Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Historic vinyl fair has record fans in a spin

Here's what's going happening on the other side of the pond:

RARE Smiths offerings and gold-vinyl Oasis cuts were among the treasures on offer as Manchester enjoyed a vinyl revival.

Hundreds of collectors from across the country rifled through a collection of weird and wonderful LPs, singles and promo releases at the Vinyl Revival record fair in Sacha's hotel.

And among the dusty offerings were rarities from the Manchester music scene, including a signed Smiths LP worth £200, a £150 signed, gold-plated Oasis record and a limited New Order promo for £100.

Vinyl fans say record fairs are booming, despite competition from online trading and downloads.

Trader Cliff Pemberton, 58, from Glossop said: “If I get any Oasis, Stone Roses and 'Madchester' scene vinyl in it always sells very quickly. They are the modern collectibles.”

“We are coming out of a decline in vinyl fairs. The problem was e-Bay hit us badly about five years ago. People were buying vinyl online and attendances at fairs went down.

“But we battled on, and as time has gone on, things have started to go the other way.”

Co-organiser Adrian Melling said: “If you look at the artwork on some of these albums you can see why people come to the fairs. It's incredible. It's great to actually look through the records and search for things, rather than just look at it online.”

Trader Tommy Shennan, 55, from Blackley has 30,000 records in his collection.

Tommy said: “Northern Soul is always popular in the north west. I've also seen Oasis vinyl go up in value over the last few years. Personally I'm a soul man.”

Tommy's holy grail is a first issue of Frank Wilson's Do I Love You (Indeed I do).

“There are only four or five known of them left in the world,” he said.

Fellow trader Mick Johnson, 59, who travelled down especially for the fair from Bishop Auckland, in County Durham, said: “Manchester is one of the few fairs we get a lot of young people and students interested in the records.”

SOURCE: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/

New Music Releases – December 1, 2009

Slim pickings for holiday shopper’s this week (wait until next week!), but we do have some great music being released this week. The Best Of Bryan Ferry, some early Bob Seger, Edith Piaf - Best of the Best, Elvis Presley - Best of the Best and the Best of Rasmus 2001-2009 are just a few of the highlights.

Look for music from Lou Reed/Velvet Underground - Live 1969/1972, Alicia Keys (The Element Of Freedom), a live album from Green Day (Last Night on Earth Live in Tokyo), R. Kelly’s LP Untitled and John Mayer with Battle Studies. Reissues include: Cunninlynguists – Southernunderground, The Holy Modal Rounders, Vol. 2, Olaf Arnalds, Sun Ra and Yes - Keys to Ascension, Vol. 2. We also have a couple of boxed sets including Bucks Fizz - The Platinum Collection and a boxed set from Vladimir Horowitz. Look for a lot more next week as Christmas slowly approaches!

Buy Vinyl Here:  CollectingVinyl

A History of - Action in the North Atlantic

Alicia Keys - The Element Of Freedom

Allison Iraheta - (American Idol finalist) Just Like You

Alvin And The Chipmunks - The Squeakquel (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Annie - Don't Stop

Ash - D (vinyl)

Biz Markie - Diabolical The Biz's Greatest Hits

Bob Seger - Early Seger, Vol. 1

Bobby Lewis - Tossin' & Turnin'

Bryan Ferry - The Best of Bryan Ferry

Bucks Fizz - The Platinum Collection (Box Set)

Chevonne - Unwrap Me

Cunninlynguists - Southernunderground (reissue)

Daniel, Fred & Julie - Daniel, Fred & Julie

Deer Tick - More Fuel For The Fire (iTunes exclusive EP)

Destroy - It Goes On

Dimes - The King Can Drink the Harbour Day

Edith Piaf - Best of the Best

Elvis Presley - Best of the Best

Enya - The Very Best Of Enya (CD & DVD)

Green Day - Last Night on Earth Live in Tokyo

Holy Modal Rounders - The Holy Modal Rounders, Vol. 2 (vinyl reissue)

