Friday, January 29, 2010

Records’ revival

I want to thank the Bowling Green Daily News for allowing me to reprint this interesting article

Vinyl makes up half of Great Escape’s music sales

By Jenna Mink, The Daily News,

Forget about compact disc players. Who cares about MP3 players? Brennan Graves would rather spin an album on his record player.

“CDs are cold, and (iPods) have no soul at all,” said Graves, of Bowling Green. He enjoys “the organic process of putting the needle on the record.”

In the age of digital music and Internet downloads, vinyl records are making a comeback.

At Great Escape on Scottsville Road, vinyl sales have increased over the past two years, making up half of the store’s music sales, manager Matt Pfefferkorn said.

“The regulars we have like the sound of it,” he said. “They prefer the sound as opposed to a CD or iPod. Maybe they’re more into that pure sound.”

Customers of all ages flock to the store’s vinyl collection, but Pfefferkorn recently has noticed a spike in the number of younger people who purchase vinyl records.

“Normally, high school kids are into the latest technology, but they’re discovering their parents’ album collection,” he said. And “college kids are pretty heavily into the vinyl scene.”

In fact, new vinyl production has increased over the years, he said.

These days, customers buy albums from recent artists, such as Kanye West and Ben Harper, on vinyl. Artists, such as Willie Nelson and the Black Crowes, have released their newest albums on vinyl, and companies are remaking records by classic rocks bands, such as Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Beatles.

Many new records include a CD version of the album or a code to download the album onto an MP3 player, which also helps sales, Pfefferkorn said.

“There’s still people that will constantly come in and look through the records and not even look at the CDs,” he said. “CDs lost popularity due to iPods, but the record player is always there. It’s still there.”

Matthew Howard, an employee at CD Warehouse on Campbell Lane, said he has noticed an increase in the number of young customers who buy vinyl.

“I think it’s just the fascination with the older music,” he said. “A lot of people tell me recently that it just sounds better.”

Many customers prefer the artwork that accompanies a vinyl record, Howard said. In comparison to a CD cover, a record cover is big enough to hang on the wall.

Also, many customers collect vinyl for the bargaining experience - records, especially used ones, tend to be less expensive than CDs.

“You can come in here and, if you only have $10, essentially you can walk out with 10 records,” Pfefferkorn said.

Several people sell their used records to Pfefferkorn’s shop. Customers swap their records for cash on a daily basis. By 2 p.m. on a Friday, three people had sold records to the store.

Philip Fracassi, of Bowling Green, has collected records for two years.

“Originally, my parents had their own vinyl collection they passed onto me,” he said. “It has a better sound quality.”

Still, many customers have been collecting records since they were children. Pfefferkorn started buying records when he was 8 years old. Back then, he listened to his albums on his father’s record player.

Now he has 5,000 to 6,000 records.

“I have some good treasures,” he said. “You can kind of go back to your childhood ... to me, it’s the truest, purest form of listening to music.”

And most records sound good on any type of player. Pfefferkorn recently bought a Fisher Price record player for his daughter.

“I was listening to a Bob Dylan album on it, and it sounds so cool,” he said.

Graves has been collecting vinyl records for about 30 years. He now has about 500 records - some of his favorites include his Bruce Springsteen, Kiss and The Beatles collections.

“The artwork’s better. The sound’s better,” he said. “It’s more personal.”


Michael Fremer Review

I am very happy to continue our feature (look for this every Friday), music reviews that are written by the senior contributing editor of Stereophile magazine- Michael Fremer. It has been a pleasure to speak with Michael and learn more about audio sound and equipment. His DVD, "It's A Vinyl World, After All" is a must have for anybody who loves vinyl. Additionally, make sure to stop by his site, and bookmark it for further exploration. I certainly want to thank Michael for the exclusive rights to reprint his fantastic material.

Miles, Taj, Hooker, etc. Play Jack Nitzsche (reissue)
OST: The Hot Spot

Antilles/Analogue Productions AAPB 8755 2 180g 45rpm LPs

Produced by: Jack Nitzsche and Michael Hoenig
Engineered by: Pamela Neal
Mixed by: Pamela Neal
Mastered by: Kevin Gray at AcousTech

Review by: Michael Fremer

Drop John Lee Hooker off in the parched environs of Paris, Texas and tell him to do his mournful thing and that it’ll be okay because Miles Davis will be right behind him with his mute trumpet following his every musical move the way Ali Akbar Khan followed Ravi Shankar's.

That's the vibe of this soundtrack to the 1990 film "The Hot Spot" starring Dennis Hopper.

Add Taj Mahal on a few tracks, some slide guitar from Roy Rogers here, rhythm from bassist Tim Drummond and the late, great Earl Palmer, who drummed for everyone from Little Richard to Ricky Nelson to the Beach Boys there, and you have the late Jack Nitszche’s deliciously langourous musical game plan for the soundtrack.

There was no American vinyl issue of this back in 1990. In fact, there wasn’t much vinyl of anything back then and whether or not the original UK vinyl was sourced from analog is in doubt, yet original copies of it go for upwards of $100.00.

I’ve got a copy and take my word for it, that this double 45rpm reissue destroys the original. If you dig the Paris, Texas soundtrack album for its moody, desolate vibe and superb sonics, you’ll love this reissue. It’s outta the ballpark great!

