Unlikely development No 492: I buy a fair number of new records online. I would prefer to buy over the counter, but there’s simply nowhere I can conveniently get to that has similar new stock. Some of the online releases I buy end up in Record Collector’s Single Cream column (I’ll be sending a begging pint pot round for contributions later). Competition among these webshops is hot; especially in the dance music field, where many retailers offer weekly updates of new stock, and some will email you on a daily basis, a service you can tailor to a particular genre of music, be it rock, drum’n’bass, disco or ‘leftfield’ (meaning: “what is this tosh?”, probably). Lately, I’ve noticed that some of the dance webshops have been stocking odd things. Original R&B, now sometimes branded ‘tittyshakers’ or ‘popcorn’, has long been a staple and jazz has tempted dancefloors since the jazz-funk boom of the 70s, so it’s no surprise when they turn up. But standard ballads have begun to appear on 7”; Louis Armstrong’s Wonderful World and Tony Bennett’s I Left My Heart In San Francisco being two examples. I’ve got nothing against either artist; Armstrong’s brilliance made it possible for every improvisor that followed to express themselves, and I have a soft spot for Bennett’s Lazy Afternoon (chance would be a fine thing) seen here. But who are these US vinyl 45 repressings for? Are club DJs playing them? I doubt it. The fact is that someone thinks they are worth pressing up and the demand for vinyl is apparently wider than just the DJs and indie kids who are currently said to be snapping it up. Maybe you can sell 500 copies of anything on vinyl now reaching a global market is fairly simple…
The big news round here has been the completion of the Rare Record Price Guide 2014, which has been packed off to Uncle Printer and told to behave itself and not to eat too much ice cream. Its editor, my esteemed colleague Ian Shirley, has been packed off to a sanatorium to recover. Lately he has taken to burbling random prices in the office and muttering “some copies in promo pic sleeves” over and over again. But he’s done a grand job getting the book finished. It’s been the first time I’ve seen him putting it together and I can’t believe the amount of work and consultation that goes into it. It’ll be in the shops in September; the prices that appear in RC between now and then are taken from the new edition, so they’re like a mini preview.
Think you know how to juggle your vinyl? See this – but it’s not for the faint hearted.
It’s always a shame when a music magazine closes; the latest to bite the dust is The Word. Its readers seeking a serious music mag with loads of in-depth reading to replace it should know where to come. I am proud to say that the next issue of Record Collector will boast writing from tried-and-trusted talents such as Garth Cartwright, Terry Staunton, Max Bell, Ian Abrahams and Richie Unterberger (among many); these are people who know and love their music and are in it for the long haul. As are we. Thank you for supporting us through thick and thin.
Have a great week,
Ian McCann, Record Collector Editor
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