Mel Brooks was once asked what the hardest part was to film making: “Punching all those little holes on the sides,” was his answer. Putting a fresh round of material together for this site is easier and more fun than you’d imagine, but it requires time (and some hole punching). Although my original intention was to do constant updates to the content here, I’m now on pace to publish at more leisurely intervals with periodic updates in between. The latest issue features:
- an interview with Olav Wyper, the creator of Vertigo Records. This label fascinates me for a variety of reasons and is well worth exploring, partly because of the level of musicianship evident on the records and the high standards that were observed in the recording and packaging- some were truly works of art. Many of the records are now highly collectible and some of the more obscure bands and recordings sound marvelous, fresh and inventive musically, and sonically vivid and punchy.
- A series of Vertigo Swirl record reviews, to accompany the above piece. One of my goals is to encourage broader access to some of these recordings, so as this series continues, I am always on the hunt for comparable pressings that are not stratospherically priced.
- A break-out on the Black Sabbath releases on Vertigo- although that band is probably the best known act to have appeared on the label, they aren’t necessarily the best records in the old Vertigo Swirl catalog, musically or sonically. However, I do recognize their importance in the Vertigo repertoire, and they deserve separate mention.
- a new article (part of a continuing series) on record cleaning following my visit to the Library of Congress archival facility. This time, the focus is on my personal cleaning methods using a combination of vacuum cleaning plus ultrasonic cleaning.
Look for a piece in the next week or so from a well-known, highly reputable record dealer on the challenges of evaluating, grading and pricing old, desirable vinyl. We will continue to add book (and occasionally film) reviews relating to music.
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UPDATE: I am pleased to include an interview with EIL, a UK record dealer of high repute that sells everything from uber rare and highly collectible old pressings to pristine copies of more common UK pressings, to memorabilia and other music collectibles.
I am equally pleased to have tracked down Stanley Booth in Memphis- Booth wrote what some consider to be a definitive book on the early Rolling Stones, often cited for what happened at Altamont. As you will see, there is much, much more to Booth’s life and adventures.
I will also soon post a piece on buying used records- a sort of primer. It may be ignored by long-time collectors, but it might be helpful to those just venturing into used vinyl. More soon.