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Back To Boomtown

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... I find it sad that nowadays there are few physical singles these days. I think the last one I bought was Further Complications by Jarvis C0cker which was about two years ago.

I never liked it when they remixed the song for the b side or just used an album track, but some B-sides are bonafide classics. Born To Burn/Barefootin is one example and there are countless others by other bands. All We Want by Blur is one of their best tracks, yet it was put on the B-side of Tender.

Even without the b-side, the single itself could be interesting in its own right. XTC turned Sgt. Rock into a comic, and I once got an Australia shaped disc from Men at Work.

And one big benefit would be to save you buying the whole LP to get the one decent track.

Think I'll seek out a Dansette on eBay and stack a few up. Not that never worked properly.

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Loudmouth

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Tower Records in Wicklow St., Dublin seems to be full of vinyl singles and also lots of the shops in London seem to be full of, particularly, indie band singles on vinyl- it seems to bede rigueur for indie acts to do it that way. That is unless there has been a sudden downturn in vinyl production. Possibly the more mainstream acts do not release vinyl singles but vinyl has always equalled cred.

There are so many examples of singles where the b side was actually better than the a side. XTC's Dear God was originally a b side before it got lots of airplay in the US college alt radio circuit.

Love those old seventies movies where they are playing music on an 8 track cartridge- and think they are so groovy and with it. Think there is one such scene in Boogie Nights. Maybe you could find one on e bay to go with the Dansette.

-- Edited by noelindublin on Tuesday 15th of March 2011 02:54:22 PM

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noelindublin wrote:

Tower Records in Wicklow St., Dublin seems to be full of vinyl singles and also lots of the shops in London seem to be full of, particularly, indie band singles on vinyl- it seems to bede rigueur for indie acts to do it that way. That is unless there has been a sudden downturn in vinyl production. Possibly the more mainstream acts do not release vinyl singles but vinyl has always equalled cred.


I used to pop into Tower in Wicklow Street from time to time and the nearby Secret Book & Record store for a browse, but they are so expensive!  They seemed to double UK prices and then add another 50% for luck.

Stores in London don't have vinyl singles in the way they used to even a year ago. And what they do have are rarely less than a fiver each.

Went looking for Submarine by Alex Turner today but nowhere to be found on vinyl.   Ho hum, just better pay the postage and be done with it.

 



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http://www.recordstoreday.com/Home 16th April 2011

One last hurrah!    I'd love to get the Franz cover ep, but am sure that by the time I haul my ar$e out of bed on a Saturday morning it will be long gone.



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Loudmouth

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ArrGee wrote:




 


noelindublin wrote:



Tower Records in Wicklow St., Dublin seems to be full of vinyl singles and also lots of the shops in London seem to be full of, particularly, indie band singles on vinyl- it seems to bede rigueur for indie acts to do it that way. That is unless there has been a sudden downturn in vinyl production. Possibly the more mainstream acts do not release vinyl singles but vinyl has always equalled cred.




I used to pop into Tower in Wicklow Street from time to time and the nearby Secret Book & Record store for a browse, but they are so expensive!  They seemed to double UK prices and then add another 50% for luck.


Stores in London don't have vinyl singles in the way they used to even a year ago. And what they do have are rarely less than a fiver each.



Went looking for Submarine by Alex Turner today but nowhere to be found on vinyl.   Ho hum, just better pay the postage and be done with it.

 





Tower Records in Dublin is a huge rip off. I'm certain lots of people check prices there and then turn to the Net and see that the can get much better priced products online.

In comparison to HMV you can easily spot the differential. Don't even think about trying to buy a blu ray movie. Tower do still stock loads of vinyl albums in their defence, but most commercial companies don't do it for the love - there must be some sort of financial benefit. Not sure what's happening vinyl wise in London or how Portobello Man as in the Nick Salomen {Beavis Frond} song is being catered for.

That record store day sounds a bit suspect, but then I'm a cynic at heart so I shouldn't judge.


 



-- Edited by noelindublin on Wednesday 16th of March 2011 03:50:40 PM

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Dave

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noelindublin wrote:
Tower do still stock loads of vinyl albums in their defence, but most commercial companies don't do it for the love - there must be some sort of financial benefit.

That record store day sounds a bit suspect, but then I'm a cynic at heart so I shouldn't judge.

