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]

important: do you receive email notifications from this blog?

IF YOU ARE A SUBSCRIBER TO THIS BLOG (Rather Rare Records) and you do not re­ceive up­dates and other no­ti­fi­ca­tions via email from this blog, listen up! It ap­pears that I ini­tially mis­un­der­stood quite a few things in set­ting this blog up, in­cluding the sub­scrip­tion process and how emails are sent to subscribers. [Continue reading]

WallyWood PriceGuide art 1500 crop

a little personal background information

WHEN REQUIRED TO POST A PROFILE on the in­ternet, I usu­ally write, “Mys­tical lib­eral likes long walks alone at night in the dark in the city in the rain with an um­brella and a flask of 10-year-old Laphroaig.” While this bit of irony works for some readers, others want a little more in terms of per­sonal back­ground information. [Continue reading]

Donovan SunshineSuperman Taiwan record 600

the cheesiest semi-legal records in the world!

I MOVED TO CALIFORNIA from Penn­syl­vania in June 1978. I naively be­lieved I would find some sem­blance of “the six­ties” hidden away in San Fran­cisco. But in only a few years, most of it had been blotted out. There were still a lot of hand-painted Vic­to­rian houses and a few hip coffee shops and bookstores.

[Continue reading]
Apollo fire lacquer machine 1500 crop

where was the “vinyl rapture” before the “vinylgeddon”?

WHILE THE PURPOSE OF THIS BLOG is to ad­dress the records that were re­leased decades be­fore most of the people who spend the most time on the in­ternet were even born, I can look at a cur­rent topic every now and again. I sup­pose my fas­ci­na­tion with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in not es­tab­lishing some ob­jec­tive stan­dards for el­i­gi­bility and the equally ob­sti­nate Wikipedia in in­sisting on “sources” but not on hiring ed­i­tors to fact-check those sources. [Continue reading]

Oklahoma 1955 still 2 1500

wikipedia really messed up “music recording certification”

I LEFT WIKIPEDIA ALONE for the past few months, even though cri­tiquing their en­tries is like shooting fish in a barrel. When it comes to “de­f­i­n­i­tions” of per­sons and terms re­garding pop­ular music, Wikipedia’s theme song seems to be a well-known song by Elvis: “If you’re looking for trouble, you’ve come to the right place. [Continue reading]