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Author Topic: A decade into Record Store Day, a new world of vinyl  (Read 5383 times)

Offline skeezix

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A decade into Record Store Day, a new world of vinyl
« on: April 21, 2017, 2334 UTC »
https://www.yahoo.com/news/decade-record-store-day-world-vinyl-190631631.html

New York (AFP) - Ten years ago, most vinyl records sold for a few dollars -- dusty old albums with dog-eared covers that had been thrown out as useless relics of an earlier age.

However, faced with twin onslaughts from digital music and big-box stores, independent record stores in the United States banded together in 2007 to create an annual day of special sales -- and much to their surprise, vinyl has been king.

Metallica played the first Record Store Day at a branch of Rasputin Music in the San Francisco area. While the metal legends' presence ensured a crowd, all 10,000 vinyl reissues at the store sold out that day.

"That made me realize we were onto something. We tapped into something that nobody could have imagined," Record Store Day co-founder Michael Kurtz said.

Kurtz quickly expanded Record Store Day to continental Europe and Britain, where the first British edition was championed by Billy Bragg, the folk rocker known for his left-wing activism.

The 10th annual event takes place Saturday at thousands of stores around the world -- due to the deliberately loose structure, Kurtz does not have an exact figure -- with some 350 special vinyl pressings in the US market released on the day.

Since the first Record Store Day, vinyl has soared to levels not seen since the 1980s. It has been a rare source of growth in the long-beleaguered music industry alongside -- although at a much smaller scale than -- streaming.

Vinyl revenue will top $1 billion this year while sales of CDs and digital downloads tumble, the analytical firm Deloitte estimates.

In Britain, where vinyl's rebirth has been particularly pronounced, records generated more revenue than advertising-backed tiers of streaming platforms last year.

- Owning a format -

Vinyl enthusiasts such as Elton John, who has done promotions for Record Store Day, insist the medium offers a superior listening experience. But there are also broader cultural forces at play.

"It was a perfect storm," said Kurtz, 59, sipping coffee near his home in Harlem as he wore a T-shirt of punk icon Iggy Pop -- among the musicians with special Record Store Day releases.

"For the older music fan, people in my age group, it was a romantic thing that you can go back and buy all your favorite records again and buy special versions of those albums," he said.

"On the younger side of things, it enabled a whole new generation to own it. I think it was a response to digital in a way."

In a sun-kissed industrial plaza in Orange County, California, Erika Records never stopped making vinyl. But production has ramped up eight times in the past decade. The plant now produces 20,000 records a day.

"The vinyl resurgence has been very good to us," project manager Ma Nerriza dela Cerna said next to the plant, where records by artists from Lady Gaga to Bob Marley are manufactured from start to finish.

Part of vinyl's draw is the unique touches it provides for fans. Erika Records, the sole US plant to make color and picture records, works with artists to create original designs -- although it drew the line when one band proposed infusing its members' blood into the vinyl.

- Will boom last? -

"A lot of people say that the vinyl industry will eventually slow down," dela Cerna said. "I personally don't think that only because I feel like we're introducing vinyl to a new audience every day."

Record Store Day and Erika Records both have their roots in working with independent labels, although major conglomerates have since joined the event.

Unlike some indie purists, Kurtz rejoices in major labels' participation as a signal of vinyl's success. But he also worries that the same trends that battered independent stores a decade ago are coming back, with some labels bypassing them to sell directly to consumers.

Vinyl's growth has also been inconsistent. A major format for indie and classic rock and jazz, it has had much less impact in hip-hop, where top artists often find it more lucrative to sign streaming deals.

While vinyl makes up an ever-greater part of the market, the rate of growth in the United States slowed to four percent in 2016.

Kurtz isn't worried. Record store owners are enjoying themselves, he said, and the expansion was expected to plateau.

"Music has always had a core 10-15 percent of the population that buys the full vision of the artist, whether it's on CD or vinyl. And right now it's pretty close to that."
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Offline Josh

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Re: A decade into Record Store Day, a new world of vinyl
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2017, 1501 UTC »
Neat they like vinyl, but no one should listen to metallica after st anger.
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Offline James Brownyard

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Re: A decade into Record Store Day, a new world of vinyl
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2017, 1753 UTC »
I lost interest around "Load" myself.

Offline Edgar Souse

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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2017, 2031 UTC »
As someone who worked in a record store and has a decent sized vinyl collection, I never liked RSD.
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Offline Pigmeat

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Re: A decade into Record Store Day, a new world of vinyl
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2017, 0346 UTC »
Ed, when I worked in a record store we had listening booths and you could say what those pipes and papers in the glass display cases were really for. I never heard of RSD before I saw this post.

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Re: A decade into Record Store Day, a new world of vinyl
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2017, 0637 UTC »
I think the resurgence of vinyl would have happened without RSD anyway.  Everything goes in cycles, and vinyl never really died, the music industry just got cheap and stopped offering it.  Dance and indy labels never did.  I own a bunch of vinyl and keep collecting stuff I want physical copies of.  I still buy CD's too, but for stuff I like alot I have both.

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Offline Edgar Souse

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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2017, 1827 UTC »
RSD was partly a response to vinyl, I think. I always thought it was silly that people would want to sell a stack of dusty, warped, scratched records and expect big bucks for them, just because records are popular again.
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Re:
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2017, 1857 UTC »
RSD was partly a response to vinyl, I think. I always thought it was silly that people would want to sell a stack of dusty, warped, scratched records and expect big bucks for them, just because records are popular again.

