<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.
<Black History Month = Bob Marley Month on Smile Jamaica; 21 sec.>
Indeed for I ‘n’ I and over 30 years, February (or Jah-bruary) is not only Black History Month but Bob Marley Month….Feb. 6, 1945
Therefore, during the last Saturday of February, I clipped out a couple of Bob Marley Stories.
Bob’s not a fan of space travel: 37 sec.
You see men sailing on their ego trips Blast off on their spaceships Million miles from reality No care for you, no care for me
So much trouble in the world
In the mid 90’s, I had a student from Saudi Arabia who worked for me who said that nearly every government building in his home town was tagged with Bob Marley in Arabic. The Wahhabis were none too happy.
<Bob Marley would be Bwb MarLee in Arabic; 39 sec.>
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: Jah-bruary 23, 2019 Annotated Playlist: 56 sec.
Roots Uprising – Beautiful Music; Beautiful Music (Top Ranking) b’81
Black Uhuru & Sly & Robbie – Ion Storm; Dub Factor (Mango) ’83 US vinyl dub album of the hour
Barry Brown – Party Night; Reggae Heights (Mafia & Fluxy) 2001
Ayo – Who; Ticket to the World (Motown) 2013 Nigerian-German dawta
Junior Murvin – Lucifer; Police & Thieves (Mango) ’76 Lee “Scratch” Perry prod’n
The Nazarenes – Song of Mary Jane; Songs of Life (Heartbeat) 2004 Ethiopian/Swedish herbal ballad
Charlie Chaplin – Chalice Contest; Old and New Testament (RAS) ’92 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement
Dennis Brown & Big Youth – Running Up and Down; 12″ (Joe Gibbs Record Globe) ’81(?)
Alton Ellis – Lord Deliver Us; I’m Still in Love With You (Heartbeat/Studio One) ’70
Junior Delgado – Part Time Lover; Treasure Found (Incredible Music) ’79
DJ /Rupture feat. Sister Nancy – A Little More Oil; Special Gunpowder (Tigerbeat) 2004
Dennis Bovell – Za-ion; 12″ (Rama) ’76 UK
Set 3: Best of Smile Jamaica 29+ Years
Judy Mowatt – Mother Africa; Working Wonders (Shanachie) ’87 Best of Smile Jamaica 29+ Years
Horace Andy – Elementary; Reggae Dance Party (RAS) ’85
My brother lives in Minneapolis. When the Polar Vortex hit, it took me back to my youth in Montana.
Cold so bitter, just closing the car door shattered glass. Only Chinook winds, (warm winds) kept Montana from being Alaska
<Chinook Winds; 46 sec.>
So when it became our turn in Utah to be homebound with a massive mid week snowstorm, I took advantage of the day:
Feb. 6 – Bob Marley’s Birthday. Once I got the notice on my phone to stay home. I turned off the alarm, cranked up the furnace and decided what better way to celebrate a Snow Day than starting with The Wailers Catch a Fire and play through to Uprising.