Il Divo - An Evening With Il Divo Live In Barcelona

Intocable - Classic

Jam Master Jay - 2 Turntables and a Microphone The Life and Death of Jam Master Jay

Jenni Rivera - La Gran Senora

Jim Reeves - Losing Your Love

John Mayer - Battle Studies (vinyl)

Julianna Barwick - Florine

Juvenile - Cocky And Confident

Lou Reed/Velvet Underground - Live 1969/1972

Manu Chao - Baionarena (CD & DVD)

Minnie Riperton - Come to My Garden

Morningbell - Sincerely, Severely

Mr. Hudson - Straight No Chaser

Natural Elements - 1999 10 Year Anniversary

Nonpoint - EP

Norah Jones - Fall (2-CD edition)

Olaf Arnalds - Vio og Vio (reissue)

P.J. Proby - I'm Yours

Priscilla Renea - Jukebox

R. Kelly - Untitled

Rasmus - Best of Rasmus 2001-2009

Rolling Stones - The Rolling Stones- Gimme Shelter - Criterion Collection

Sam Phillips - Cold Dark Night 'Spiritualized, 'Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space Deluxe Edition'

Sandra - Platinum Collection

Shakespear's Sister - Songs from the Red Room

Souls Of Mischief - Montezuma's Revenge

Sun Ra - Of Mythic Worlds (vinyl reissue)

Thalia - Thalia En Primera Fila

The Bravery - Stir the Blood (vinyl LP & CD)

The Right Coast - EP

Tristeza - Fate Unfolds

Various Artists - Just Dance Volume 2

Various Artists - NME The Album 2009

Various Artists - SNL 1979-1980- The Complete Fifth Season

Various Artists - Up In The Air (soundtrack)

Various Artists - Whip It (soundtrack) (vinyl)

Vetiver - More of This (vinyl)

Vladimir Horowitz - Vladimir Horowitz The Complete Original Jacket Collection (Box Set)

Westlife - Where We Are

White Door - Windows (remastered)

Yellow Fever - Yellow Fever

Yes - Keys to Ascension, Vol. 2 (reissue)

Top Selling Vinyl Records at eBay for November 2009

Here is the month in review of the top selling ebay vinyl record sales, on a weekly basis, for November of 2009. First and foremost, a special thank you to Norm and Jane at http://ccdiscoveries/blogspot.com for compiling this interesting data.

If we look at the past history, as usual, the Beatles led the month with a sealed UK Original Box Set of Let It Be, which was sold for around $10,000. The next top seller was a rare funk LP by John Heartsman and the Circles which sold for an even $5,300.

There were several records that sold in the $4000-4,950 range including: The Beatles "White Album" UK Pressing 0006864 which sold for a shade under $4,900, a 45rpm by Mixed Feeling ("Sha La La"/"Love Will Find A Way") which went for $4,950.00, another 45 by the Magnetics ("Count The Days"/"When I'm With My Baby") which sold for $4,938. Also included in the range was a 78rpm by Willie Walker ("South Carolina Rag"/"Dupree Blues") which sold $4,907 and another 45rpm - Two Plus Two "I'm Sure"/"Look Around" Velgo - $4,049.
An EP by the King, Elvis Presley "Blue Hawaii, a 12" Led Zeppelin “Road Box” LP and Velvet Underground & Nico, self-titled Mono Promo LP all sold for an even $4,000.00.

Other interesting sales were a couple of 10" records, a one sided acetate from Pink Floyd co-founder Syd Barrett which sold for $2,500 and a self-titled record from Charlie Parker, which sold for $2,210. The Beatles make the list again with the LP "Please Please Me" (Parlophone UK Gold Black label 1st Stereo) selling twice in the month once for a little over $2,500 and the other selling for a little over $3,500.

