After several years of dormancy, my trusty mmf-2.1 turntable was recently dusted off and plugged in. To celebrate the moment, I went with one of my favorite albums of all time, Kiss's 1975 classic live document, Alive!. One thing that caught my eye this time wasn't the vinyl or the cool band pictures inside, but rather the paper dust sleeves. One side bears the classic Casablanca Records logo, but the other is just a typical ad for the label's other releases. Kiss's first three studio albums and Alive! are here, as one would expect. But check it out, there's Parliament, Buddy Miles, and Donna Summer too! If that doesn't scream 1970s I don't what does.
One of the unsung casualties of the death of vinyl as a large-scale music delivery medium was not just the loss of liner notes and cool album art, but record label art. As you know by now, I appreciate a cool logo as much as the next person, and in the salad days of the record business there were some really cool ones. Here is but a sampling. (more…)
The Associated Press reported recently (confirming what I had known for a time) that the reports of vinyl's demise may be exaggerated. But while music purists may be rejoicing, it's important to keep a few things in perspective. True, shipments of LPs in the U.S. increased just over 36% from 2006 to 2007; but vinyl still accounted for less than a blip on the radar in terms of overall market percentage (CDs shipped more than 500 million units in '07 compared to 1.9 million for LPs and vinyl singles combined). And the overall trend is still down - LPs haven't shipped more than 2 million units since 2001, and that's unlikely to change anytime soon. Not that you'd guess from the tone of the article, which seems to infer that vinyl is poised for a major comeback. That being said, it plea...
Sales of digital music boomed in the first half of 2005, compared to the same period in 2004. Meanwhile, sales of physical product (CDs, DVDs, etc.) slipped. Many are already hailing this as a sign of things to come. I wouldn't go as far as that, considering that even with the surge, digital music still only accounts for 6% of all music sold legally. Hybrid cars have gained a lot too in the last year, but I wouldn't bet the farm on people giving up their dino-mobiles anytime soon. Still, this does point out two trends in music - one good, one bad. (more…)