RSD is usually about limited edition new releases. I think old crappy records are still regarded as the damaged goods that they are, but when something is out of print, weird things can happen, no matter how many copies of the original are still floating around.

I was someone who absolutely hated the forced transition to CD's, and stuck with vinyl as long as I could. Fortunately most independent labels never cut it out, but some did. Eventually I did start to buy CD's instead, because when you move crates of records around a lot, you learn to appreciate how light they are in comparison. And having a real job helped ease the insult of the higher prices. Now, records are a boutique item and I buy CD's to save money, at least when the records are too ridiculously priced. (I've always preferred the sound of vinyl, but was never a snob about it like some people I know.) It's a strange thing to have watched happen over the past three decades.
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Offline Pigmeat

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Re: A decade into Record Store Day, a new world of vinyl
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2017, 2052 UTC »
I remember the movie "High Fidelity". It starts out with the 13th Floor Elevators classic "You're Gonna Miss Me" as both a song about fading record stores in the 90's and swipe at vinyl collectors of the 70's, when papers and magazines such as "Rolling Stone" and "Crawdaddy" always featured classifieds advertising bootlegs of the Elevators albums at ridiculous prices. I knew a guy who bought just the cover of the Ultimate Spinach's first album for fifty bucks when we were in HS, as the record was a legendary thing everyone had heard of, but no one had actually heard. Ironically, the ancient Plymouth Fury he tooled around in had only cost him 75$. I don't know if Eric ever found the record, I never saw him after graduation.

When Moby pulled out that import copy of Stiff Little Fingers "Inflammable Material" early in "High Fidelity" and starts spouting out a line of crap about who it influenced, trying to impress a girl, I about fell out of my seat. I busted my ass to get a copy of that album for friend who worked at a radio station only to have it returned the same day with, "It's too hard edge for us". I kept it, and I'm damn glad I did. It was a killer record and IMO, the last explosion of the first wave of Punk.

Part of the nostalgia for vinyl, again strictly, IMO, is the tube amps and receivers matched with the HQ speakers we listened to them on. Those combos could make a cat fight sound like Bach.

My back is still paying for moving those boxes and crates of records, Ed. I was mowing the lawn yesterday and today I've got a pain from where I felt that funny "pop" from carrying a box of "Frampton Comes Alive" up the stairs from our basement warehouse to the stock room in '76. I didn't like Peter then, and don't like him now. "Wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah ...." What a talent!

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Re: A decade into Record Store Day, a new world of vinyl
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2017, 2111 UTC »
When Moby pulled out that import copy of Stiff Little Fingers "Inflammable Material" early in "High Fidelity" and starts spouting out a line of crap about who it influenced, trying to impress a girl, I about fell out of my seat. I busted my ass to get a copy of that album for friend who worked at a radio station only to have it returned the same day with, "It's too hard edge for us". I kept it, and I'm damn glad I did. It was a killer record and IMO, the last explosion of the first wave of Punk.

One of the greats indeed. I love the fact that Drunken DJ played "Alternative Ulster" at my request on New Year's Eve. And XLR8 played it of his own volition on one of their most recent broadcasts. Radyo Oleg too.
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Re: A decade into Record Store Day, a new world of vinyl
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2017, 2157 UTC »
That album ought to be declared the official music of pissed off twenty year old's worldwide, MDK.

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Offline Edgar Souse

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« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2017, 2311 UTC »
Pigment, you brought up a good point about tube amps and audio equipment. My home stereo is modest, but I have a friend who is an audiophile, and is really into all that stuff. He and I agree that the degree to which vinyl sounds better, or different is dependent on the playback equipment and how the album was originally recorded. So, a recently recorded LP in a modern studio, and played back on a cheap turntable won't really sound much different from a CD. Whereas, an original Miles Davis album that's clean, played on a good turntable and stylus, with a tube amp etc, will.
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Offline redhat

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Re: A decade into Record Store Day, a new world of vinyl
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2017, 0750 UTC »
To an extent, I think the 'romance' of vinyl is in its imperfections, kinda like people.  You can get alot closer to the original master with a good vinyl pressing than with CD's limited bit depth.  I would prefer high bit rate FLAC to just about anything else, but the industry just doesn't want to do it, or anything for that matter that would involve relinquishing control of something they own.  I can tell a difference between 44.1K and 48K with modest equipment and a good set of cans, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

I hate MP3's...

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Re: A decade into Record Store Day, a new world of vinyl?
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2017, 0313 UTC »
Too bad that most of the vinyl out there today is digital copies analoged on 180g vinyl. Then again, most millennials don't seem to give a crap. I still believe the best quality out there, sound-wise, are the original pressings from the 50's to the mid-80's recorded from the original analog tapes.  It sucks when you listen to 180g LP and hear the recording of a CD skip, or the harsh treble highs from MP3's.
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Offline redhat

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Re: A decade into Record Store Day, a new world of vinyl
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2017, 0346 UTC »
Most of the current stuff being pressed originates from the 48K 24 bit master, so it will still sound better than CD.  Outside of audiophile pressings, whose true origins are often dubious (read: marketing) just about everything done in the last 30 years is going to be off a digital master anyway.  Some of the indy stuff sounds like a cassette tape or MP3 anyway, so what's the difference (MGMT anyone?)  Digital mastering takes a lot of heat for the lousy sound quality we've all heard in the last 25 years, but the loudness war is more to blame.  I would rather have the final mix available before the mastering engineers and producers get their hands on it.  Maybe then we could get rid of some of this blatant clipping distortion that all modern music seems to be spiced with.

Just my 2

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