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]

TowerRecords LosAngeles 1976 1500

are the avid collector and the avid record collector the same person?

THE AVID COLLECTOR was the title of my column in Pulse! mag­a­zine. Pulse! (with the an­noying ex­cla­ma­tion mark) was the in-house mag­a­zine for Tower Records that was free to every cus­tomer in every Tower store in the world! The Avid Col­lector was about col­lectible records and ran for al­most two years in the early ’90s. [Continue reading]

Elvis masked 1500 crop

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]

Madonna LikeAPrayer photo 1500

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]

DavidBowie RockNRollSuicide ad Mirror 4 20 74 1500 crop

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]

Jackie DeShannon on stage 2011 1500 crop

does jackie deshannon belong in the rock & roll hall of fame?

DOES JACKIE De­SHANNON be­long in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? Making an ar­gu­ment for her or any artist is not easy for two rea­sons. First, the Hall does not have any set of cri­teria by which fans can as­sess po­ten­tial can­di­dates. Each year each vote ap­pears to be a re­flec­tion of the mood of the nom­i­na­tors and voters of that year. [Continue reading]

JohnYates PunkNote BlackFlag Damaged 1500 crop

an introduction to the punk note ideations of john yates

I WAS NOT A FAN OF PUNK ROCK in the 1970s and ’80s. I ad­mired the po­lit­ical as­pect of the punk move­ment in the UK and the anybody-can-be-in-a-band spirit, but I didn’t con­nect with most of the music. (I still don’t care for most of it but have loos­ened up a bit with age.) [Continue reading]