Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Classic Rock Videos

Deep Purple - Highway Star[Original Live]

Vinyl Record Appraisals

A Discussion With Stephen M. H. Braitman - Vinyl Record Appraiser

Written By by Robert Benson

The value of vinyl records is very subjective and certainly up for debate. There are many elements that go into ascertaining just how much a specific record or a whole collection may be worth. Do you use fair market value, replacement value or record price guide value? As I found out, it all depends on the circumstances, and the best way to achieve these objectives is to have your collection professionally appraised. I had the opportunity to speak with professional appraiser and music historian Stephen M. H. Braitman about the elements that go into putting a value on a record collection.

But, first, let me introduce Stephen. He has been involved with records and music since the late 60's, writing and editing several entertainment and music publications. He also has been a dealer, buying and selling records, posters and related memorabilia throughout the years. His widely acknowledged expertise in the marketplace for music and memorabilia makes his appraisal services very important for estate planning, charitable contributions, expert testimony and for insurance and coverage claims. His many credentials include: passing the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) Principles of Practice and Code of Ethics exam in 2004, completing courses on such subjects as the Uniform Standards for Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) Personal Property Valuation, Methodology-Research and Analysis as well as the legal and commercial environment of appraisal. He is also a music analyst with Gracenote, the digital music management company.

So what does all this mean? Stephen M.H. Braitman is a qualified, certified appraiser. Why is this unique service so important? As I discussed the details of his occupation with Mr. Braitman, let's explore some of the details that go into a record collection appraisal and how a record collection should be appraised

"This is a new service, a new genre so to speak," he said. "The service is being offered for those people who may have large or small collections and have really no idea their worth. Unfortunately, there are no legal requirements to qualify as an appraiser except in the real estate market, but the IRS and the Appraisal Foundation have led the way with the adoption of nationally recognized standards that reputable appraisers in all fields use. The IRS, for example, uses the concept of fair market value, meaning the agreed-upon price paid by a willing, knowledgeable buyer to a willing, knowledgeable seller. One of the reasons I entered this profession is, not only because of my love for music and music memorabilia, but because I felt that the industry needs certified appraisers to provide critical assistance in defining the values of collections for insurance purposes, estate planning, tax donation claims, personal disputes and investments. Part of the job is also being called upon as an expert witness to attest and back up the values set upon a collection. That's where I enter the picture."

When asked what exactly goes into an appraisal, Stephen explained:

"There are many variables that have to be recognized when placing a value on a collection. It also depends on the purpose of the appraisal. For instance, the IRS uses fair market value in determining the value of donated material. But, replacement value in insurance cases different; it's higher because you'll be paying a higher cost to recover certain collectibles, let's say, that may have been lost in a fire. So, the intent of the appraisal must be taken into consideration as well."

"We research what are comparable items in the current marketplace. There are several aspects to research that include recent and relevant sales, trend analysis, professional consensus, retail stores, auction prices as well as record guide prices. The record price guides are a nice starting point, but they may not reflect true value because of the variables just mentioned."

"Our first order of business in an appraisal is generally to examine the physical items, if possible, and note the condition, edition or other key points of recognition. Then we conduct extensive research to ascertain the current marketability of the items. Our service concludes with a certified document that details the estimated retail value and the current wholesale value, depending on the type of appraisal. We also include a statement of the overall quality level of the item or collection, including condition, pressing edition or the cultural or historical desirability. This document exceeds the appraisal requirements of the IRS and the insurance companies."

We discussed one of the most confusing and subjective elements regarding vinyl records: grading the vinyl. I asked Stephen what method he uses.

"It is actually a combination of many methods, including the Goldmine Standards that have been set up in their many publications, the 'Good Rockin' Tonight'-formula, and my own formula. I like to take it a step further and use a 100-point scale, and deduct points for every flaw, not only on the record, but the picture sleeve (if it is a 45rpm), LP jacket and cover. I would like to see a uniform standard set up sometime in the near future, something that everybody in the industry could agree on," said Stephen.

