Saturday, October 25, 2008

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Shirelles- Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow

The Best Vinyl: 180g and 200g Virgin Vinyl…

Written by By Alan Bayer

All vinyl records are not created equal. It turns out that the type of vinyl used to make the actual record, as well as the weight of that vinyl have a huge impact on the ultimate sound of that record.

Let's back up.

In the old days, many vinyl records that were released were made on cheaper, low quality vinyl that was often recycled and usually contains impurities. These impurities make it more difficult for the sound to be accurately transferred to the record. For example, if 95% of the record is made of pure vinyl, 5% of the record is made of impurities. These impurities could be metals or plastics, or something else that does not have the exact chemical properties of vinyl. When the record is pressed (the process in which the grooves are imprinted onto the record), these impurities can interfere with the pressing, resulting in a record that contains bits of distortion and less precise musical data.

Also in the old days, many LPs were pressed onto thinner, lightweight vinyl. Thinner, lightweight vinyl was cheaper to manufacture, and it allowed music to remain more affordable for the masses. However, as you can imagine, thinner vinyl records are more fragile, get damaged easier, and wear out sooner. It is also true that thinner vinyl records produce a sound that is less pure.

So...what to do? Well, fortunately due to the re-emergence of vinyl as a serious medium in which to play music back, most of the vinyl that is released today is pressed on heavier records made of "virgin" vinyl. Virgin vinyl simply means that the vinyl used to make the record is pure vinyl, and virtually free of impurities. The lack of impurities creates a more pure pressing of the vinyl, resulting in a better sound.

In addition to the high-quality, virgin vinyl used, many records are pressed on heavier platters of vinyl. Usually this is advertised on the packaging as a "180g" or "200g" pressing. The 180g or 200g is just the weight of the record in grams. So, a 180g record weighs 180 grams. These heavier records are noticeably heavier, thicker and stiffer than lightweight records. As you can imagine, the grooves retain their shape better, even with repeated plays. Some even claim that the stiffer vinyl produces a more realistic sound with less distortion than a standard record.

Most so-called "audiophile" records are pressed on heavy, virgin vinyl, and the experts pretty much agree: These records truly do sound better than the standard, lightweight records of yesteryear. Plenty of jazz, classical and rock selections are available in this heavier format, and it is always recommended that you seek these out when shopping for vinyl.

Just for fun, I am currently listening the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack in my car, Miles Davis' "On The Corner" on my iPod, and The Beatles' White Album on my turntable.

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.

Album Cover Art

Here we are at #4 on the album cover series. Let's take a look at what made their list as the most controversial, weirdest, best and worst (warning- some may find the images offensive)

4. Chumbawamba: ‘Anarchy’ - Was this image totally necessary to help sell a record? This is not only offensive, but in my opinion does not belong on a record cover. They were initailly sold in a brown paper wrapper, although it appreared on some shelves uncensored.

Anarchy is a 1994 album by anarcho-punk band Chumbawamba. Many of the tracks address specific social problems, such as homophobia, strikes or fascism.

From what I have read, the music is actually quite good, but for me, this image the delivery room.



4. Little Richard Miller: 'Born Without Arms and Legs' This is just one odd little man. Sure, Richard Millar was a devout Christian who could play the organ and guitar with his partially formed appendages. But why is a giant Jesus in the sky is anyone's guess. My guess is that he is being held up by the water fountain. I wonder if he drives the bus as well? And the title? I think Jesus knew he was born with no arms or legs, but for some reason gave the man musical talent, which is a bit disturbing to me.



Various Artists: My Pussy Belongs To Daddy’ Uh, eewww. I guess they mean the cat. Not much information, but here is what I found: Released in 1957. For Adults Only. Spicy Songs Sung By Outstanding Artists here is a short review: "a record chockful o' songs with eye-rolling double-entendre titles like, "Things Are Soft For Grandma", "Tony's Hot Nuts", and "She Sits Among the Cabbages and Peas". Despite the ridiculous titles, the songs are actually pretty decent; most are done in a smoky nightclub jazz style, and sung by naughty-record vet, Fay Richmonde (among others). ..."

Sometimes the less said, the better.....



4. The Clash: ‘London Calling’ - London Calling is the third album by English punk rock band The Clash, released December 14, 1979, on CBS Records in the UK and in January 1980 on Epic Records in the United States. The album represented a change in The Clash's musical style, and featured elements of ska, pop, soul, rockabilly and reggae music. The album's subject matter included unemployment, racial conflict, drug use, and the responsibilities of adulthood.

The album received positive reviews and was ranked at number eight on Rolling Stone' list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2003. London Calling was a top ten album in the UK, and its lead single "London Calling" was a top twenty single. It has sold over two million copies worldwide, and was certified platinum in the United States.

The album's cover features a photograph of Paul Simonon smashing his Fender Precision Bass against the stage at The Palladium in New York City on September 21, 1979 during the "Clash Take the Fifth" US tour. Pennie Smith, who photographed the band for the album, originally did not want the photograph to be used. She thought that it was too out of focus, (she was moving for cover as shards of the bass flew at her when she took it), but Strummer and graphic designer Ray Lowry thought it would make a good album cover. In 2002, Smith's photograph was named the best rock and roll photograph of all time by Q magazine, commenting that "it captures the ultimate rock'n'roll moment - total loss of control".

Uh, cool out, it's just a musician smashing a guitar- ever heard of the Who?