Friday, June 13, 2008

Vinyl is still king

Every now and then I run across a great article. This is the case with the article posted below as it has a statement that I have been repeating for many years, what vinyl comeback?:


Stark Matters: Convenience aside, vinyl is still king


I saw the story in Saturday's paper about the rebirth of the vinyl record.

It made me laugh.

It's a story that resurfaces every year or so, when someone discovers that LPs are not only still being manufactured and sold, but that a substantial amount of the public still craves the vinyl sound.

The reason I laugh is, I've been reading pretty much the same story for the last 25 years.

Someone is astounded to find out that records still exist — and then writes an article to share their amazing discovery.

But records never went away.


Those who are into high-end stereo — audiophiles, as these strange creatures are known — have insisted for years that, given proper playback equipment, vinyl's sweet sound is heads and shoulders above the sterile sound of digital music.

When compact discs were first introduced, they were billed as perfect sound in an indestructible format.

But as anyone who's had CDs for any length of time can attest, they are far from indestructible. They can be scratched or broken, and sometimes cease to play for no apparent reason.

As for the sound, well, that depends. Today, there are plenty of awesome-sounding CDs available, provided the disc is properly recorded and mastered. But others — and most of the first CDs suffered this problem — are just transferred to disc with little regard for the sound, resulting in a dull, tinny sound that is as annoying as it is musical.

That's why, despite the introduction of the CD more than 25 years ago, the record album has held a special place in the hearts of music lovers.


In general, the average record played back on quality equipment has several sonic advantages over the average CD: More life to the music, more "air" around the instruments, better imaging (in which each instrument seems to come from a different spot on the soundstage) and more punch to crescendos.

The CD has one major advantage, and I'll admit it's a big one: No background noise. The sound comes to you out of a background of dead silence, compared to the rumbly, pop-filled backdrops provided by a disc of well-worn vinyl.

Of course, if you take good care of your records, clean them before each playing and store them in their jackets in a protective sleeve, the way vinyl junkies do, the LP can be virtually soundless as well.

How can an ancient record album possibly sound better than a modern CD? Digital recording places samples of sound very close together, creating the illusion of continuous sound. The better this is done, the better the sound.

But records are analog, not digital — reproducing actual continuous sound, not bits of sound separated by milliseconds of silence.

Beyond the sonic benefits, there is something magical about a record album that compact discs can't capture: The feel of an album in your hand, the different textures of various album covers, the often-stunning cover art, liner notes big enough to be read — even the fact that the album must be turned over to be heard in its entirety.

CDs are nice and convenient. But records bring music to life.

The Collector’s Corner

I received this press release and thought I would pass it on. A look at the site shows, although they don't have tons of vinyl, the records that they do carry are very good.

For immediate release:


Concord Music Group unveils new section of
devoted to rarities and collectibles

BEVERLY HILLS, JUNE 4, 2008 - With labels such as Fantasy, Specialty, Prestige and Stax, the scope of the Concord Music Group catalog is as deep and eclectic as your beloved public radio station left of the dial and as vast as the greatest neighborhood indie store. The quandary now is where to go to find a collection of Jerry Garcia’s oeuvre with Merle Saunders or to find Soultrane on vinyl without having to take out a second mortgage. Well, record collecting has just turned a corner.

Concord Music Group welcomes you to The Collector’s Corner.

Break out those lists of the obscure, out of print and the monophonic. At The Collector’s Corner section of, you can peruse aisles of Miles, freights’ of ’Trane, and the deeper treasures that await with each click.

Everything is here, from Carolina bluesman Pink Anderson (whose name inspired Syd Barrett to christen his little English quartet Pink Floyd) to Albert King paying tribute to that other King, Elvis Presley; to the classic comprehensive Miles Davis and John Coltrane box sets from the Prestige vaults.

Audiophiles and rarity hunters will also discover the bliss of having Waltz for Debby and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Chronicle on vinyl is no longer relegated to the labyrinth of online auctions. In The Collector’s Corner, visitors can peruse through titles available in the venerated vinyl format.

In addition to great collectibles, each month The Collector’s Corner offers reviews, pointers and suggestions from experts and Concord Music Group staffers. They’ll share the must-have collectibles, from the historic to the bizarre.

Visit and see what special surprises have been tucked away. It’s all been packed into The Collector’s Corner -