There are also a couple of ways to have your memorabilia or record collection documented and appraised, as Stephen details:

"We actually offer two distinct services, the professional appraisal and a quick evaluation of your memorabilia or record collection. This entails you sending us a list of your items from which we provide a detailed document with a range of market values based on comparables. You'll be able to tell whether you have something worth $1.00, $10, $100, or more. This process is quicker and less expensive that the formal appraisal and is most useful in estimating what a sale to a dealer might bring," explained Stephen.

"Our service includes, not only the appraisal of records and record collections, but posters, flyers, handbills, programs, CDs, promotional items, tour books and other music collectibles. (I don't handle musical instruments, which is a very different kind of specialty). It is important to have your items or collections appraised to gauge the potential replacement value, assist in estate planning goals, tax elements and other factors. I have much more information on my Website, http://www.musicappraisals.com."

As we wrapped up our interview, we talked about our love for not only music, but the historical audio format of, vinyl records. I asked Stephen about one of his most memorable record collection appraisals.

"I did an appraisal for a gentleman in Texas and he had a wonderful and superb record collection. But, when he put on an old 78rpm of Robert Johnson and played it on his professional sound equipment, and as the music filled the room, you could have swore that Mr. Robert Johnson himself was playing for you right then and there. It was a wonderful and enlightening experience, and one I will never forget," recalled Stephen.

So, not only does Stephen M.H. Braitman offer valuable and unique record appraisal services, he also gets to archive, appraise and handle important parts of audio history, and gets to hear them as well. And that is a reward that you can not put a value on.

Stephen's contact information:

Website: http://www.MusicAppraisals.com
Blog: http://www.NeedleScreech.com
Email: braitman@mindspring.com
Monthly Column: "The Picture Sleeve Archive" in Goldmine Magazine
Phone: 925-679-3044

Music News & Notes

Every Oasis album set for special vinyl release

Eight records to be released with new artwork and sleeve notes

Oasis are to reissue all their albums on a special vinyl pressing later this year.

The band's own label Big Brother is releasing one-off special editions of all seven of their studio albums, from debut 'Definitely Maybe' to current album 'Dig Out Your Soul'.

1998 B-sides collection 'The Masterplan' is also being reissued.

Each edition features new artwork, heavyweight vinyl and new sleeve notes written by NME's Reviews Editor Hamish MacBain.

The new versions will be available from July 13. A limited number of box sets featuring all eight records will also be released.


Shook Ones release "The Unquotable A.M.H."

Shook Ones have made available their new album, The Unquotable A.M.H., digitally. The record is their first for Paper and Plastick and like other releases on the label, is only available digitally or on vinyl. A 12-inch vinyl version of the album is expected on June 15th.

The label has a few options for pre-ordering the album: Pack 1 includes a vinyl LP and immediate digital download (320 Bitrate); Pack 2 includes a vinyl LP and a limited edition CD; Pack 3 includes a vinyl LP, immediate digital download (320 Bitrate), and a limited edition, hand numbered 12”x12” print of the record cover; Pack 4 includes a vinyl LP, immediate digital download (320 Bitrate) and a t-shirt; Mega Pack includes vinyl LP, immediate digital download (320 Bitrate), t-shirt and hand numbered 12”x12” print of the record cover. The Unquotable A.M.H. is also available digitally as 320 Bitrate files or Lossless FLAC files.


Soft Black Release 'Earth'

New York City’s own folky psych-rockers Soft Black will release their latest album, The Earth Is Black on July 21, and have scheduled a tour to celebrate the record. The new album unfolded over a year's time under the guidance of Plays With Dolls, the label that signed Soft Black after having success with rockers the Vivian Girls and the Royal Chains. For the first time ever, Soft Black's Vincent Cacchione will be visiting the West Coast, where the band will be sharing their LP's despair-filled lyrics, most of which are inspired by Cacchione's notoriously dark dreams.

The Earth Is Black will be available on CD and 12-inch vinyl (that includes a free download) via Plays With Dolls next month.


Bouncing Souls to release "Volume 2" 7-inch

Bouncing Souls have announced their second 7-inch for 2009, Volume 2. The record compiles their three monthly songs from April, May and June 2009 (plus one bonus track) as they continue their ongoing project to release a new song each month this year, and a new 7-inch every quarter. This one is due June 23, 2009.

The four vinyl singles for 2009 fit together to make a single piece of art, representing the band's 20th anniversary logo.


