Vinyl revival – why the turnaround?

Chvrches Recover EP

Recover EP by Chvrches on transparent tangerine vinyl

According to the Official Chart Company, UK sales of vinyl records in the first quarter of 2013 rose 78%, compared with 2012. In 1993, only 300,000 vinyl records were sold in the United States. In 2012, according to Nielsen SoundScan, 4.6 million vinyl records were sold across the US. What the hell happened? Vinyl was supposed to be dead. Why such a remarkable comeback?
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Stagger Lee by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – a two-chord wonder

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am a fan of simplicity. Less is more, and all that. Stagger Lee by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds exemplifies how, in the hands of master magicians, the simplest musical structure can provide a foundation for incredible texture, emotion and narrative. The song, from the album Murder Ballads, is an astonishing work, packed full of pulp obscenity and brutality, built around only two chords – D minor and A minor.

Record Store Day 2013 at Banquet Records

Interior of Banquet Records on Record Store Day 2013

Interior of Banquet Records on Record Store Day 2013 (click for larger image). Photo by James Perou, courtesy of Banquet Records.

Saturday 20 April 2013 was Record Store Day. If you didn’t visit and support you nearest vinyl emporium, shame on you. My 15-year-old son, Harry, and I had the most glorious time at Banquet Records, Kingston upon Thames, London. We bought some very special vinyl.
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Great drummers do more than keep time

Andy in full flow at Indigo 02

Andy in full flow at Indig02, London, 2012

It’s a rare thing, but occasionally I come across someone with a lust for life who is so packed full of talent and verve they can’t help but carry all around them on a wave of energy and enthusiasm. They have impact and generate affection. Such people are special. They add value. And so it is with Andy.
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Jack White promotes Record Store Day 2013

This year Jack White is the official ambassador for Record Store Day, which takes place on 20 April 2013.

A promotional video made for Record Store Day features Jack White on location at United Record Pressing in Nashville, the pressing plant that creates vinyl for his Third Man Records label.

Record Store Day supports independent record shops around the world. Buy vinyl. You know it makes sense.

Souljacker Part 1 by Eels – blues without the V chord

Artist: Eels
Song: Souljacker Part 1
Album: Souljacker

At the heart of this simple, instantly memorable song is an infectious rockabilly-esque riff that drives both the verse and chorus. That’s it, really. There’s not much else. Read more…

The crushing of music

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Turntable

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Turntable

If you read my last blog post, you’ll know that lately I’ve been listening to “Cortez the killer” (by Neil Young with Crazy Horse) a lot. Writing about that track reminded me why I don’t own an iPod, or other portable digital music player. Read more…

Cortez The Killer by Neil Young with Crazy Horse – simplicity and tone are everything

In recent weeks, I have become obsessed with Cortez The Killer from the 1975 album Zuma by Neil Young with Crazy Horse. So much so, that I’ve started pestering my son to jam it with me and have ordered multiple copies of the album from Amazon, so I can share the masterpiece with friends who I think will appreciate it. Read more…