Top 5 eBay Vinyl Record Sales - Week Ending 11/07/2009

1. LP - The Beatles "Let It Be" UK Original Box Set Sealed - $10,099.00

2. LP - John Heartsman And Circles "Music Of My Heart" Private - $5,300.00

3. LP - The Beatles "White Album" UK Pressing 0006864 - $4,899.66

4. LP - The Beatles "Please Please Me" Parlophone UK Gold Black label 1st Stereo - $2,571.43

5. LP - Bob Dylan "John Wesley Harding" Red Vinyl - $3,249.00

Top 5 eBay Vinyl Record Sales - Week Ending 11/14/2009

1. 45 - Mixed Feeling "Sha La La" / "Love Will Find A Way" United - $4,950.00

2. LP - The Beatles "Yesterday And Today" Butcher 2nd State Mono Paste-Over Sealed - $2,900.00

3. 10" - Syd Barrett "Octopus" one-sided acetate - $2,500.00

4. 10" - Charlie Parker self-titled Dial 203 - $2,210.00

5. LP - Hank Mobley self titled Blue Note 1568 - $1,999.99

Top 5 eBay Vinyl Record Sales - Week Ending 11/21/2009

1. 45 - Magnetics "Count The Days" / "When I'm With My Baby" Sable - $4,938.00

2. LP - Velvet Underground & Nico self titled Mono Promo yellow label - $4,000.00

3. 45 - William Powell "Heartache Souvenirs" / "The Chicken Shack" Power-House - $3,830.00

4. LP - Ricard Marrero & The Group "A Taste" TSG - $3,617.00

5. LP - The Beatles "Please Please Me" Parlophone UK Gold Black label 1st Stereo - $3,569.59

Top 5 eBay Vinyl Record Sales - Week Ending 11/28/2009

1. 78 - Willie Walker "South Carolina Rag" / "Dupree Blues" Columbia Blue Wax - $4,907.00

2. 45 - Two Plus Two "I'm Sure" / "Look Around" Velgo - $4,049.99

3. EP - Elvis Presley "Blue Hawaii" EP RCA 37-7968 - $4,000.00

3. 12" - Led Zeppelin “Road Box” - $4,000.00

4. LP - Johanna Martzy "Bach: The unaccompanied Violin Sonatas" Columbia Box set UK - $3, 750.04

5. 12" - U2 "Out of Control" numbered 12"#548/1000 U2 Three U23 - $3,270.00

As always, a special thank you to Norm at http://ccdiscoveries.blogspot.com  for this great data. Stop in and listen to their unique radio show Accidental Nostalgia with Norm & Jane On Radio Dentata - 60 minutes of rare records and nugatory narration. Every Tuesday 4PM PT/7PM ET, Sunday 9AM PT/12PM ET & Monday 12AM PT/3AM ET

Music News & Notes

Susan Boyle smashes record with debut album release

Britain’s Got Talent star Susan Boyle is riding high after her debut album, I Dreamed A Dream, sold a record breaking 410,000 copies during its first week of sales making her album the biggest selling debut release by a female artist in the UK of all time.

The 48-year-old Scot beat off stiff competition from younger rivals including Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas, and Rihanna to clinch the top spot in the UK album charts. Susan also entered the singles chart at number 9 with a cover of the Rolling Stones classic, Wild Horses.

After the colossal number of records sold this week, Susan now also holds the record for the fastest selling album of the year in the UK.

The former church volunteer was catapulted to fame on the TV talent show, Britain’s Got Talent. Her audition tape was seen across the world on Youtube and made her a global star. The Scottish singer has a strong fan base in the US thanks to popularity of her internet clip, and performed to a massive crowd on the final of America’s Got Talent. Her album is also expected to be a smash hit across the pond.


The Strokes scheduled To Play U.K.’s Isle of Wight Festival

The Strokes have announced their first gig in over three years, grabbing the Saturday night headlining slot at the U.K.’s Isle of Wight Festival on June 11-13, 2010. New York City acts will have a big presence at the fest across the Atlantic as both Jay-Z and Blondie are also on the bill. Pink, Orbital and Squeeze will also perform at the fest.

Pending the announcement of any more dates, it’ll be the NYC quintet’s first gig since October 2006. Following their tour behind First Impressions of Earth, the bandmembers splintered into offshoots like Nickel Eye, Little Joy and Albert Hammond Jr. and Julian Casablancas’ namesake solo projects, but now there’s finally confirmed evidence that the Strokes’ long hibernation may be coming to an end.


