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Guest Post: Vinyl Record Search

Thanks to Vinylrecordsearch.com for writing a guest post about their work with vinyl records!

Vinyl Records Collectors and Vinyl DJs -- have you ever been looking for that precious LP or track on vinyl? Perhaps you have gotten really frustrated at scouring all the different marketplaces online. Not only that, once you have eventually found what you are looking for, you find that it is for sale at an absurd price.

Well, this site may be for you: www.vinylrecordsearch.com
 
Vinyl records search was designed to make searching and buying vinyl records online easier. All you need to do is enter in the title that you are looking for, hit search and it will come back with a list of online sites that are selling your site, and at what price.
This is especially useful for finding a rare or collectible vinyl. But, furthermore, it is useful for finding out which site is selling newer records at the cheapest price. 
 
The information on the stores that are selling the record is not old data that has been copied into a database. But rather, the information is a live data feed, that is scraped from the vinyl record sites, the moment that you hit the search button.
 
Happy vinyl record buying!

Flaming Lips to Release Rare Blood Vinyl

IB ImageHere's a new vinyl release for you really, really hard-core collectors out there. Wayne Coyne announced recently on his Twitter account that the Flaming Lips will be releasing their "blood vinyl" in early May 2012. The "blood vinyl" release is double album with real blood from the band inserted into the pressing. I'm not clear on how you manufacture an album with real blood in it, but Coyne announced that only 10 copies will be produced and a single copy will cost an eye-popping $2,500!

Stereogum notes that the albums will also contain blood from some of their collaborators, like Kei$ha, Erykah Badu, Nick Cave, Chris Martin, among others.

Website: Collecting Record Covers

IB Image I just found an interesting website called Collecting Record Covers. The site highlights cover art from rare vinyl records and celebrates the vinyl record as object.

Largest Vinyl Record Collection in the World

Paul Mawhinney of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has built what is considered the largest vinyl record collection in the world. In this video you can see footage of the sound archive, which is housed in a large storage warehouse. According to Mawhinney, the collection contains about 1 million albums and 1.5 million 45s. On top of all that, Mawhinney has cataloged the entire collection and maintains his collection in a searchable database. Good for you, Mawhinney!

As of 2009, Mawhinney has decided to retire and is looking for someone to purchase and preseve the collection, en masse. I would love to see that collection on Record Revolution. Maybe my collection will get there one day.

The Archive from Sean Dunne on Vimeo.

The Vinyl Record Industry in 1979

Check out this video of a 1979 news broadcast from Los Angeles about about the state and future of the vinyl record industry. It contains some great footage of vintage Los Angeles including the old Tower Records on the Sunset Strip, footage from outside the Whisky a Go Go (showing MIchael Nesmith on the marquee), a short clip of The Dickies in the recording studio, and footage of a band called 707 playing the Troubadour. Also look for the short interview with Doug Weston who founded the Troubadour in 1957.

Making the Beastie Boys Vinyl Record

Video from the Beastie Boys's YouTube channel showing the making of the vinyl version of their newest album, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two:

Improving Record Revolution’s Taxonomy and Cataloging System

New Genre Terms

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Members, RecordRev is getting organized! To improve the site’s taxonomy structure and its overall organization we have added a new Genre classification system to our cataloging form (if you’re a member, see the “Add New Album” tab). The terms in our new drop-down menu include common top-level musical styles such as Jazz, Hip Hop & Rap, and Classical. The addition of these new genre terms will ensure that our site maintains at least a basic taxonomy structure in place for all cataloged vinyl records. Our cataloging form will continue to feature the same free tagging system and you can utilize these two systems together to provide a highly structured yet flexible classification system for your digital record bins.

Tips for taking care of your vinyl records

IB ImageMembers, check out this article from Goldmine Magazine, "How to get better sound from from vinyl records." The article lists some important tips for what you can do to get better sound from your vinyl records.

One of the more interesting suggestions is...a lint roller?! Well, it's a special lint roller designed specifically for being used on vinyl records. According to Goldmine Magazine, it's a quick and easy way to clean records and it "resembles and works just like a household lint roller, employing a roll of sticky tape that picks up dust and debris from offending surfaces — in this case, the surface of records."

New location for your Record Bins

Members! In efforts to continue improving the layout and workflow of Record Rev, links to your personal Digital Record Bins are now accessible through your own profile pages. We've removed the "My Record Bin" menu tab and have added the "Go To My Record Bin" link at the bottom of your profile's thumbnail album gallery (see the big red arrow below!). To browse other members' record bins, simply navigate to their profile page and click on the "Go To My Record Bin" link. Bladow! More improvements to come.

File 983

Alex Steinweiss, creator of album artwork

IB ImageAlex Steinweiss, who passed away on July 18, 2011, was a trained graphic designer and helped reshape how vinyl records were designed and marketed in the 1940s and 1950s. Prior to this period, the majority of albums were released with a simple, plain paper packaging with the title stamped on the front. Steinweiss, who joined Columbia Records as its Art Director in 1939 (http://www.aiga.org/medalist-alexsteinweiss/), came up with simple idea to include a unique image on an album cover to help market and boost sales of new albums.

The first album cover he designed (below) was for a 1939 collection of songs by Rodgers & Hart. The album design shows the artists' names on a theater marquee with the album title in lights. According to AIGA, this album cover was inspired by French and German poster styles that Steinweiss had learned about in a high school arts class. Steinweiss "developed a unique signature style that used geometric patterns, folk art symbolism, and a curly hand-drawn lettering (that became copyrighted as Steinweiss Scrawl)." All in all, Steinweiss designed more than 850 album covers during his career at Columbia Records (http://www.aiga.org/medalist-alexsteinweiss/).

IB ImageAlbum artwork was a simple yet profound innovation for vinyl records. Even in the digital age, artwork is such an integral part of a musical release (whether released on iTunes or as a new vinyl record) that it's hard to imagine an album not being adorned with a unique or provocative photograph or piece of artwork. Album artwork is one of my favorite aspects of vinyl records and it's one of the reasons I built this website--so that people can highlight, describe, and share the unique and interesting aspects of their vinyl record collection, such as the story behind an album's artwork. 

Top photo from the New York Times; bottom photo from Flickr.

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