Best place to get vinyl these days is Oxfam.  They have loads of Books and Music stores, however you have to be lucky and be there when someone makes a good donation.  Also you have to be careful with the condition, but I have picked up a few good books and records in our high street in the last few months.

The financial benefit is footfall.  I go in and look for vinyl and before I know it have spent a few quid on CDs and DVDs as well.  Also the margins on vinyl are far better, so makes sense to sell it above knocking out Roxy Music CDs at £3 a pop.  I got their first four albums on CD today for £12.

The only thing suspect about it is they give all their mates the good records.  Who then sell them on eBay cry

 



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In the Long Grass

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Wish I had a pound for every hour I spent in a store called Beano's that used to be in Croydon. Stocked thousands and thousands of old singles as well as albums. Invariably if what you wanted wasn't out in the beer crates the guys would dig it out from their attic store room, remarkably quickly usually given the vast number of records held. There was one guy, a ringer for Lemmy, who seemed to know every act under the sun and their entire catalogue whatever the genre. My hero! no

Anyway, to cut the rambling reminiscing, I would argue the toss with anyone who claims CD singles nowadays come close in being quite as memorable to the owner, and don't get me started on how intangible and impersonal downloads are. Appreciate it's a luddite stance but, as alluded to in posts above, there seemed to be far more effort and imagination ploughed into singles pre-millenium. A decent b-side track if you were lucky, possibly a collectable genuinely limited cover or vinyl colour, interesting picture covers etc.  Sometimes you would accidentally get a mis-pressing, which was a double-edged sword I guess. Maybe the biggest difference was how often a track only ever appeared as a single (The Jam immediately spring to mind - e.g. Strange Town, When You're Young).

For me, a single was (and could still be) effectively a timestamp for that point in life. Can pretty much picture individual people/parties/holidays when sifting through my boxes of 7". Somehow doubt my 14 year old could say the same when he scans his iTunes listings, but I may be wrong.  

I was after a couple of tracks from HMV this year where I wasn't willing to fork out on the whole album (if it was even out) or a compilation just to get them, and both were 'download' only. Left me very dejected. The CD singles section nowadays is a pretty pathetic selection of perhaps 10 different tracks, some of which have been out for months, and 'b sides' invariably consist of a) extended remix b) instrumental version c) video. And there's something about storing (compact) discs where you only ever look at the spine that means pretty much anything could be on the front and it would soon be forgotten. The only thing to commend CDs now is that most singles seem to ship for about £1.99, which to be fair is probably only double what we paid for Rat Trap et al.

Reading this back I sound like some right old duffer, and one who can't help but ramble yawn, but the idea of physically separating and capturing one song and all its associated memories as something tangible just ain't popular any more, which is for me both tragic and a bit difficult to comprehend confuse

 



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suss wrote:

Reading this back I sound like some right old duffer, and one who can't help but ramble yawn


 You said it!

I would disagree that CD singles are less loved than 7" singles.   My Pulp CD Single collection (along with the Oasis/Blur/Happy Mondays/Suede/Stone Roses/Dodgy/Franz Ferdinand/ Arctic Monkeys)  are more loved than most of my 7" singles which lie abandoned in a storage room off the A13.  The only bands I would say I had something resembling a vinyl single collection of are The Rats and The Sweet.  And I discarded all The Sweet ones once I got a hits CD as they had lost the RCA covers.  I have thrown a lot of the 7" singles which I have some small regrets about, and sprayed a few with gold paint to create my own Gold records.

I have bought a lot of vinyl in recent years, and got the Jam and Clash boxed 7" singles which were really cool.  I even bought the last Franz Ferdinand album as a box of 6 7" singles.

I am still buying LPs on vinyl, but there is a general lack of availability of singles.  The only one I have this year is the Vaccines If You Wanna.

I don't buy many CDs these days.  Will get them if they are less than £2 like a load of  Springsteen albums I got recently.  Am tempted by the Suede special editions, but I think I will be able to resist until they drop in price.



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Its hard to argue against vinyl singles being aesthetically more pleasing than cd singles in the main. The sheer heft of the vinyl when you pick it up makes you feel you are getting something for your money, never mind the cover art. Of course its the music itself that is the most important thing- a cd single from say, Clinic is always gonna be better than a vinyl single from Lady GaGa or Phil Collins.

