<Vinyl vindication: vinyl to outsell cds; 1 min. 55 sec.>
I’ve always been a record guy. Back in Montana as a youth, I would drive 35 miles each way to record shop at the local Hastings outlet in Great Falls. Usually buy a couple pieces of vinyl and a cassette for the drive back home.
When I moved to Utah for University in 1986, I was already dabbling in CDs. In 1985, Cactus Records in Bozeman, MT had a small rack of CDs in a corner of the shop. I remember buying Fleetwood Mac and the Police Outlandos d’Amour. $16.99 (in those days a fortune). I didn’t even have a CD player yet.
For Christmas, I got a Fisher deck, (probably from Montgomery Wards), – 1 drawer, no frills: just the song number in red LED. I was blown away! Space age technology in rural Montana!
What’s not to love? Smaller. Harder to scratch. Easier to store. Portable players to play them on.
Yet, the smaller size and lack of information on many of the disks didn’t make collecting CDs as enjoyable as buying vinyl. Especially, when I switched to collecting Reggae. Early on in CD’s history there was not a whole lot of Reggae available. And a total lack of the 12″, 10″ and 7″ vinyl I especially was looking for. The rarest of the rare.
I was in a Record Shop in San Francisco. Summer of ’87. Up to my elbows in vinyl racks. The shop owner was trying to up-sell me into CDs. He was like, “Why are you so hot for vinyl? Everybody is moving into CDs”. I shrugged, “I’ll always be a record guy.”
Here is how it worked back then. CDs were new. And expensive. So, many people sold their vinyl for pennies on the dollar to add up cash for CDs.
Vinyl was cheap and plentiful. CDs were exotic, limited in selection and expensive. So the stores were in transition from black wax to shiny metal disks. I built the Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives this way: buying other people’s vinyl discards.
All the great things you hear me play today came about through hoovering up as much black wax as I could in the voluminous Bay Area Record stores. I was flush with student loan cash (Thanks Ronnie Raygun!) and I went from store to store digging through the crates.
I would stay at the Travelodge across the street from Tower Records in North Beach: Columbus and Bay. Some days, I would be tired after a day of cratedigging. It was awesome.
Wheel it forward 30 plus years. Most of the record stores are long gone, (Hastings went under in 2016), via over committing to CDs in a digital age of iTunes, Pandora and Spotify. People wised up and started piecing out vinyl for the Ebay collector’s market.
But for 20 years, I maxed out the opportunities even if around 2005 I started to notice stores were no longer there when I would visit.
When Tower Records and later Virgin and Circuit City went under, that was the nadir of my CD era collecting.
That is why when I heard on the news that 2019 will be the first year since 1986 that Vinyl is expected to surpass CDs in aggregate sales, I felt a sense of vindication.
2019 to 1986 = 33 years. And what RPM does vinyl spin at? 33 and 1/3. Coincidence or prophecy!;
<33 years since vinyl last sold more than CDs. Records spin at 33 and 1/3 RPM; 40 sec.>
And as none other than Joe Biden said in the Sept. debate: play the turntable at night for the kids. Makes “sensi” to me Joe!
<The 7 Leaf inspired wisdom of Joe Biden; 27 sec.>
Set 1: 420 Vinyl
<Joe Biden’s advice on child raising: play your turntables for the youth; 51 sec.>
- The Mellows + Gladstone Star Band – Pray to Jah + Give Thanks and Praise; Rite Sound Reggae Story (Jah Live) ’80 Fr.
- Blackbeard – Cut After Cut; Strictly Dub Wize (EMI) ’78 dub album of the hour
- U Roy – Chalice in the Palace; Dread in a Babylon (Virgin Front Line) ’75 UK
<U Roy: smoking spliff w/ Queen Elizabeth; 15 sec.>
- Chris Wayne – All the Plant Mi Plant; Progress (Heartbeat) ’87 US
- Willin Prophet – Basehead; Revolution EP (1U) ’87 Los Angeles
- Wayne Smith – Under Me Sleng Teng; Sleeping Bag’s Dancehall Classics (Sleeping Bag) ’87 US
- Mighty Diamonds – Knowledge; 12″ (Music Works) ’82 JA – Pass the Kouchie
Set 2: Jah-loween Vinyl
- Peter Tosh – Oh Bumbo Claat; Wanted Dread & Alive (Rolling Stone) ’78 UK – demonic possession; 63 sec.
