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did sid vicious, elvis, and sinatra really do it their way?

HOW HAVE WE MISSED THE OBVIOUS for so long? Look, I know that old-school rock & roll fans in general and Elvis fans specifically are supposed to reactionarily hate punk rock—and most do! But the punks of the ’70s were carrying on some of the spirit of the ’50s rock & roll that we love so much—especially the untamed Elvis of the Dorsey Brother Shows! [Read more] “did sid vicious, elvis, and sinatra really do it their way?”

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It isn’t how it was set up to be (the byrds 1966 part 1)

WELCOME TO AN INTRODUCTION to the first in a series of articles on the released and unreleased recording of the Byrds in 1966. I began this series in July 2013 for my first blog, Neal Umphred Dot Com. As I hadn’t written anything in a while (in years, actually), my authorial chops were rusty. [Read more] “It isn’t how it was set up to be (the byrds 1966 part 1)”

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cantaloupe eyes come to me tonight

WHEN I ARRIVED AT MY OFFICE on a day in early 1987, I was handed a package that had arrived earlier. As I worked at home more often than “at work,” my schedule of arriving and departing varied from day to day. My job was editor of a line of price guides for record collectors published by O’Sullivan Woodside and formerly associated with other authors. [Read more] “cantaloupe eyes come to me tonight”

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between the buttons and the dandelion, we love you!

GREAT SINGLES IN 1967 by established artists that should have been BIG hits but weren’t were common. For example, Buffalo Springfield’s Mr. Soul, the Byrds’ Lady Friend, and the Hollies’ King Midas In Reverse (and I could go on but that’s grist for another mill). But perhaps the biggest disappointment was the Rolling Stones second single of the year, We Love You / Dandelion. [Read more] “between the buttons and the dandelion, we love you!”

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a few faverave albums of the cut-out era

THIS ARTICLE addresses the first few years in which deleted record albums flooded retail stores across the country. Stores that had never contemplated a bargain bin in their record department started one and record-buying was never the same. But these records should have had a huge impact on the early record collectors price guides, but did not. [Read more] “a few faverave albums of the cut-out era”

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on my first price guide

THIS ARTICLE is about my first price guide, the 1985-86 edition of the Rock & Roll Record Albums Price Guide. I discuss some of the reasoning that I used and the results that had an immediate and profoundly unsettling impact on the hobby and business of selling and buying records. It makes public the reasoning that went behind the decisions that sticker-shocked (shocked I say!) [Read more] “on my first price guide”

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talking with ken barnes on his career as a rock journalist

A FEW WEEKS AGO, I received an invitation from a young musician in England to make a connection on the LinkedIn site, the “world’s largest professional network.” Reluctantly I accepted it, despite the fact that I have yet to meet anyone who has actually benefited professionally from any of their LinkedIn connections. [Read more] “talking with ken barnes on his career as a rock journalist”

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channeling the rich sonic palette of george martin

THIS IS PART 3 of an ongoing conversation with or about Lawrence Bray concerning his career as a solo artist and as a member of the group Around Town. The group has a new record Out Of Control and both it and its accompanying video gave me great joy to participate within. Here [Read more] “channeling the rich sonic palette of george martin”

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on grading records for sale part 1: ‘still sealed’ and ‘mint’ are not the same thing

FRIEND WAS LEARNING THE ROPES of making money by selling other people’s ‘collectables’ by auctioning them on eBay. It’s his experience that inspired this article, “Grading Records for Sale Part 1.” Let’s pretend his name is Luke. As the bulk of Luke’s consignments were from friends, it was a reasonably relaxed affair and no one was trying to pull the wool over the other’s eyes. [Read more] “on grading records for sale part 1: ‘still sealed’ and ‘mint’ are not the same thing”