Sir Paul A Sellout

All of the tickets for Paul McCartney's December 22 show at London's O2 Arena were sold out in four seconds.

Sir Paul was surprised by the fast sales, telling BBC6:

"I was doing an interview with some guy and he said, 'I heard you sold out in four seconds'. I said, 'No. That’s four minutes, are you kidding?'"

He added that it is still comforting to know that people want to still see him.

"I think, 'I love playing to them, and they’re going to actually like hearing me, so what can I do so that we can have fun?' It’s more of a mutual motivation now."


Lips To Play Floyd

It's being reported that The Flaming Lips will perform their cover of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon during their New Year's Eve Freakout at the Cox Center in Oklahoma City. The studio version of their cover is expected to be released next year, possibly as an iTunes only download.


Allman Brothers Museum Opens

"The Big House" in Macon, Georgia, where members of the Allman Brothers lived and wrote many of their songs in the early-70's, has been turned into the Allman Brothers museum after five years of fundraising and two years of renovations. The soft opening was held this past weekend with a grand opening set for early next year.

The museum was the idea of Kirk West, the band's road manager, who had lived in the house with his wife Kirsten until 2003. At that time, they looked into selling the building but a possible buyer suggested that it would be the perfect place for a museum honoring the group.

In the early 70's, the home was occupied by bassist Barry Oakley and his wife Linda along with Duane Allman and his family. The rest of the band regularly hung out there where they wrote and played music.

The museum is at 2321 Vineville Avenue in Macon and will be open weekends until the grand opening when it will take on a more regular schedule.


Liam Gallagher May Continue Fronting Oasis - His new band are considering keeping the name...

Liam Gallagher has admitted that his new band may keep the Oasis moniker.

The singer and clothes designer is currently working on new material with his former Oasis bandmates Gem Archer, Zak Starkey and Andy Bell and plans to release a record by next July.

Speaking to The Evening Standard, Gallagher said of the Oasis name:

"We're not using it at the moment, but if we don't come up with something else by the time we're ready to release the album it'll be Oasis.

"I'm not going to call myself something ridiculous just for the sake of it. We're trying lots of new names right now, but nothing's sticking so we're just plugging on with the music. Obviously we won't be playing any of Noel's songs."

Asked whether the material will be radically different to Oasis material, Liam added: "Nah, not radical. No way, man. It's a little bit different, but not too much.

“It's the kind of music our fans have always liked, you know? But we'll see. I'm not forcing this down anyone's throats. That's not good for the soul."



Atlantic Records has announced the release of "ATLANTIC RECORDS: TIME CAPSULE," an unprecedented boxed set celebrating the iconic label's past and present through music, images, and words. The most comprehensive project ever devoted to the Atlantic story, this numbered, limited edition collection spans the label's entire history, from its inception in 1947 to the present day. "TIME CAPSULE" is housed in a custom-designed metallic box featuring:

• 9 CDs containing 165 tracks from 141 artists spanning more than six decades

• DVD of the acclaimed PBS American Masters documentary, "Atlantic Records: The House That Ahmet Built"

• 140-page book featuring over 200 rare and/or previously unseen photographs from the Atlantic Archives; reflections and stories from artists and other key players in the company's history; and a complete Atlantic timeline

• Boxed set exclusive 45 rpm vinyl single reissue of Atlantic's first hit, "Drinkin' Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee" by "Stick" McGhee and His Buddies (1949)

• Reproductions of memorabilia and vintage swag, including posters, handbills, ticket stubs, lyrics, backstage passes, and more

• Individually numbered certificate of authenticity

"This has been a labor of love for a passionate team of Atlantic staffers who have been devoted to this project for many months," said Atlantic Chairman/CEO Craig Kallman. "It is an extraordinary celebration of our company's rich musical and cultural legacy. The history of Atlantic is unique in our industry, with an unbroken thread that runs from the label's very beginnings to the present moment. To open this beautiful box and hear, see, read, and touch the Atlantic story is a truly moving experience. I know Ahmet would be so proud of this impressive and compelling tribute to the incredible music, groundbreaking artists, and amazing cast of characters that have given this company life for the past 62 years."