- Black Uhuru – Satan Army Band; Love Crisis (Jammy) ’77 JA
- Prince Alla – Evil Forces; In My Father’s House (Calabash) ’84 FL
- Laurel Aitken – Witchdoctor of Amsterdam; Eskapade en France (Blue Moon) ’90 Fr. EP
- Calman Scott & Jah Hugh – Devil in the City; 12″ (Kingston Connexion) ’79 Fr.
Set 3: 7″ Jamaican Jukebox
- Aisha – For Salvation; 7″ (Twinkle) ’95 UK
- Jacob Miller – Sitting on the Dock of the Bay; 7″ (2nd Tracs) ’76 UK
- Roots Radics – Hey Mama version; 7″ (Hitbound) ’82 JA
- Bacca – George Foreman; 7″ (Roosevelt) ’73 JA boxing champ
- Harry J All Stars – George Foreman version; Sucker Punch: Jamaican boxing tributes (Trojan) ’73
Set 4: Roots Dawta Vinyl
- Nadine Sutherland – War in the City; Songs of Bob Andy (I-Anka) ’93 UK
- Sister Carol – Lovers Rock Style; Liberation for Africa (Serious Gold) ’83 DC
- Scotty & Lorna Bennett – Breakfast in Bed; This is Reggae Music vol. 2 (Island) ’76 US Dusty Springfield cover
- Black Harmony – Reasons; 12″ (Cool Rockers) ’81 UK
- Black Disciples – Garvey’s Ghost; Garvey’s Ghost (Mango) ’76 Dub Album of the Hour
Set 5: Wailers Family Tree Vinyl
- Bob Marley & the Wailers – Jah Live; Countryman Soundtrack (Mango) ’82 US gatefold
- Bunny Wailer – Johnny Too Bad; Protest (Mango) ’77 Slickers cover
- The Melody Makers – What a Plot; Play the Game Right (EMI America) ’85 US
- Peter Tosh – Johnny B. Goode; 12″ (EMI America) ’83 US – Chuck Berry cover
Set 6: Rockers do Reggae Vinyl
- The Slits – Man Next Door; Typical Girls Live in Cincinatti & San Francisco (bootleg) Paragons cover
- Ian Dury & the Blockheads – This Is What We Find; Do It Yourself (Stiff) ’79 UK
- Papa Kojie & Blue Riddim – Nancy Reagan Re-election Remix; 12″ EP (Ora International) ’85 US picture
- UB40 – My Way of Thinking; 12″ (Graduate) ’80 UK
- Dub Specialist – Starring Dub; Dub (Heartbeat/Studio One) 70’s dub album of the hour
Set 7: UFO-ria Vinyl
RED ALERT! RED ALERT!
Intergalactic body called Oumuamua, from outside our solar system, is heading our direction in time for the 2020 election!
<Giant Meteor 2020; 1 min. 28 sec.>
- Roots Radics – Conspiracy on Neptune; Prince Jammy Destroys the Invaders (Greensleeves)
- Lone Ranger – UFO; Barnabas in Collins Wood (Wave) ’79 JA
- Lincoln Thompson & the Rasses – Spaceship; Natural Wild (United Artists) ’79 UK
- Bam Bam – Star Wars + Dub; Power of a Woman (Bam Bam International) ’87 LA female singer
Set 8: Mutant Dub
- New Age Steppers feat. Bim Sherman – Dreaming; Foundation Steppers (ON U Sound) ’83 UK
- X-O-Dus – See Them a Come; 12″ (Factory) ’80 UK