Kids take on the value of the culture they are born into . Music nowadays is largely downloaded and slightly impersonal. No more kids hanging around record stores on Saturday afternoons because record stores are becoming redundant. In the HMV branches in Dublin I hardly ever see people under thirty buying music. There was always the old art school aesthetic of good cover art- these days with the Internet there is perhaps an overexposure to visual imagery which makes old vinyl records seem passe- however much those in the seventies or eighties may have been impressed[ or easily amused].

Young people are never going to  feel sentimental about buying either cd singles or vinyl singles [or albums for that matter] because it is just not how things are for them as regards purchasing music. A lot of them even resent paying anything- I mean have you ever seen a poor pop star!

Scottish singer Nickie Currie aka Momus has a great line in his song I Was A Maoist Intellectual- " I became a hotel doorman/  I stood there on the doormat/ Clutching my forgotten discs/ in their forgotten format ..." about Momus as a misunderstood pop star.

Whatever the format or storage medium the most important thing is that the music itself is good- an obvious but  true point.



-- Edited by noelindublin on Monday 30th of May 2011 02:55:32 PM



-- Edited by noelindublin on Monday 30th of May 2011 02:56:38 PM

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Bill Drummond (KLF):

There is nothing wrong with the idea of recorded music, but for me it is like its perfect partner Pop music - a thing of the 20th Century. Even the most potent of art forms have numbered days.

As the technology to record music evolved through the 20th Century it seduced all forms of music before it. There was hardly a genre of music in the world that did not want to be recorded, packaged and sold. In doing so, much of this music lost its power. So much of the strength of a lot of music is about time, place and occasion. Once music is recorded and can then, theoretically be played at any time, any place and on any occasion it has so much of its power cut from it.

The greatest thing that came out of the technology to record music was Pop music itself it being a genre of music that was totally reliant on its power as a recorded document. It provided a soundtrack for us to fall in love, lose our virginity, break our hearts or just take drugs to. It inspired us to storm the Bastille or man the barricades of our day. With pop music we could dream dreams of far off places, oceans away from our grey little lives on non-descript housing estates. But by far and away the most powerful force that recorded music contained is the memories it can trigger - memories of lost youth, missed chances and those endless days of summer when the world was still young.

Then there was the other side of recorded music, like the movie industry; it was almost the perfect commodity for the democratic capitalism that swept the western world in the post-war years. By the 1950s this recorded music could be captured on light and easy to distribute bits of plastic. And the bits of plastic could be played on things called record players. Soon every household had one. And then even sooner, every teenager had one in their bedroom. These bits of plastic with recorded music on them sold by the millions. And then the billions. People could never get enough of them. And there were always new ones, better ones, different ones. Ones for every taste, every class, every gang, click or troupe in town. Absolutely everyone was catered for - the free market economy made sure of that. All we had to do was keep buying them and they would keep making new and different ones to satisfy our needs. The they mentioned in the last sentence was the music industry. In a few short decades it had grown from being a few fat men chomping on cigars in cramped Tin Pan Alley offices to a global industry. This global industry included the small and purest independent labels to the big bad majors, but they, even if they didnt know it, were all in it together they all wanted to keep us buying these bits of plastic.

But then the Internet was invented and soon after that the MP3 player and we did not need to pay for bits of plastic anymore and we didnt need record players (ok, CDs or CD players). Suddenly we didnt need to pay for music at all and we could have these iPods that could have all the music we could ever want to hear in a lifetime in our pocket to play anywhere at any time, while doing almost anything. Things were changing and I like change. Our relationship with music was changing fast. Now that we could have all this music that we ever wanted with us all of the time and we didnt have to pay for it, it no longer meant the same thing to us. And the music industry was soon not going to be investing the same sort of sums into making recorded music for us not to buy. Their business model was falling apart. They kept trying to reinvent business models but they knew it was over. The days of global stars like Elvis, The Beatles and Michael Jackson who could generate millions upon millions by the sale of recorded music was over. We will never see their like again. In centuries to come they will look back at the second half of the 20th Century and be incredulous at the fact that a mere musician could be worldwide heroes. Like I said - even the most potent of art forms have numbered days.

There is another side to this. Now that anybody can make a track on their laptop with a bit of software and stick it up on MySpace, something has been lost. It is no longer a special thing to make recorded music. It use to be a special thing that only special people could do, now we all know someone who has made an album or got tracks you can download. Every busker you pass is trying to sell his CD. Thus the young and creative music makers of the next few years are not going to want to make music that anybody can download off the Internet, listen to at any time while doing almost anything. They will want to make music that is about time, place, occasion. They will want you to invest something of yourself to hear the music. They will not want you to be a mere consumer but for you to be part of it.