"In the spring of 2004, I showed up for work at Ahmet's house," said Atlantic Chairman/COO Julie Greenwald. "When I looked at all the phenomenal music that he and his partners had brought to life through the years, I felt a deep responsibility to protect the logo and continue this incredible legacy in music. When we began work on the Time Capsule, we were determined that it not only be a celebration of the past, but a celebration of the lasting power and urgency of the vision that guides the label to this day. Atlantic Records was, is, and always will be a welcoming home for artists, careers, and entrepreneurs. I'd like to think that Ahmet is looking down on us, feeling proud of what we're doing to carry on the great company he created."

"ATLANTIC RECORDS: TIME CAPSULE" is dedicated to Atlantic founder Ahmet Ertegun, who remained active at the company until his passing in 2006 at the age of 83. The artists Ahmet championed, the music he pioneered, and the executives he mentored led a revolution in contemporary music that reshaped and reflected the modern cultural landscape. In the label's formative years, the groundbreaking "Atlantic Sound" was forged by the most formidable production team to ever reside at a single company - including such industry icons as Atlantic co-founder Herb Abramson, Jerry Wexler, Ahmet's brother Nesuhi, Tom Dowd, Leiber & Stoller, Arif Mardin, and Joel Dorn. Today, led by chairmen Craig Kallman and Julie Greenwald, Atlantic remains inspired by its deep roots as a company driven first and foremost by a passion for the music and a steadfast belief in its artists.

"TIME CAPSULE" was created in the same spirit that infused the label's very beginnings. Just as the company's founders, to quote Ahmet, "wanted to make the kind of records that we would want to buy," the team set out to assemble a collection that would tell a story that they would want to hear. From the outset, the idea was to present Atlantic Records "from the inside," drawing on rarely seen material from the Atlantic Archives, Ahmet's personal papers, the work of staff photographers through the years, and recollections from artists, producers, and other pivotal figures in the company's history.

As Atlantic grew from literally a one-room operation into a major international recording company, the label released an extraordinary body of recordings that have had a profound impact on the course of modern music. The music on this comprehensive collection traces Atlantic's dramatic evolution from its R&B roots into its wide-ranging prominence in jazz, pop, soul, folk, rock'n'roll, and hip-hop. "TIME CAPSULE" is living history - a diverse mosaic of our times, given voice by an exceptional array of singers, musicians, and composers.

The Package Concept & Development of "ATLANTIC RECORDS: TIME CAPSULE" was overseen by Mark Obriski, Liz Barrett, and Livia Tortella. The Compilation Producers were Liz Barrett and Bob Kaus, with Art Direction by Mark Obriski, and Design by Mark Obriski and Zachariah Mattheus. Liner Notes & Editorial Content was written, collected, and edited by Bob Kaus. The music was A&R'd by Craig Kallman, Craig Rosen, and Bob Kaus. The Executive Producer was Ahmet Ertegun.


In the fall of 1947, two passionate jazz fans and obsessive record collectors - Ahmet Ertegun and Herb Abramson - decided to start their own record label. The Istanbul-born Ertegun, son of a renowned Turkish diplomat, was an embassy-bred graduate student of philosophy. New York-born Abramson was a dental student turned record company A&R man. They shared a love of black American music, and with a $10,000 loan from Ahmet's dentist, together they formed what would become one of the most successful, influential, and enduring companies in music industry history.

A pioneer, icon, and true original, Ahmet's eclectic tastes and boundary-crossing life set the course of Atlantic and defined its essence. "I thought that we had a small chance of survival," Ahmet said. "I knew that we knew the music better than our competitors. We understood what made people buy records, and we knew the kind of records we wanted to make... All that really mattered was that we loved the music, and we made up the rest as we went along."

