Friday, October 10, 2008

9 Tips For Keeping Your Vinyl LPs In Great Shape

written by Alan Bayer

Vinyl Records Are High-Maintenance...

It's unfortunate, but true. While vinyl records provide the sweetest sounds, they won't for very long if you do not maintain them properly. Vinyl records are victims to many of the same ailments as CDs, particularly scratches, and exposure to sunlight and heat. Vinyl records also suffer from various other problems as well.

Here are 9 tips that will keep your vinyl in great shape:

Maintenance Tip #1: Store Vinyl Records Vertically

The first thing to consider when storing your vinyl is the direction. You should always store your vinyl records vertically. By storing them vertically, there is significantly less stress put on the record, ensuring that they don't bend or deform over time.

Maintenance Tip #2: Don't Store Vinyl Records Horizontally

Vinyl should never be stored horizontally, especially under a pile of other records, or other heavy object(s). The weight causes damage to the grooves over time, degrading the sound quality over time.

Maintenance Tip #3: Don't Let Vinyl Records Lean

Vinyl should not be allowed to lean either. This can cause them to warp, and you can imagine the difficulties this causes.

Maintenance Tip #4: Don't Store Vinyl Records Too Tightly

One other tip, don't store records too tightly, even vertically, as this also puts pressure on the grooves, deforming them over time. This is the same reason why you shouldn't store vinyl records horizontally under other records or heavy objects.

Maintenance Tip #5: Keep Your Records Cool!

Vinyl should also be stored in a cooler portion of your house. Heat causes the records to get softer, and prone to bending and damage. You should never store your vinyl near a window or heater.

Maintenance Tip #5: Keep Your Records Away From Humidity

Take care to keep your vinyl away from humidity. Humidity eventually causes mold to grow, which can lead to damage to your record and cover sleeve. It's really difficult to get mold and dirt out of those tiny record grooves. Treat your vinyl with respect! Don't throw it in your basement or attic for 20 years and expect them to come out looking good.

Maintenance Tip #6: Always Store Your Records in their Sleeves

Vinyl should not be stored outside of its liner or sleeve. This makes it easier for the record to get dirty, and more prone to scratches. Dirt is one of the main things that scratches records. In addition to dirt causing damage, exposed vinyl can be damaged by the sun's UV rays. This is another reason not to store your vinyl near a window or natural light source.

Maintenance Tip #7: Always Handle Vinyl Records by the Edges

When handling your vinyl, the same rules apply as with CDs. Be careful to handle the record only by its edges. Don't be careless with the record in hand, if it drops, you could cause a bad scratch, causing the record to skip, and damaging the record permanently.

Maintenance Tip #8: Be Careful With The Stylus

If you don't have an automatic turntable, be gentle with the stylus (needle). Don't set it down too heavily. Be mindful while the record is playing too: Try not to shake the turntable, causing the needle to skip across the record, causing minor scratches that degrade the sound of the record.

Maintenance Tip #9: Brush the Record, and Return It To Its Sleeve

Lastly, when you're done playing your record, you should give it a quick brush to remove any dust and static. Finally, return it to its sleeve. If you plan on listening to your vinyl for any decent period of time, you should absolutely invest in a carbon fiber record brush.

That's it, folks! 9 Tips for keeping your vinyl LPs in great shape.

Enjoy the music!

Author Alan E Bayer is a jazz lover and vinyl record enthusiast who operates, a site where one can find collectible vinyl records, turntables and vinyl accessories. Enjoy the site, and enjoy the sound of music on vinyl.

Guns N' Roses to release new album next month

NEW YORK (Billboard) - More than a decade after its conception, Guns N' Roses' "Chinese Democracy" will finally see the light of day before year's end, sources close to the situation told Billboard.

The set will be a Best Buy exclusive and will be available Sunday, November 23, rather than the usual Tuesday.

In the run-up to release date, album track "Shackler's Revenge" will debut in the video game "Rock Band 2," while a portion of "If the World" is playing over the end credits in the new Leonardo DiCaprio/Russell Crowe film "Body of Lies."

In addition, GNR's seminal 1987 full-length debut, "Appetite for Destruction," will be reissued on vinyl on October 28 via Interscope.