Reprinted By Permission

This Date In Music History-January 29


David Byron - Uriah Heep (1947)

Tommy Ramone (1952)

Louie Perez - Los Lobos (1953)

Rob Manzoli - Right Said Fred (1954)

Johnny Spampinato - NRBQ (1959)

Dave Baynton-Power - James (1961)

Eddie Jackson - Queensryche (1961)

Roddy Frame - Aztec Camera (1964)

Jonny Lang (1981)

They Are Missed:

American blues singer and guitarist Willie Dixon died of heart failure in 1992. Wrote the classic songs: "You Shook Me," "I Can’t Quit You Baby," "Hoochie Coochie Man," "I Just Want to Make Love to You," "Little Red Rooster." Dixon was a major influence on The Rolling Stones, Cream, Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin.

Born on this day in 1938, James Jamerson, bass played, The Funk Brothers, died of a heart attack 2nd August 1983 (age 45). Played on many Motown hits by The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops, Martha And The Vandellas.

In 2009, singer-songwriter John Martyn died in hospital in Ireland at the age of 60. The folk, blues and funk artist was widely regarded as one of the most soulful and innovative singer-songwriters of his generation and had been cited as an influence by artists as varied as U2, Portishead and Eric Clapton.


In 1958, Challenge Records released "Tequila" backed with "Train to Nowhere" by the Champs. The A side will make it to Number One in mid-March. One other note...the Champs included Jim Seals and Dash Croft, later to become Seals and Crofts.

Warner Bros. Records signed the folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary in 1962. They will go on to have big hits with harmonized versions of such Bob Dylan songs as "Blowin' in the Wind" as well as "If I Had a Hammer," "Puff the Magic Dragon" and "Leaving on a Jet Plane."

In 1964, the Beatles spent the day at Pathe Marconi Studios in Paris, France, The Beatles' only studio recording session for EMI held outside the UK. They recorded new vocals for ‘She Loves You’, ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ and ‘Can't Buy Me Love’, after EMI's West German branch persuaded Brian Epstein that they would be unable to sell large quantities of records in Germany unless they were recorded in the German language. A translator coached John, Paul, and George, although their familiarity with the German language from their Hamburg days made things much easier.

During a concert in London in 1965, pop-rock singer P.J. Proby splits his pants on stage, significantly increasing his "naughty" reputation. Next month, he'll be banned by Britian's ABC theater chain for his new habit of purposely splitting his trousers on stage for dramatic effect.

The Bobby Fuller Four's "I Fought The Law" was released in 1966.

In 1967 - Jimi Hendrix and The Who gave a tribute concert to the Beatles late manager, Brian Epstein.

In 1968, the Doors appeared at The Pussy Cat A Go Go, Las Vegas. After the show singer Jim Morrison taunts a security guard in the parking lot by pretending to smoke a joint, resulting in a fight. The police arrive who arrest Morrison and charge him with vagrancy, public drunkenness, and failure to possess sufficient identification.

Steve Winwood left Traffic to join Blind Faith in 1969

New York music business financier Allen Klein is found guilty of ten counts of evading US income taxes in 1971. Klein once controlled the finances of both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. The Beatles, apparently over Paul McCartney's objections, hired Klein in 1969 to try to rescue their ailing Apple Corps Limited, which was losing thousands of pounds a week. The tangled business affairs of Apple, and Klein's failure to solve them, are cited as one reason for the Beatles' breakup

The triple album 'The Concert For Bangla Desh' went to #1 on the UK album chart in 1972. Organized by George Harrison to raise funds for the people caught up in the war and famine from the area. The set featured; Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Eric Clapton, Ravi Shankar and members from Badfinger.

Grand Funk recorded "The Loco-Motion" in 1974.

In 1977, Gwen Dickey former backing band for The Temptations, went to #1 on the US singles chart as Rose Royce with "Car Wash."

In 1979, 16-year-old Brenda Spencer killed two people and wounded nine others when she fired from her house across the street onto the entrance of San Diego's Grover Cleveland Elementary School. Spencer fired the shot's from a .22-caliber rifle her father had given her for Christmas. When asked why she did it, she answered “I don't like Mondays.” The Boomtown Rats went on to write and recorded a song based on the event.

Emerson, Lake & Palmer disbanded (the first time) in 1979.

In 1983, Australian group Men At Work went to #1 on the British and American singles and album charts simultaneously with "Down Under" and "Business As Usual." The last artist to achieve this was Rod Stewart in 1971.

Country superstar Garth Brooks refused to accept his American Music Award for Favorite Overall Artist in 1996. Brooks said that Hootie and the Blowfish had done more for music that year than he did. Yep, they did.

A deluxe, double-disc version of Beck's Grammy-winning '96 album, "Odelay," was released in 2008. The first disc features unreleased songs while the second contains 16 rare tracks.

In 2009, former American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson made the largest ever leap to number one in US chart history, rising 96 places. Her single, My Life Would Suck Without You, rose from 97 to the top of the Billboard chart after selling 280,000 downloads in its first week of release. A clip from the video for the single was premiered in the commercial break of that week's episode of American Idol.