Plastic Ono Band Releasing New EP, Album in September

The Plastic Ono Band have a brand new EP, "Don't Stop Me!," that will be released toady through iTunes. The EP is a teaser to the full-length album, "Between My Head and the Sky," which will be released in September. Both are through Chimera Music.

The group, who has always had a rotating lineup, currently consists of Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon and Cornelius and Yuka Honda of Cibo Mato with Marc Ronson producing.

The full album was recorded at New York's Sear Sound (the old Hit Factory where Double Fantasy was recorded) with tracks produced by Sean who said

“Yoko unleashed a deluge of new songs, writing about 16 songs in 6 days, the most prolific day peaking out at 6 songs written and tracked in an afternoon. The recording session was like a tornado of inspiration. Some of the best lyrics on the record Yoko actually ‘freestyled’ as if she were a lyrical divining rod.”

The song list for the EP:

•The Sun is Down (Cornelius Mix)
•Ask The Elephant!
•Feel The Sand


Aerosmith Showing Their Age

Brad Whitford will not be playing with Aerosmith for the first leg of their tour which open on Wendesday night.(June 10) The bassist was forced to undergo surgery, although the reason was not given. In his place will be Bobby Schneck.

That's the third member of the band who has had surgery in the last couple years after Joe Perry (knee) and Steven Tyler (throat, foot).


New Releases

Black Eyed Peas - THE E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies)
Sonic Youth - The Eternal
Iron Maiden - Flight 666
Nanci Griffith - The Loving Kind
Aventura - The Last
Teena Marie - Congo Square
Rhett Miller - Rhett Miller
Paul Van Dyk - Volume
Stephanie J. Block - This Place I Know
Jeff Buckley - Grace--Around the World
Crosby Stills & Nash - Demos
Eels - Hombre Lobo: 12 Songs of Desire
IQ, "Frequency" (Inside Out)
Paolo Nutini - Sunny Side Up
Iggy Pop - Preliminaires
Eros Ramazzotti - Ali E Radici
Taking Back Sunday - New Again
311 - Uplifter
UFO - The Visitor


John Fogerty Brings Back the Blue Ridge Rangers

John Fogerty has just announced that post-production has been completed on his first Blue Ridge Rangers album since 1973.

The Blue Ridge Rangers Again is scheduled for a late-summer/early-fall release and, like the original album, brings twelve tracks based squarely in the country and roots music traditions. Included are songs by the likes of John Prine, Rick Nelson, Delaney Bramlett, Buck Owens and Phil Everly.

The original Blue Ridge Rangers album (pictured right) was Fogerty's first release after the breakup of Creedence Clearwater Revival and, while he did everything on the album (all instruments, backing vocals and production), he made it look in every way like it was a group effort. The fact that he really didn't use his name or likeness on the album (his name has since been added to the cover design) didn't stop the general public from knowing that Fogerty sound, with the album going to number 11 on the country and 47 on the pop charts. Jambalaya (On the Bayou) performed well, too, going to 16 on the pop charts, while Hearts of Stone peaked at 37.

For the new album, Fogerty has dispensed with the solo act and is joined by Buddy Miller, Kenny Aronoff, Greg Leisz, Jay Bellerose, Jason Mowery, Herb Pedersen, Jodie Kennedy, Oren Waters, Chris Chaney, Dennis Crouch, and Hunter Perrin. Special guests include Bruce Springsteen (When Will I Be Loved) and Don Henley and Timothy B. Schmidt of the Eagles (Garden Party).

Fogerty commented on the lineup, "I'd long thought I'd do another Blue Ridge Rangers album and not make the mistake of playing all the instruments. These are fantastic players who really understand what the Blue Ridge Rangers vibe is about."

As far as the Springsteen duet, "That was Julie's [Fogerty's wife] idea. I'd hoped we be able to work together some day; I'm a fan of his and he's a fan of mine and we're friends."


Lambert Album Coming

Adam Lambert has revealed that he’ll be releasing his debut album with AI’s 19 Recordings through a licensing deal with RCA in the fall. With the contract in place, Lambert joins rock-oriented Idol contestants like David Cook and Daughtry under the RCA banner.