The band's last new studio albums were the simultaneously released "Use Your Illusion I" and "Use Your Illusion II" in September 1991. A covers set, "The Spaghetti Incident?," followed in 1993, and featured some of the last GNR recordings from original guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan.

This spring, soft drink manufacturer Dr Pepper offered to send a free can of the beverage to "everyone in America" (excluding ex-GNR members Slash and Buckethead) if "Chinese Democracy" were to arrive anytime during the calendar year 2008. A Dr Pepper spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.


Classic Rock Videos

Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons Sherrie

Album Cover Art

Let's continue our look the the top 50 controversial, weirdest, best and worst album covers as compiled by the crack staff at


19. Ice Cube: ‘Death Certificate’ Death Certificate is the second studio album by rapper Ice Cube, released October 31, 1991 on Priority Records. Highly anticipated with over a million advance orders, the album was certified platinum in sales on December 20, 1991. The album debuted on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart at #1 and on the Billboard 200 chart at #2, while it went on to sell over two million copies to date. It is considered one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. It was also the source of much controversy due to some of its racially charged content, and Ice Cube's acerbic statements on drug dealing, racial profiling, and the right to keep and bear arms.

It didn't help to have ole Uncle Sam in the morgue which may have been an allusion to the death of the American dream, the album was nonetheless condemned Stateside and suffered severe retail boycotts. In fact, the state of Oregon declared any display of Ice Cube's image in retail stores throughout the state illegal.



19. Emerson, Lake & Palmer: 'Tarkus' - Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP) were an English progressive rock supergroup. In the 1970s, the band was extremely popular, selling over 35 million albums and headlining huge concerts. The band consisted of Keith Emerson (keyboards), Greg Lake (guitar, bass guitar, vocals) and Carl Palmer (drums, percussion).

Tarkus is the second album by the progressive rock bandand was released in 1971. The chief feature of the album is the "Tarkus" suite, originally forming the whole of Side one of the album. Greg Lake stated in an early interview that he viewed Tarkus as a representation of the military-industrial complex, and that his lyrics were about that, and about the futility of war and strife.

On the album cover, made after the music was created and recorded, Tarkus is depicted as a half armadillo/half tank creature, born from an egg erupted from a volcano. The inner gatefold sleeve features a sequence of pictures depicting battles between Tarkus and other half-mechanical creatures, until its eventual defeat by a manticore. "Tarkus" then becomes "Aquatarkus", an aquatic version of the land-bound original.

Carl Palmer later stated that he thought that the use of pictures depicting battles between Tarkus and other half-mechanical creatures on the inner gatefold was a mistake, and that only the outer cover painting of Tarkus should have been used. Greg Lake also made some similar statements. I kind of like the armadillo/half tank creature-reminds me of listening to the album and getting stoned.



19. David Hasselhoff – ‘Night Rocker’ David Michael Hasselhoff (born July 17, 1952) is an American "actor and singer," who is best known for his lead roles on Knight Rider and Baywatch. He also crossed over to a music career, successful primarily in German-speaking Europe during the end of the 1980s and the early 1990s. Hasselhoff has had only one number-one hit in the German pop charts in 1989 ("Looking for Freedom") and two more top-ten hits in 1989 and 1993, respectively. Most other releases failed to enter the top forty.

In 1994, Hasselhoff was scheduled to perform a concert on pay-per-view from Atlantic City. The concert was expected to help reignite his singing career in the United States. On the night of his concert, O.J. Simpson was involved in a police chase in southern California. Viewership of the concert was significantly lower than expected, due to the live coverage of the chase. Since then, Hasselhoff has not attempted another concert.

Thank god for O.J., now where is KITT?



19. Dinosaur Jr: ‘Green Mind’ Who am I to question the staff at Gigwise...we all are entitled to our opinions, but this album cover making the 'best' list is beyond comprehension. Dinosaur Jr. is an American alternative rock band formed in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1984. Originally named Dinosaur prior to legal issues, the band disbanded in 1997 until reuniting in 2005. Guitarist J Mascis, bassist Lou Barlow and drummer Murph were the band's founding members; however, Mascis has been the group's sole continual member.

