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RRR turntable BobClark 1500

introduction to rather rare records

(a blog for those who never gave up their turntables)

MY INTRODUCTION TO WRITING RECORD REVIEWS was for my high school news­paper in 1969. Like most nerds with cool record col­lec­tions given a pulpit, I wrote con­de­scendingly about the artists and music that my class­mates liked. I re­member damning Glen Camp­bell and dis­missing Cream’s farewell album. [Continue reading]

Byrds EightMilesHigh PS Japan 600

japanese picture inserts for 45 rpm singles

(a picture insert is not the same thing as a picture sleeve)

THE TERM “PICTURE SLEEVE” has a spe­cific meaning in record col­lecting. Ba­si­cally, it’s a paper en­ve­lope with a pho­to­graph or art­work on at least one side made to hold a seven-inch, 45 rpm record. Japanese pic­ture in­serts for 45 rpm sin­gles are not pic­ture sleeves no matter how many col­lec­tors and dealers con­flate the terms. [Continue reading]

Byrds EightMilesHIgh PS US gray A 600

just what is a picture sleeve?

(about picture sleeves, title sleeves, and company sleeves)

WHAT IS A “PICTURE SLEEVE”? I know—this is a dumb ques­tion to the thou­sands of col­lec­tors who know the an­swer. But based on ads, ar­ti­cles, and com­ments on the in­ternet, thou­sands of other col­lectors and sellers do not know the an­swer. Or they don’t know the cor­rect an­swer. [Continue reading]

NurseJacky Eddie drugs 1500 crop2

I got a springsteen “spirit in the night” worth five grand, easy!

WATCHING SCENES WITH VINYL RECORDS or ref­er­ences to vinyl records in movies and tele­vi­sion shows usu­ally causes record col­lec­tors to laugh. The person re­spon­sible for placing the record in the scene al­most al­ways gets some­thing about the record or the chronology wrong. Or makes an ex­ag­ger­ated claim about its value (“It’s worth five grand, easy”). [Continue reading]

DavidBowie MickJagger DancingInTheStreet photo 1500 crop

a few embarrassing songs by a few major pop and rock artists

IT WAS JUST ANOTHER DAY on Medium when I found the ar­ticle, “Em­bar­rassing Songs By Major Artists.” Written by Alex Markham for The Riff, its tagline was “Even the biggest music su­per­stars had mo­ments when taste de­serted them.” He could have written “every music su­per­star” and sub­sti­tuted “in­tel­li­gence” for “taste” and I would have agreed! [Continue reading]

PhotoAlbum 19thCentury 1500

why do we refer to LPs and CDs as “albums”?

I HAVE BEEN BUYING RECORDS for sixty years and col­lecting them for about the same length of time. As far back as I can re­member, I have re­ferred to LPs and EPs and pre­re­corded tapes as ‘al­bums.’ Since the Dig­ital Rev­o­lu­tion of the ’80s, I have re­ferred to tapes, EPs, LPs, and CDs as albums

During this time, I called a seven-inch, 45 rpm record with one track per side a ‘single’ while calling a seven-inch, 45 rpm record with two or three tracks per side an ‘EP.’ [Continue reading]

Beatles HardDaysNight sealed

was robert cohen the godfather of shrinkwrapped albums?

SHRINK-WRAPPING ALBUMS did not be­come stan­dard prac­tice for the Amer­ican record in­dustry until 1963-1964. Prior to that, EP al­bums and LP al­bums were shipped to whole­salers and re­tailers without any pro­tec­tion! Then Robert B. Cohen, a rack jobber in New Jersey, started wrap­ping records in pro­tec­tive plastic sleeves, making him the “God­fa­ther of Shrinkwrapped Albums.” [Continue reading]

Ventures photo posed 1960 1500 crop

who was the first rock band to sell a million albums?

I HAD TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION: “Who was the first rock band to sell a mil­lion al­bums?” It was on Quora and im­me­di­ately seized my at­ten­tion. Why? Be­cause not only had I never thought about it, but I had never heard a record-collecting friend or a pro­fes­sional music writer ad­dress it. [Continue reading]