In contrast to other independent labels born in the ‘40s and early ‘50s, Atlantic never became irretrievably locked into one musical style. So while its foundation was built on a string of pioneering rhythm and blues recordings, before the ‘50s had passed, Atlantic had branched out into groundbreaking jazz and crossed over into white pop territory. In the ‘60s, the company reclaimed the black music crown with the definitive soul roster, while at the same time moving full-bore into the new rock era on both sides of the Atlantic. By the time Woodstock defined a cultural sea change in 1969, two decades after Atlantic's formation, the label had grown into a global music powerhouse.

Today, sixty years since scoring its first hit, Atlantic's original entrepreneurial spirit remains its driving force, and unlike countless long-departed labels, it has thrived through constant evolution and determined diversity. What has mattered most to the company's long-term survival is that it continues be run by true music people. At the end of the first decade of the new century, the "house that Ahmet built" is in the midst of a renaissance, ranking #1 in an industry in the midst of radical change. It is a testament to Atlantic's unique place in history that it remains such a vital force six decades down the line.



Joe Morris * "Stick" McGhee And His Buddies * Ruth Brown * The Clovers * Professor Longhair * Big Joe Turner * The Chords * Ray Charles * Ivory Joe Hunter * LaVern Baker * Chuck Willis * The Bobbettes * Modern Jazz Quartet * The Coasters * Bobby Darin * Charles Mingus * The Drifters * John Coltrane * Ornette Coleman * Ben E. King * Herbie Mann * Booker T. & The MG's * Barbara Lewis * Doris Troy * Rufus Thomas * Don Covay * Solomon Burke * Otis Redding * Wilson Pickett * Sonny & Cher * The Young Rascals * Percy Sledge * Sam & Dave * Carla Thomas * Buffalo Springfield * Arthur Conley * Aretha Franklin * The Bar-Kays * Bee Gees * Vanilla Fudge * Albert King * Cream * Archie Bell & The Drells * Iron Butterfly * Crazy World Of Arthur Brown * Dusty Springfield * Led Zeppelin * Blind Faith * Thunderclap Newman * Crosby, Stills & Nash * The Allman Brothers Band * Les McCann & Eddie Harris * R.B. Greaves * Brook Benton * Clarence Carter * Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young * The Velvet Underground * King Floyd * Stephen Stills * Emerson, Lake & Palmer * Derek & The Dominos * Donny Hathaway * The Rolling Stones * Betty Wright * Yes * The Spinners * Roberta Flack * Dr. John * Bette Midler * Manu Dibango * Genesis * Blue Magic * Dionne Warwicke & The Spinners * Bad Company * J. Geils Band * Average White Band * Major Harris * Roxy Music * Hall & Oates * ABBA * The Trammps * Foreigner * Peter Gabriel * Peter Tosh * Chic * The Blues Brothers * Sister Sledge * Manhattan Transfer * Pete Townshend * Slave * Phil Collins * Stevie Nicks * Laura Branigan * Robert Plant * Shannon * Ratt * Twisted Sister * Honeydrippers * Nu Shooz * Debbie Gibson * Levert * INXS * Mike + The Mechanics * Skid Row * Rush * Alannah Myles * En Vogue * Marc Cohn * Mr. Big * Tori Amos * Stone Temple Pilots * All-4-One * Collective Soul * Hootie & The Blowfish * Everything But The Girl * Trans-Siberian Orchestra * Jewel * Matchbox Twenty * Sugar Ray * Lil' Kim * Brandy * Aaliyah * Kid Rock * Uncle Kracker * P.O.D. * Sean Paul * Simple Plan * Rob Thomas * Staind * Death Cab For Cutie * James Blunt * Gnarls Barkley * T.I. * Panic! At The Disco * Paramore * Flo Rida * Lupe Fiasco * Estelle * Jason Mraz * Zac Brown Band * Shinedown

For more details, please visit: http://atlantictimecapsule.com/

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The needle and the damage done-Breaking down the jargon-filled world of vinyl record-collecting

 BY E.D. Cauchi

Given the medium's 51-year history on turntables, calling the current vogue for vinyl records a "fad" is short-sighted at best; even though you can fit a dozen CDs in your purse or put 100,000 songs on an iPod, people have been eagerly returning to the format that many audiophiles consider the only one fit to listen to.

