In rotation: 1/6/23

AU | Iconic music retailer Sanity to shut its bricks and mortar stores for good: For decades it’s been the port of call for kids grabbing their first CD, but now Aussie music and entertainment retailer Sanity is closing up its physical doors. Sanity was founded by business heavyweight Brett Blundy with just a single store in 1980 called Jetts, in Pakenham, Victoria. It sold vinyl records and cassette tapes. By 1992, the brand relaunched as Sanity with the first outlet under that name in Doncaster, in Melbourne’s north-east. The company was purchased by Ray Itaoui 13 years ago. Now, as online shopping – particularly for music – takes an ever-larger share of the market, Sanity has announced it will close its 50 physical stores by the end of April this year, in line with their respective lease expiries.

AU | So Long, Sanity: A Tribute To Iconic Music Chains: As another icon shuts its doors for good, we revisit HMV, Brashs, CC Music, Fish Records, Trax and more. …Record stores – retailers that sell recorded music in all its forms – have been around for as long as recorded music itself. In Australia some of the first were sheet music retailers like Allans Music, which also sold LPs, EPs and singles; most also selling musical instruments, parts and novelties – picks, strings, metronomes and that piano necktie or pencil set your music teacher pretended they liked every year. Music retailers were not just important for punters, but also for musicians. Of course, these were the libraries where eager students could take lessons home, but also where ‘hit parade’ music charts were distributed and literally made; so they were fundamental to the way Australian music history and its success has been understood.

UK | UK music consumption up again, as British artists fill top ten of 2022: Music consumption in the UK was up again in 2022 – or so says record industry trade group BPI in its customary end-of-year stats pack focused on how much music was streamed by and sold to British consumers in the last twelve months. Based on its crunching of Official Charts Company data, the BPI reckons that 159.3 billion audio streams occurred on digital music platforms in the UK last year, up 8.2% on 2021. This means that, in the average week, more than three billion audio streams are being played by British consumers across the various music services. Good times. If you do the magical (and only slightly mysterious) maths that equates streams to album sales, streaming accounted for 86.1% of recorded music sales last year, in terms of units rather than cash through the till. As for the other 13.9%, that comes from the sale of downloads, CDs, vinyl and cassettes, of course.

Sleaford, UK | Meet the married couple running a ‘half and half’ shared shop: It’s divided right down the middle. A married couple has fulfilled their dreams by taking over each half of a high street, selling records on one side and unique vintage fashion on the other. Paul and Andrea Clarke have set up their venture in a former tattoo parlour on West Gate in Sleaford, hoping to bring something new to the town. Paul, 61, runs Vinyl Resting Place, a creatively-named record shop that is crammed full of more than 4,000 vinyl records, ranging from essentials like The Beatles and The Clash to top-sellers Harry Styles and Taylor Swift, and seemingly everything in between. Andrea is on the other side of the wall, with a dark, Alice in Wonderland-themed clothes shop called Crimson Rabbit, that specialises in vintage and retro-style clothing. The clothes, which span from authentic Victorian handbags to 90s/Y2K fashion and celestial jewellery, aren’t separated by gender and she took inspiration for what to stock from her life spent in the trendy city of Manchester.

Cleveland Heights, OH | Record Revolution stops spinning Saturday: Coventry mainstay to shutter its doors after 55 years: It was supposed to come to an end at the end of 2022. But Record Revolution, the independent record store and Coventry neighborhood mainstay for more than a half-century, will continue to revolve through the first week of 2023. The neighborhood record store and hub at 1832 Coventry Rd, Cleveland Heights, will close permanently on Saturday, January 7. Everything still in the store is 50 percent off. Store hours are noon-5 p.m. Why the extra week? “Well, because they were some people out of town and some people said, `Hey, I want to come in and say bye.’ There are just some loose ends, so I figured hey, give them another week,” said Record Revolution partner and general manager Robert “Rob Love” Pryor. For Pryor, who recently turned 50, it’s the end of a 35-year journey that started when he was a teenage customer. He eventually became an employee, working his way up to manager and partner. Now, he admits he’s not entirely sad to see this particular journey come to its end.

CA | Blood From Stone: Huge price increases coming for vinyl albums. Get ready to shell out more cash for new vinyl records of your favourite artists starting next month. Independent music stores shared the heartless news Wednesday that major record labels like Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada are increasing their prices for vinyl albums two days after Valentine’s Day. “So, Universal, Warner (and likely Sony soon) are all raising their prices considerably over the next month,” Ottawa music store Vertigo Records shared on Instagram Wednesday afternoon. “We always keep out prices low, but will have to adjust,” the store added. “The major labels need to get every last drop of blood from that stone. Sorry!” In Cambridge, Ont., Millpond Records & Books also shared the news of the price increases, along with a screenshot of Universal’s old and new pricing sheet on individual vinyl albums and singles.

Lincoln, UK | Grow your vinyl collection at museum’s first Record Fair: Pick up your favourite records on vinyl or rediscover some bygone classics at The Collection Museum’s Record Fair on Saturday 14 January. Featuring stalls from local record sellers, the free-to-enter Record Fair will be a first for the museum, on Danes Terrace in Lincoln. The market event coincides with their ‘Best Art Vinyl; album artwork through the ages’ exhibition, which celebrates the very best vinyl album art from the last 70+ years. Jenny Gleadell, exhibitions officer at The Collection Museum, said: “We’re also now into the final weeks of the exhibition, so if you haven’t seen it yet, or want to see it again, you’ve got until 22 January to see it here at The Collection Museum.” The Record Fair will be open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 14 January 2023.

De La Soul are reissuing 3 Feet High and Rising on vinyl this March: Celebrate 34 years of 3 Feet High and Rising with a new reissue. De La Soul are set to reissue their debut album 3 Feet High and Rising on March 3, the 34th anniversary of its initial release. While the legendary hip-hop group’s discography will hit streaming services for the first time in March, they’re treating vinyl lovers with plans to reissue their discography on vinyl throughout this year. The first reissue, 3 Feet High and Rising, is available as a double LP on magenta, yellow and black vinyl. You can pre-order now.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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