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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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about those nasty rumors about elvis and arthur crudup

ARTHUR CRUDUP CAME AND WENT, placing five sides from three sin­gles on Billboard’s na­tional R&B chart in 1945-1946. Then the big hits stopped, al­though RCA Victor kept re­leasing his records for sev­eral years to ap­par­ently dwin­dling re­turns. His fif­teen min­utes of fame were over until eight years later when Elvis Presley re­leased his first record. [Continue reading]

are there albums where the covers are worth more than the records?

HERE’S ANOTHER QUESTION ABOUT VINYL on Quora that dis­tracted me from var­ious writing projects! The ques­tion is, “What vinyl album cover empty is worth more than a mint vinyl album without the cover?” Or, as I have worded it in this article’s title: Are there al­bums with covers that are worth more than the records? [Continue reading]

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are these five LPs actually rare and valuable records?

THE AVID RECORD COLLECTOR is a column that I re­cently started con­tributing to the Six­ties Music Se­crets blog. The in­ten­tion of the column was to ad­dress LPs re­leased in the ’60s and sub­se­quently deleted. Then they found their way into cut-out bins of re­tail record stores around the country and then, years later, found their way onto col­lec­tor’s want-lists. [Continue reading]

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why did rca have to export david bowie records to england in the ’70s?

THERE ARE A HANDFUL OF RECORDS from the ’70s that are so common among British col­lec­tors that they re­ceive little at­ten­tion from them. But they are all rather rare records out­side of the UK—so rare, that most non-UK col­lec­tors have only seen them as im­ages on the in­ternet! [Continue reading]

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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]