Friday, January 25, 2008

Top Sellers at Vinyl

Looking for hard to find, rare and collectible vinyl? Visit Virgil Dickerson over at Suburban Home Records and Vinyl Collective. I have picked up several beautiful picture discs (Sublime) and this is a great source for 'colored vinyl' as well. Tell Virgil that I sent you on over!

Top 30 items for December 2007- Vinyl

1 ALKALINE TRIO “Goddamnit” re-release LP Red with Black Smoke vinyl (VC exlusive)
2 Me First And The Gimme Gimmes “Willie” 7″ buckaroo Blue vinyl
3 ALKALINE TRIO “Goddamnit” re-release LP Clear with Red Splatter vinyl
4 ALKALINE TRIO “Goddamnit” re-release LP Red and Black half and half vinyl
5 ALKALINE TRIO “Goddamnit” re-release LP Sky Blue vinyl
6 HEAVENS “Patent Pending” LP alkaline trio hand #d
7 ALKALINE TRIO “Goddamnit” re-release LP White vinyl
8 MINUS THE BEAR “Highly Refined Pirates” LP Aqua Vinyl
9 MINUS THE BEAR “Planet of Ice” dbl LP solid white vinyl
9 O PIONEERS!!! S/t 7″ strawberry colored vinyl
11 EVERY TIME I DIE “The Big Dirty” LP leapord print vinyl
12 ALKALINE TRIO “Goddamnit” re-release LP 5 colors plus CD/DVD
13 Fake Problems “Viking Wizard Eyes Wizard Full of Lies” 7″ all 3 colors
13 MINUS THE BEAR “Highly Refined Pirates” LP Orange vinyl
13 DRAG THE RIVER “You Can’t Live This Way” LP Grey Vinyl
13 Fake Problems “Viking Wizard Eyes Wizard Full of Lies” 7″ black/silver swirl
17 BEN WEASEL “These Ones Are Bitter” LP clear brown
18 NEKO CASE - Fox Confessor Brings The Flood LP
19 27 “Holding On For Brighter Days” LP green glitter vinyl
19 Tim Barry “Rivanna Junction” LP grey/black half and half vinyl Avail
19 Poison the Well “Tear From” LP (clear pink vinyl)
22 American Steel - Jagged Thoughts LP
22 THE PLAYING FAVORITES “I Remember When I Was Pretty” LP pink/blue half and half
24 BOMB THE MUSIC INDUSTRY! “Get Warmer” LP clear vinyl w/ white splatter
25 NORMA JEAN 4 x LP Vinyl Box Set colored vinyl set A limited to 400
26 Bomb the Music Industry! / O Pioneers split LP 10″ Mystery colored vinyl
26 Teenage Bottlerocket “Another Way” LP red vinyl
28 Tim Barry “Laurel St Demos” LP brown vinyl white covers
28 American Steel - Rogue’s March LP
28 WEAKERTHANS “Left and Leaving” LP
28 THRICE “The Illusion of Safety” LP
28 Casket Lottery “Possibilities & Maybes” 2xLP Clear vinyl
34 Bomb the Music Industry! “To Leave or Die in Long Island” 12″ black/pink split

This Day In Music History- Jan 25

Etta James was born in 1938.

'Proud Mary', the Creedence Clearwater Revival LP, was released in 1969. "Proud Mary" eventually reached #2 on the charts (the band never had a #1 hit).

In 1980, Paul McCartney was released after nine days in a Tokyo jail for marijuana possession, he then flew to Amsterdam.

In 1984, Yoko Ono donated $375,000 to Liverpool's Strawberry Fields retirement home, the inspiration for her husband, John Lennon's, song.

Organist and acid jazz pioneer Brother Jack McDuff died at age 74 in 2001.
In 2000, a 1930 lacquered aluminum record was discovered on which Frank Sinatra sang "Roses of Picardy." It is believed to be the first ever solo recording made by Sinatra.

In 1971, Beatles-inspired nutcase Charles Manson was sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of seven counts of murder in the first degree and one count of conspiracy to commit murder. Three other members of his family are also given life sentences. Thankfully, all are still in prison.

In 1958, Elvis Presley's "Jailhouse Rock" entered the British pop singles charts at No. 1, an unprecedented feat.

The Tubes' synth player Michael Cotton was born in 1950.

Bassist and KC & the Sunshine Band co-founder Richard Finch was born in Indianapolis in 1954.

Birthday wishes to Alan Cox of the Fine Young Cannibals and the English Beat who was born in Birmingham, England in 1956.

In 1958, Gary Tibbs, bassist with art rockers Roxy Music, punk rockers the Vibrators and new wavers Adam + the Ants, was born.

While the Beatles performed with the Mustangs at a Baptist Youth Club Dance in England in 1963, Vee Jay signs a contract to distribute their singles in the United States.

David Gilmour played his first show with Pink Floyd at Southampton University in 1968. He replaced Syd Barrett whose behavior had become increasingly unpredictable.

In 1979, Rolling Stone Magazine’s Reader’s Poll named The Cars as the year’s best new band.

In 1961, the House of Representatives Special Sub-committee on Legislative Oversight, opened hearings on disc jockey payola. Legendary Cleveland DJ Alan Freed would eventually be convicted, while Philadelphia's Dick Clark would be cleared.