According to a Nielsen SoundScan survey, North American vinyl sales doubled last year, and two-thirds of those sales came from small independent shops. But unlike the record-shopping experience of yesteryear, our parents didn’t have to deal with obscure terms like “180-gram audiophile pressing” or “virgin vinyl,” both of which you’re likely to see on new record releases. Since most of us aren’t audio geeks but still don’t want our new records to sound like crap, figuring out all the jargon tossed around in record stores is worth your time, whether you’ve inherited your dad’s collection or have decided to start one of your own. Once you’ve got a halfway decent turntable — your Fisher Price player ain’t gonna cut it — you’re ready to start shopping.

“Amazingly, there are only four vinyl pressing plants in the US, and they use the same machinery that was used 30 years ago,” explains Robert Benson. The avid vinyl collector works out of his Wisconsin home running an online record-appraisal service, and in 2007 he published The Fascinating Hobby of Collecting Vinyl Records, an eBook explaining every facet of record culture. So, is it worth it to buy 180-gram reissues? Benson is adamant that it is.

One thing vinyl geeks look out for is the weight of the record — the heavier records are, the less they become prone to warping and being easily scratched. Also, the grooves on heavier records are cut deeper so that the needle will be less likely to pop out. Lighter records can warp, which can cause anything from more popping and clicking noises to weird pitch shifts that can add an unwanted haunted house quality to, say, your copy of Neil Young’s Harvest.

The standard record weight in Japan — mecca for audiophiles — has always been 180 grams, but America’s was much lower until the recent resurgence in vinyl's popularity. Now it’s common to see stickers screaming “180 grams” on new and reissued records, usually accompanied by claims of “high quality” or “pure sound.” If you plan to play your records a lot, look for a heavier copy.

Watch out for when the record was manufactured, too — a sense of style wasn’t the only thing lacking in the late ’80s. Records created at the beginning of the CD era were often shoddily made, since companies were investing most of their resources in the newer, shinier medium. The same holds for records released in the late ’70s, when the petrochemical crisis caused a scarcity in petroleum-based products like polyvinyl chloride, the key ingredient in vinyl production. This meant records were being produced at half the usual weight, and from a higher percentage of recycled vinyl than normal. Today, these may not play at all and if they do, the sound will be distorted.

You might have noticed that some new records are described as “virgin,” which has nothing to do with whether or not they’ve been played (or anything else) yet; “virgin vinyl” just means that the record is made of all new, non-recycled materials. While it’s possible to find well-preserved LPs, decades of play and improper storage — i.e., in humid basements under discarded furniture — eventually take a toll on the sound.

“There’s something sexy about having the OG,” says Slinky Music’s Paul Azevedo, “but you have to keep in mind that a Led Zeppelin album, for example, has probably gone through three or four people’s hands, making the chances you’ll find one in really good shape less and less.”

At 41, the owner of the Queen West vinyl and CD shop — which shares space with music/DJ equipment store Moog Audio — knows his stuff. Azevedo’s been a DJ since grade eight, and managed Kop's Records for a decade before breaking out on his own.

As someone who moves lots of vinyl inventory, Azevedo also points out that who made the records matters tremendously. Specialty audiophile labels like Classic Records release the purest vinyl you’ll find. They tend to take more time in producing their records than major labels ever did, which means there’s more sound being gathered in the grooves and more to hear when you play it.

Of all the formats, digital music inevitably sounds the shallowest, because MP3 files only hold about ten percent as much sonic information as records. Put it like this: the difference between a well-produced vinyl record and a compressed MP3 is like the difference between the actual Mona Lisa hanging in the Louvre, and a copy of the Mona Lisa on a postage stamp: no matter how close you get to the shrunken reproduction, it could never contain as much detail as the full-sized version. Then again, it’s hard to take the Mona Lisa — or your Stones albums — with you to the gym.

For Benson, the collectability factor is the most rewarding part of buying records. “With proper care, records can last for generations. So, if you’ll excuse my pun, vinyl records are a sound investment.”