If you look at it as the more people that know about vinyl, the more regular vinyl becomes, and the more vinyl will stick around, then I guess it’s a good thing that you can buy vinyl at Cracker Barrel.
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Thursday - November 04, 2021
Vinyl circa 1930.
(Bettmann/Getty Images)
quote of the day
If you look at it as the more people that know about vinyl, the more regular vinyl becomes, and the more vinyl will stick around, then I guess it’s a good thing that you can buy vinyl at Cracker Barrel.
Carrie Colliton, Record Store Day co-founder
Gold (and Silver and Brown and Orange) Records

ABBA crowded out ADELE who's crowding out ED SHEERAN and woe be you if you're a small dance label trying to get a few hundred copies of your new 12-inch single pressed by next summer. That's the underserved and overloaded state of the vinyl production business, which was already having a hard time keeping up with the growing demand for records—actual, tangible, 12-inch records—before the global supply chain crisis happened. And before SONY MUSIC decided it would need half a million vinyl copies of Adele's "25" pressed up and in stores by Nov. 19.

In a reported piece for Variety, CHRIS WILLMAN lays out how the need to have all that Adele vinyl in TARGET, WALMART and other stores on release day has exacerbated the problem of getting vinyl made for everyone else, including other acts on Sony. This comes in the wake of story after story after story of how vinyl's supply chain crisis, which predates everyone else's supply chain crisis, but which has been affected by that too, has caused delays, frustration and lost opportunities and revenues across the industry, from major label acts to DIY indies. The New York Times' BEN SISARIO recently reported on how the turnaround time for a vinyl record has increased from a few months to as much as a year, "wreaking havoc on artists' release plans." And touring plans, too, for bands relying on those boxes of records to support them on the road. Some of those delays are to make room for pop acts whose vinyl is largely being collected as souvenirs but not necessarily listened to. In DJ MAG, WILL PRITCHARD notes that dance labels trying to capitalize on a hot sound, like amapiano in summer 2021, can't get their records made until summer 2022. And now here comes Sony, telling Adele she has to turn in her album a currently-unheard-of six months in advance of release date, and then booking every vinyl production plant it can find.

Even while they're pointing out Adele's records and new pressings of 45-year-old FLEETWOOD MAC albums are keeping them from getting their own new records manufactured, the indie bizzers who talk to Variety's Willman make a point of neither blaming nor complaining. If they were Target, they'd go for the surefire seller, too. "The reality," says SEAN RUTKOWSKI of INDEPENDENT RECORD PRESSING in New Jersey, who's been running around trying to source hard-to-find gold, silver, brown and orange vinyl pellets for special orders, "is that these frustrations are frustrations because people are embracing the format." RECORD STORE DAY co-founder CARRIE COLLITON notes that "what big boxes do is see what’s cool and sell it to people,” and "it really sucks that what’s cool is what we specialize in at record stores," before noting that if might not be such a terrible problem to have. It means more and more people are getting into vinyl, which is, presumably, exactly what Record Store Day was designed to do.

And still one wonders what everyone's thinking underneath their breath. Will Ed Sheeran's fans actually play the vinyl of his that's taking precious capacity away from indie labels? Will they still be interested in vinyl two or three years from now, or is it just this year's shiny object? ("With the amount of exclusive [color] variants we press on one record," Rutkowski tells Willman, "I wonder if I’m making Beanie Babies sometimes.") How much production and sales will indie artists have lost by the time the fad for all those colors fades away, and will they survive those losses? Will the newer pressing plants who cater to pop and catalog blockbusters be able to survive when the blockbusters go away? Can vinyl itself survive a vinyl bubble? Is it possible it isn't in fact a bubble?

Bonus Track

Oh, and speaking of the wider supply chain crisis, did you know rising lumber prices affect the vinyl record industry? It turns out, as Willman reports, that they're causing builders to install vinyl flooring instead of wood flooring in new homes. "And it’s a hell of a lot easier to sell vinyl pellets to the flooring companies" than to record pressing plants, Record Store Day's Colliton says.

Rest in Peace

Jazz guitar innovator EMMETT CHAPMAN, who popularized two-handed tapping and invented the Chapman Stick... Columbia, Capitol and Hollywood Records promo exec JOHN FAGOT... Session guitarist SHAUN CARRINGTON... Brazilian classical pianist NELSON FREIRE.

Matty Karas (@troubledoll), curator
180 grams
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by Chris Willman
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220 grams
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Initially an offshoot of reggae, in the ‘80s, the use of electronic production tools spawned the digital dancehall age, helping define the sound and putting it on the path to world domination. Dancehall DJ, Grammy-winning producer, label boss and BBC Radio 1Xtra presenter, Seani B, counts down 100 tracks that have had the biggest impact on the progression of the genre.
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"I had been in a very lucrative rock career — still am — but I was getting to the point where I was starting to get interested in what my dad was doing. And I wanted to spend more time with him.”
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Readers frequently ask what defines a great jazz vocal. I typically reply that it's a combination of the singer empathizing with the song's lyrics, vocalizing the song in such a way that the listener feels the delivery emotionally, and knowing where to improvise to give the song a personal, sophisticated touch. I now have a video that captures all three of these factors.
what we’re into
Music of the day
"I Still Believe"
Diana Ross
From "Thank You," her first album in 15 years, out Friday on Decca.
Video of the day
"Keyboard Fantasies"
Greenwich Entertainment
Posy Dixon's Beverly Glenn-Copeland doc, currently in theaters in select cities and online.
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