Friday, 15 April 2016

World Record Store Day in the UK and on the radio

       World Record Store Day

vinyl collectors will be in heaven!

Originally an American initiative, World Record Store Day has since been taken up by the UK record retailing industry, or what's left of it. The event gets more successful every year and the 16th April looks to be bigger and better than ever. Many record labels make very limited edition pressings available for this one day only and 2016 is no exception. A full listing of the special releases can be found on the RSD16 page

These invariably become collectors' items and change hands for extraordinary amounts. This year many of the prime cuts have been made available some days early by some sharks on EBay, even before their official release! 

Many radio stations are taking part this year, BBC Radio 6 nationally on DAB, and Bauer 's MW network in the north,  from 4 to 6pm will be 

      • Viking2 
      • TFM2
      • Hallam2
      • Aire2
      • Key2
      • City2 

The show will be hosted by avid vinyl collector Stephanie Hirst, who can also be heard on several BBC local stations (e.g. BBC York and BBC Manchester) regularly with more 'all vinyl' programmes. 

The music on Stephanie's vinyl shows are always played in from original vinyl discs, drawn from her own record library at home. She has been an avid collector for many years spending thousands of pounds on old singles. 

The BBC has entered into the spirit of World Record Store Day in quite a big way this year, with items in many of the corporations other programmes. Even Women's Hour on BBC Radio 4 did a feature,  with vinyl addict Mary Anne Hobbs telling Jenni Murray all about how she got rid of her huge vinyl collection by having a party and inviting her guests to simply help themselves to whatever they wanted!  A very kind hearted girl is Mary Anne!

Mary Anne kept only 200 items, real solid favourites that she just could not bear to be parted with.  I know how she feels,  I could not even whittle my own favourite list down to 200! My own 'favourites' list is around 400 (you can see a print out of the Paul Rusling Favourites by clicking the words).

Following Mary Anne's programme (she does breakfasts on Saturdays, from 7 to 10)  Radio 6 had scheduled a Lauren Levine  with a special 'RSD Party' broadcast which has some very special guests who she is keeping close to her chest. 

Your Local Record Shop

Many record shop[s have their own events - in Hull the SoundSystems shop in Bowlalley Lane had the FRONTEERS playing their tunes and signing their 45s in the afternoon.  Steve Mathie's Spin-it in the Trinity Market and Darran Crowther's Disc Discovery on Spring Bank are ALWAYS worth a visit.  Check out  YOUR own nearest independent store with a handy little checker available on THIS WEB PAGE .

The SL1200 turntable reborn

After almost going into extinction ten years ago, record shops are really making a comeback this year, as is vinyl generally.  Turntables too are making an appearance once again as the focal point of many HiFi installations and this week a new turntable, a remodelling of the legendary SL1200, as sold out, despite a $4,000 price tag.  

The orginal SL1200s stopped production about five years ago and have been commanding hefty price tags; I've been itching to take mine to bits for years but it has just never faltered! The new SL1200 GAE models have their own BlueTooth transmitter on board so you can hook up wireless speakers or any other kit around the home. This eradicates the one item that does add some crackle in any turntable installation - those old phono plugs, which are not really conducive to great audio fidelity!

Other Turntables 

The Daily Mirror too has jumped on the vinyl bandwagon for RSD 2016 and has several special HiFi offers available. One is a Zennox music scentre, reduced from £500 down to £299.99, with a 6 in 1 music system reduced to £140.99, and a recordable music centre  allowing connection to a laptop compter for recoding for just £129.99.  Details are on this special RSD16 page.

Other manufacturers have been putting new turntables onto the market too. SONY have a much cheaper option in their PS-HX500 HRA turntable, which is due out any week and will cost around £400.  This model  not only allows users to digitize their records, but offers output as DSD (DSF) files, which SONY claim matches audio CDs. 

It has a  “Hi-Res Audio Recorder” app for PC or Mac so you can edit the raw files, deleting unwanted parts of the recording, such as the pop as the needle drops, or the ubiquitous 'cue burn' that many DJs collections are afflicted by. It seems odd that SONY, who worked so hard to launch the CD, which put paid to vinyl as the major format, should be trying to get back into the vinyl market. They even sold their huge European record pressing plant Record Industry in Harlem, Holland a few years ago, a move they are now regretting.

