick through.

New Order announce ‘definitive’ Low-Life boxset: The ‘definitive’ edition includes a record, two CDs, two DVDs and a book. New Order are releasing a ‘definitive edition’ boxset of Low-Life next January. The 1985 album will be reissued on a 180g vinyl LP alongside two CDs, two DVDs and a book. One of the CDs features previously unreleased mixes and alternate versions. The DVDs capture an unreleased performance at Belgium’s The Manhattan Club and an edition of The Old Grey Whistle Test at the Hacienda whilst the hardcover book features photos and interviews with the band. The LP is wrapped in its original ‘heavyweight tracing paper’, designed by Peter Saville. You can pre-order the boxset now, ahead of its January 27 release.

Mary J. Blige’s ‘Good Morning Gorgeous’ Gets Vinyl Release: Mary J. Blige’s latest album Good Morning Gorgeous is getting a vinyl impression starting Dec. 9. — but for now, fans can pre-order the double disc LP through Amazon, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble and more. In addition, different colored options of the vinyl will be available depending on where fans purchase the LP. While Target has Good Morning Gorgeous available in red, the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul has a crystal-clear version on her official website. Led by the uplifting single, “Amazing,” featuring DJ Khaled, the LP was released on Feb. 11 through Mary Jane Productions Inc. and 300 Entertainment. In May, Blige released the deluxe version of the 15-track album with six additional songs, including the infectious single, “Come See About Me” featuring Fabolous. The sultry visual arrived a week after unveiling her Anderson .Paak-assisted single, “Here With Me” ahead of her Apple Music Live performance back in July in New York City. GMG serves as Blige’s 15th studio album, which peaked at No. 14 on the Billboard 200, No. 4 on Billboard’s Top R&B Albums chart and No. 83 on the Billboard Hot 100.

UK | The UK singles chart is 70. Is it time for it to retire? Once the top 40 was the undisputed soundtrack of a nation. But in an era when you can have a platinum record that gets to No 81, does it even make sense any more? Some enterprising soul has uploaded The Chart Busters to YouTube, a 1980 World in Action investigation into “hyping” singles that caused quite a commotion at the time. A saga of labels colluding with retailers to falsify sales figures, featuring palms greased with scotch and wine, it suggested three of the top five singles had, initially at least, been hyped into the charts: not to No 1, but just high enough to qualify for radio play and Top of the Pops. “The charts are in no way a guide to what’s accurately selling,” said one former label employee. “They’re a joke.” The evidence was damning and there was fallout: shortly after the show was broadcast, the managing director of one major label resigned, supposedly “coincidentally”. But the really weird thing was the impact The Chart Busters had on the popularity of the chart. It had none.

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