Duke Pearson – The Phantom – first pressing on Blue Note label

The Phantom cover front

The Phantom: cover front (click for larger image)

After spending many months searching for a first pressing of an album called The Phantom by jazz musician and composer Duke Pearson, released on the legendary Blue Note label in 1968, I finally acquired a copy from a dealer in the US. During my search I came across one or two copies for sale on the web, but they were either re-issues or first pressings in poor condition. I was holding out for a nice clean first pressing. I was on the verge of giving up hope and settling for a re-issue when a first pressing came up for sale on eBay…still sealed in the original shrink wrap. Hallelujah! There was no way I was going to be outbid.
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Ed Lincoln – Seu Piano E Seu Orgão Espetacular

Seu Piano E Seu Orgão Espetacular album cover - front

Seu Piano E Seu Orgão Espetacular (click for larger image)

I recently discovered the work of Ed Lincoln while trawling through websites dedicated to rare exotica and lounge music vinyl from the 1950s and 1960s. When I came across an image of the cover for Ed Lincoln’s album Seu Piano E Seu Orgão Espetacular, I was so taken with it, I got straight onto YouTube to see if I could find any music clips. I had to know if the album sounded as spectacular as the cover promised. I found a few clips and, bingo, the music was utterly joyous. For the next couple of weeks I spent an hour or two every night after work searching online in the hope of finding a copy for sale somewhere. Eventually, I acquired an original (1963) vinyl pressing in great condition from a dealer in Brazil. Happy days.
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Record Revirginizer – a neat way to clean vinyl

Record Revirginizer

Record Revirginizer (click for larger image)

Over the years I’ve tried all sorts of methods for cleaning vinyl records. Some more effective than others. Yesterday I tried a product called RECORD REViRGiNiZER, with excellent results.

RECORD REViRGiNiZER is a liquid polymer for pouring onto the surface of a record and massaging into the grooves. After leaving to dry for a few hours it can be peeled away, like a facemask, taking with it ground-in debris, mould, dust, dirt and other contaminants.
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Deja Vu – not an experience I’d care to repeat

Deja Vu album cover

Deja Vu album cover (click for larger image)

Yesterday I spent the afternoon at a vinyl emporium which specialises in the rare and collectable. After flipping through records for a couple of hours I came across something special. Something I’d been after for years:
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The Smiths: Hand In Glove

Hand In Glove - front cover

Hand In Glove – front cover (click for larger image)

On 13 May 1983, The Smiths released Hand In Glove on 7″ vinyl – the band’s first record. Only 6000 copies were pressed initially, and they sold out pretty quickly as The Smiths grew in popularity. The purpose of this post is to provide details of the first pressing, known as the Manchester version – because a Manchester contact address was printed on the back of the cover. Later versions published a London contact address, or no contact details at all.
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Dental Denial by Beth Israel: review

Dental Denial by Beth Israel

Dental Denial by Beth Israel (click for larger image)

Dental Denial, by Beth Israel, oozes darkness and mystery. It is gloriously left field. If you hold disdain for the commonplace, this is for you. If you long to be taken somewhere otherworldly, enjoy.
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Sound It Out: film review

Tom Butchart outside Sound It Out Records

Owner Tom Butchart outside Sound It Out Records (click for larger image). Photograph by Jeanie Finlay.

It’s at this time of year, with Record Store Day only a week away, that my interest in vinyl ramps up a notch or two. In preparation for the big day, I’ve been watching favourites from my collection of music documentaries, including Sound It Out, a film directed by Jeanie Finlay about the last remaining independent record store in Stockton-On-Tees in the North-East of England.
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Good Vibrations: film review

Good Vibrations - film poster

Good Vibrations – film poster

Highly acclaimed independent film Good Vibrations tells the true story of Terri Hooley, the self-styled “Godfather of Ulster Punk”, who opened a record shop on the most bombed street in Belfast during the height of the Troubles in the 1970s.
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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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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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