In 1964, the Beatles scored their first number one best seller in the US when "I Want To Hold Your Hand" reached the top of the Cash Box Magazine music chart. The Fab Four would eventually rack up 25 number ones in America.

In 1975, “Please Mr. Postman" became a US number one for the second time when The Carpenters took it to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. The Marvelettes version led the hit parade in January, 1961. (the Beatles also recorded a popular version of the song, it didn't make the American Top 40)

Allman Brothers bassist, Lamar Williams died of cancer in 1983 at the age of 34.

2005 Ray Peterson, the voice behind the June 1960, number 7 hit, "Tell Laura I Love Her" passed away at the age of 65.

Independent Record Labels Need To Be Counted

By Robert Benson

With vinyl record sales up more than fifteen percent over last year’s totals (858,000'units’ bought in 2006 versus 990,000 in 2007, according to Nielsen Soundscan), has the comeback of this historical audio medium reached its pinnacle? No one can say for sure, but one thing is certain, these sales figures are not a full indication of just what is happening in the ‘vinyl world’ and how many records have truly been sold.

These sales figures may be underestimated and under represent the exact sales figures because they don’t always include the sales at the smaller ‘indie’ record shops where vinyl does the best. I spoke with Virgil Dickerson, owner of one of these ‘indie’ record shops, and Vinyl Collective (based in Denver, Colorado) about what he is noticing about the trend to go back to vinyl records.

“Certainly, my CD sales have dropped off, and I have seen an increase in the sales of our vinyl records. People want a tangible product to go along with their music. The record album artwork and the great sound of vinyl are also factors in the resurgence,” detailed Virgil. “Digital music lacks the ‘soul’ of a record and there is almost a therapeutic ritual when you experience playing vinyl, the act of physically playing the record, the smell, turning the record over to hear the other side- are all factors as to why people are in love with the format.”

But, is the vinyl resurgence just a passing fad, what do you see for the future of the vinyl record?

“Some of our customers are what I term as ‘lifers,’ people who will buy records whether they are popular or not and may even have an extensive collection of records. And then there may be some that are just jumping on the ‘vinyl bandwagon,’ buying records to be cool or because they are popular now, but there will always be a place for vinyl within the music community,” said Virgil.

As previously noted, Virgil is the owner and operates Suburban Home Records, a record label that signs and releases music from bands from all over the world as well as Vinyl Collective, a unique vinyl friendly web store. And with such an eclectic array of musical genres to choose from including punk, alternative country, heavy metal, rock and roll and just about anything in between, his customer base is as varied as the musical styles that they offer.

We discussed some of the vinyl record formats that are being manufactured, including audiophile vinyl, picture discs, limited releases and colored vinyl.

“With regard to colored vinyl, we do it because we want each pressing to be distinctive. Colored vinyl is more prevalent now than, lets say, ten years ago and is highly sought after; people want it, so we appease our customers by releasing it,” explained Virgil. “We have some that are just one color, clear vinyl and we have added some with speckles and swirls.”

“Picture discs are also highly sought after as well, but are much more expensive per unit to manufacture. They are usually released with no jacket (they are kept in a clear re-sealable package) so that helps to reduce the cost. And the sound quality can fluctuate from good to bad depending on the pressing plant that is used. Audiophile records are more expensive as well, manufactured as 180-200 gram records instead of our norm, which is 140-160 grams,” said Virgil.

We also discussed the difference in sound quality between audiophile records and the normal standard vinyl releases.

“Audiophile records have a better sound quality because a higher grade of vinyl is used and the grooves are cut deeper into the vinyl, producing a much clearer sound. I would think that they are also less susceptible to scratching and scuffing and withstand the normal wear and tear that a record gets form use, because of their thickness,” related Virgil.

We talked about ‘limited releases’ and why these are not only popular, but profitable as well.

“Well, instead of pressing, let’s say, 5,000 copies of a particular recording, we may only press 500. This helps to keep our costs down and collectors love this type of release; they will own an uncommon or rare record, which can affect the resale value of the record, depending on various factors such as the artist, condition etc.”

What other marketing ploys are utilized in the record business?

“We are starting to sign up bands for a 7” ‘split’ series. We will do a pre-order for each 7” and have several artists already committed to the project including Chuck Ragan/Tim Barry, William Elliott Whitmore/Josh Small, Fake Problems/Look Mexico, Rocky Votolato/Chad Price (of Drag the River), just to name a few. The artists will do a cover of a song that has influenced what they do today. We not only have our own artists from Suburban Home Records, but other record labels and artists as well. And this is not so much a marketing ploy, as it is a unique opportunity for artists to be heard by other fan bases that may have not heard of the artist before the split and may also introduce the listener to another kind of musical genre that they may not listen to. With luck, we hope to have customers be interested enough to collect the whole series,” detailed Virgil.

We have just met the man behind the scenes at Suburban Home Records/Vinyl Collective, one of hundreds of independent record labels that produce quality vinyl records and allow independent musicians to be heard by the masses. Why these sales are not tabulated with the ‘big box’ record stores or major labels is food for thought. But if Suburban Home Records/Vinyl Collective keeps releasing quality vinyl records, it is just a matter of time, before they too, will become a “major label” and be counted, as the sale of vinyl records continues to move upward.