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Bill Drummond generally makes a lot of sense in his thoughts about music. Just some minor points- he argues that the days of huge music stars is becoming a thing of the past- maybe this was pre Lady GaGa and her ilk. If anything the music industry likes its pop hierarchy and seems to perpetuate it in whatever latest incarnation. I don't think this situation will change anytime soon.

The idea that some semi talented kid can write with Pro-tools or whatever and upload it to a website is surely the logical result of the democratisation such technology brings about. The result is that there is a glut of music ever available that has bypassed critics without the old vetting of the music press. The end result in this case is that a lot more stuff gets through-whether its any good or whether it has a wide listenership is a moot point. Andy Warhol said everyone could be famous for fifteen minutes, and this was before the Internet. I agree with Drummond's comments that making or recording music now is no longer special. Anybody can do it and lots of them shamelessly do!However technologly  marches on -now everybody needs Tweetdeck or whatever the latest thing is this month. A lady reputedly asked Benjamin Franklin after his early experiments with electricity- Interesting, sir, but what use shall it be?- of course not realising what the future for electricity was to be.

Human nature being what it is packages and sells all sorts for financial gain- so music is no different. Did Bill Drummond write a book or autobiography? He's  generally got an interesting take whether we agree with everything and makes one think about a subject that sometimes we may take for granted.



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Tonight

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His book about the music biz etc. is called 17.

I like his soup idea:

http://arts.guardian.co.uk/features/story/0,11710,1220776,00.html



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noelindublin wrote:

Its hard to argue against vinyl singles being aesthetically more pleasing than cd singles in the main.  


I would argue that the 7" single was never that great (especially in 1970s/1980s) and not aesthetically pleasing. More often than not you didn't get a picture cover, and the quality of the pressing left a lot to be desired.  

When the CD single arrived it came in a proper case, had a cover and often had up to three B-sides.  The CD remix single was a retrograde step with 5 or 6 versions of the same song, but on the whole I liked the CD single far more.

Only in recent years have 7" singles had good pressings on thick vinyl.  But now they have more or less stopped making them.



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In the Long Grass

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ArrGee wrote:

I would argue that the 7" single was never that great (especially in 1970s/1980s) and not aesthetically pleasing. More often than not you didn't get a picture cover


 The counter argument is that limiting the picture covers / coloured vinyls etc to first x thousand made the quest more rewarding, so it really felt an achievement either to get in there early (coolness personified) or eventually track one down (me).

I know CD singles also offer special editions, but as you say they're all pretty well packaged regardless. The difference for example, between a green Ensign paper cover and the full picture sleeve was enough to make it a big deal for some...or was it just me? no

 

 



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suss wrote:
 The difference for example, between a green Ensign paper cover and the full picture sleeve was enough to make it a big deal for some...or was it just me? no

 I got all the Rats in picture covers from Rat Trap onwards, and got the earlier ones by hook or crook (yes I nicked a couple of them!)  bar Looking After No. 1 7" (got 12" so not a big issue).  Really got pi$$3d off when Woolies punched a hole in the corner to devalue it when it was reduced in price, or worse they just has a plain white cover.  Sometimes they punched a hole in the label (almost a big as the one in the middle).  

7" singles were by and large rubbish.  Bad pressing, bad cover art and often b-sides you'd have on the LP (Blondie were big offenders in this respect).

CD singles were far better.



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In the Long Grass

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Fair enough, although somewhat surprising as initial post seemed to be lamenting the death of the single. Seems a bit churlish for me to say CD singles were merely the evolution of 7".

Maybe 7" were inferior in many if not all respects, but I still maintain they were more interesting and varied than their successors, for reasons given.



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suss wrote:

Fair enough, although somewhat surprising as initial post seemed to be lamenting the death of the single. Seems a bit churlish for me to say CD singles were merely the evolution of 7".

Maybe 7" were inferior in many if not all respects, but I still maintain they were more interesting and varied than their successors, for reasons given.


 I was lamenting the death in all forms, including 7", cassette, 12" and CD.  7" singles were badly pressed through the 1970s/1980s which is my main bugbear with them, but yes, there is something interesting about them despite their faults.  In the last ten years or so the 7" presses are of a very good quality and it's a shame that they are getting rarer and rarer.



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