Their distinct sound, characterized by high gain, extensive use of feedback and distortion, and frontman J Mascis's melodic guitar solos, were influential in the alternative rock movement of the 1990s, exemplified by the success of acknowledged fans Nirvana.

The cover photograph, "Priscilla, 1969", is by Joseph Szabo and taken from his book of photographs Almost Grown.

This Date In Music History- October 10


Goo Goo Dolls guitarist Mike Malinin was born in 1967.

Born on this day in 1955, David Lee Roth, vocals, Van Halen.

Birthday wishes to Country Music super star Tanya Tucker (1955).

Born on this day in 1946, John Prine, singer, songwriter.

Birthday wishes to Jerry Lacroix, Blood Sweat & Tears (1945).


The real Eleanor Rigby died in her sleep of unknown causes in 1939 at the age of 44. The 1966 Beatles' song that featured her name wasn't really written about her, as Paul McCartney's first draft of the song named the character Miss Daisy Hawkins. Eleanor Rigby's tombstone was noticed in the 1980s in the graveyard of St. Peter's Parish Church in Woolton, Liverpool, just a few feet from where McCartney and Lennon had met for the first time in 1957.

The great jazz composer Thelonious Monk was born in Rocky Mount, N.C. in 1917 (died February 17, 1982).

In 1902, the Gibson Mandolin guitar company was formed. Gibson's first electric guitar the ES-150 was produced in 1936 and in 1946 Gibson introduced the P-90 single coil pickup, which was eventually used on the first Les Paul model made in 1952.

In 1956, Elvis Presley's "Love Me Tender" entered the Billboard chart for a 19 week stay. It was #1 for 5 of those weeks. The song, from Presley's first film of the same name, was adapted from the tune "Aura Lee", written in 1861.

In 1960, a silly novelty song called "Mr. Custer" by Larry Verne was the number one single in America. The record told a story about a US cavalry trooper who tries to talk his way out of fighting the Sioux Indians at Little Big Horn in 1876. I kind of like the song.

In 1962, the BBC banned Bobby "Boris" Pickett's "Monster Mash" because it makes mention of potentially offensive horror movies.

The Shangri-Las released the immortal No. 1 teen drama "Leader of the Pack” in 1964.

Pink Floyd released their album Atom Heart Mother in 1970. On L.A.'s Sunset Strip, the Harvest label promoted the album with 30-foot-high billboards of the album's cover star, a cow named Lullubelle III.

In 1970, FCC Commissioner Nicholas Johnson responded to Vice President Spiro Agnew's charge that Rock music drives young people to drugs, by playing Rock music during a speech, saying that Agnew would do well to listen to song lyrics to understand what's happening around the US. Touche!

Also in 1970, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles' "Tears Of A Clown" was released. By December, it will top both the Billboard Pop and R&B charts as well as the Cashbox Best Sellers list.

In 1959, the Quarry Men played at the Casbah Coffee Club, Liverpool. Ken Brown, suffering from a heavy cold, was unable to perform and after the show an argument started when Paul McCartney said that Brown should not get a share of the performance fee since he had not performed. Lennon and Harrison side with McCartney and Brown quits The Quarry Men. Oops, wonder if he regrets that career move.

The funeral took place of Led Zeppelin's drummer John Bonham in 1980. ‘Bonzo’ was found dead at guitarist’s Jimmy Page's house of what was described as asphyxiation, after inhaling his own vomit after excessive vodka consumption, (40 shots in 4 hours) aged 32.

A charity auction selling Elvis Presley's belongings was held at The Grand Hotel, Las Vegas in 1999. A wristwatch sold for $32,500, a cigar box $25,000, an autographed baseball sold for $19,000, and a 1956 Lincoln Continental sold for $250,000.

The Carpenters were at No.2 on the US singles chart in 1970 with 'We've Only Just Begun.' The song was originally written for a TV commercial advertising a bank.

This is timing: Twenty one years after "Frampton Comes Alive" sold over 16 million copies, Peter Frampton released "Frampton Comes Alive II".

The Supremes made the first of many appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1965.