“I’m thrilled that we’ve come to a creative and collaborative partnership and look forward to developing a really exciting album,” Lambert said in a statement. “We are 100% on the same page and are all anxiously awaiting the start of the recordings. It’s going to be ridiculous! Get ready!”

Lambert will begin working on his new album while on the road with the American Idol’s Live tour, which stretches from July 5th to September 15th, and he told Rolling Stone he’d classify the forthcoming LP’s sound as pop-rock electro.

This Date In Music History-June 9


Born on this day in 1915, guitarist Les Paul, inventor of the Gibson Les Paul guitar and known for his innovative recording techniques. He also pioneered “close miking” and echo delay recording.

Dean Dinning - Toad The Wet Sprocket (1967)

Jon Lord - Deep Purple (1941)

Stuart Edwards - Edison Lighthouse (1946)

George Bunnell - Strawberry Alarm Clock (1949)

Dean Felber - Hootie & The Blowfish (1967)

Ed Simons - Chemical Brothers (1970)

They Are Missed:

Singing legend Cole Porter was born in 1891. One of America's greatest songwriters,he wrote countless classic songs, “Night And Day,” “I Get A Kick Out Of You,” “Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye,” among many others. (Died Oct 15, 1964)

R&B singer Johnny Ace was born in 1929. Billboards ‘most played artist of 1955.’ He died playing Russian roulette backstage at a gig on December 25, 1954.

Born today in 1934, Jackie Wilson, US soul singer. Suffered a heart attack on stage at a New Jersey Club in 1975 and was in a coma until he died on January 21, 1984. Scored 24 Top 40 hits during late 50's & 60's.

Born on this day in 1947, Mitch Mitchell, drums, Jimi Hendrix Experience. Mitchell was found dead in his hotel room on Nov 12, 2008 (age 61).


In 1989, after suggesting just three days earlier that she would help the environment by “firebombing McDonald’s restaurants,” Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders) signed a document vowing to never repeat the statement again. McDonald’s had threatened legal action. Have a hamburger Chrissie, they’re good!

The Beatles, on the last night of their tour with Roy Orbison, performed at King George's Hall, Blackburn, Lancashire in 1962. It was during this tour that The Beatles' fans started throwing jelly babies at them while they were on stage, after an off-the-cuff remark on television that George Harrison enjoyed eating them.

Bruce Springsteen signed with Columbia Records in 1972 and started to assemble the E Street Band from various Asbury Park ex-band mates.

In 1972, Elvis Presley made entertainment history by performing 4 sold-out shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden. George Harrison, John Lennon David Bowie, Bob Dylan and Art Garfunkel were among music stars that attended the shows. The shows were recorded and became the album “Elvis as recorded at Madison Square Garden.”

Wilson Phillips went to #1 on the US charts in 1990 with “Hold On.” 25 years earlier to the day, Wendy and Carnies father Beach Boy Brian had been at #1 with “Help Me Rhonda.”

In 1990, M.C. Hammer's debut album started a record breaking 21 week stay at the top of the US album charts, making it the longest uninterrupted stay at the top since the album charts started.

It was announced in 2002 that Rolling Stone Mick Jagger was to be given a knighthood for his services to music. Keith Richards is still jealous.

In 1958, Johnny Mathis' Greatest Hits went to #1 on the albums chart. So what? Well, it turns out Mathis' Hits was the “Dark Side of the Moon” of its day, remaining on the charts for a staggering 490 weeks. A decade after its release, the album was still on the chart.

In 1969, the Rolling Stones announced that guitarist Brian Jones will be replaced by the John Mayall Band's Mick Taylor.

In 1993, the U.S. Postal Service debuts its Legends of American Music, Rock and Roll-Rhythm and Blues stamp collection, featuring Bill Haley, Buddy Holly, Clyde McPhatter, Otis Redding, Ritchie Valens, Dinah Washington, and Elvis Presley.

Today in 1958, the song "The Purple People Eater" by Sheb Wooley topped the charts and stayed there for 6 weeks.

In 1994, after an argument, TLC singer Left Eye set fire to her boyfriend’s (Andre Rison of the Atlanta Falcons) Atlanta mansion, worth $2 million, burning it to the ground. She was charged with arson and fined $10,000 with five years probation.