That Record Industry record factory is now the largest vinyl pressing plant in the world, and is struggling to keep up with demand for its records from all over the world and ships out around 30,000 albums a day, giving it an annual turnover of $5.4 million, and growing. Demand is so heavy that the minimum time they can get releases out is currently 3 months! 

Audio Technics have also jumped on the 'wireless' bandwagon with their  LP60-BT which  has a pre-amp built in and a wired output for the traditionalists. Its now available for approx £135.

Record Store Day New Releases

For fuller details of the many new releases available on RSD (and perhaps for a short time afterwards) see THIS PAGE which lists the special releases, including Alannis, Albert King and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band (always very collectable!), Allen Toussaint, The Animals, Ashford & Simpson, the Associates and of course, that doyen of DJs, Alan Partridge! That was just a few from those beginning with A - check out the pages and pages of rare recordings on the Record Store Day page


  1. Part 1

    Vinyl has its place but l prefer where music is today. Playing vinyl is akin to being served tea the Japanese traditional way. There is a ritual to vinyl, getting the record out of it's sleeve, perhaps wiping it down, placing it on the turntable, turning the table on, positioning the arm, lowering the arm and finally you get some music.

    Once that side has finished, then you raise the arm, move the arm, turn the table off and either play the other side or return record to sleeve and choose another record and begin the whole process again. l really cannot see the point unless the vinyl you have is not available in digital format. lt certainly doesn't warrant a 4000 dollar deck! l'd rather upgrade my amp and speakers.

    l know some say the sound is better but l can't agree. l don't want crackle and pop etc whilst listening to music. When listening to bands live there wasn't any crackle etc so why should l want it now? l certainly don't want the ritual of constantly getting up to change sides or the record. l remember those days all too well and the stress that came with it.

    Apart from not being able to settle down for the night with your lady or mates with a few drinks you had the constant worry of damage to your vinyl. This came about through either the effect of alcohol or wacky backy on yourself OR worse still your mates who didn't pick up the vinyl by its edges, didn't pick up the tone arm etc etc. Then we have all your vinyl just laying about not back in their sleeves. Even writing about it is stressing me out :)

    Vinyl started to decline due to our lifestyle changes and technology catering for it. As we travelled more, got our own cars etc, the more we wanted to take our music with us. Sure we had such as yourself giving us our brand of music through the radio but reception could be a problem. What we wanted was to be able to take or own music with us wherever we went. Technology tried to give us that in the 8 track and cassette ... it was far from successful :) Vinyl was still king for music lovers albeit we recorded them onto cassettes for travel etc.

  2. Part 2

    Then along came CDs and it promised the answer to our prayers. Remember Tomorrows World showing a CD with 4 slots they cut into it and it still played??? What a joke that turned out to be ... a thumbprint on the CD stopped it playing! Worse still was scratches ... the CD was dead if it got those.

    Then there was the marketing, the singles CD was not bad. You still had the cover that was only slightly smaller than the 45's, but the albums? Why oh why didn't they give us the full size album cover with the CD inside? You could still have the CD in it's own little cover that you could separate from the album cover. That would leave you with the album cover that we all coveted with it's lyrics and artwork. That was one of the biggest losses for me.

    Now we have digital and thats a game changer. We can have our own music wherever and whenever we desire. l'm not convinced with this iCloud etc source, l like to 'physically' have it. l love the iPod ... especially the Classic which has 100's albums on it. My music goes where l go. Not only that but its safe from damage or loss ... its backed up. Sadly Apple have discontinued the 160gb Classic a little to prematurely as the iPod touch does not yet have that sort of capacity but it will come.

    l prefer not use MP3 because of its limitations and use such as FLAC instead. Bigger files yes, but sound is so much better., a 100% copy of the CD. The house, garden and workshop is completely wired for sound and l can control it all from the Remote App on the iPhone ... OH BLISS!

    I still have my vinyl collection and am very possessive about them. I could if, l wished, play them as l still have the Rega Planar 3 hooked up to the system but l probably never will. I still 'use' them but only to occasionally look at the album covers ... whilst listening to the digital version :) Seems people that still buy vinyl today are of the same mind. I read that 75% of people that buy vinyl never play them.

    So to conclude, l love vinyl but in my view it can never compete to what we have today. I wish you well.