Here are a few vinyl record trivia facts you may or may not know. Trivial Pursuit was a pretty popular game back in the 1980s. I have not kept up too much on the gaming world these days but I do see a lot of trivia facts on different subjects while perusing the net so I thought I’d highlight a few I’ve seen recently. Perhaps a weekly quiz is in order for this blog? We’ll see!
1. Half Of Vinyl Record Buyers Are Under 25
This really surprised me. Half of vinyl record buyers are under the age of 25! For some reason I picture those from that age group plugged into Spotify or other streaming service on their smartphones but I guess that is not always the case. It does seem that most vinyl buyers do use both formats. To me that indicates that vinyl record buying should not die off anytime soon.
I am one that uses both formats. I prefer vinyl but a lot of the time listening on vinyl is not practical. When going to sleep I’ll usually drift off to music on Spotify. The same goes to working around the house. I do use Spotify often to discover different groups or artists to make sure I like them before spending the money on their vinyl. I may hear someone talking about how good an album is so I’ll stream it to make sure I like it first.
2. 45 RPM Singles Were Color Coded
When the 45 rpm single was introduced in the late 1940s the vinyl was made in different colors depending on the genre of the music. The combination of cuteness and color made the 45 an instant hit with the younger generation. Popular songs were on the standard black vinyl. Country songs were on green vinyl, children’s records were on yellow vinyl, classical on red and R&B and Gospel (referred then as “Race recordings”) were on orange vinyl. Semi classical instrumental music was on Blue vinyl/blue label and blue vinyl/black label were international recordings.
Besides the fact that the vinyl was colored the 7 inch 45 record was very different from its older 12- sibling. It was small and compact and sort of cute. The “A” side was the featured single and the “B” side was usually some lesser know song from the same album.
In later years some artist would record a song on the “B” side that did not appear on any other album as a sort of “special gift” to their fans. Elton John did this quite often and I believe the Beatles did this once and although the one Beatles song not previously released was released on the Beatles “Rarities” album. But Most of these previously unreleased songs now are collector’s items and many were never released to CD. Some can be quite valuable.
Aside from the fact that people like to listen to these old vinyl records there is another reason these are sought out. In the last few years vinyl records have become a favorite of crafters. They will take these records and make them into craft projects ranging from wall art to snack bowls or wall clocks.
3. Elvis Record Trivia
Elvis Presley had a nice round total of 200 records counting singles, EPs and albums during his lifetime. That number could very easily been doubled if he had not died at a young age.
Elvis made 31 movies. 25 of these had either an EP or LP soundtrack recording issued with the same name as the movie.
The first Elvis song ever recorded was “That’s All Right/Blue Moon of Kentucky in August 1954
Elvis’s biggest hit was “Don’t Be Cruel”. A complex point system was devised to calculate each song depending on several factors such as length of time in the top 100 and a few other metrics and Don’t Be Cruel was number one followed by “All Shook Up”.
4. Turn Your Loved Ones Ashes Into A Vinyl Record
I’m not kidding here is a quote from a web page of a United Kingdom based company that specializes in turning cremation ashes into a vinyl record. The website I read this from says that since you are choosing cremation you have a lot of opportunities to be remembered in interesting and unique ways. Well this is for sure a unique way. The article goes on to state usually a person chooses an urn and specifies a place to be buried or scatter their ashes. But for those who prefer a less traditional memorial can choose to have their voice echo through eternity by having their ashes pressed into a vinyl record.
For a fee of about $4,300 US dollars this company will provide a vinyl record containing the ashes of the deceased and a 24- minute recording of the planner’s choosing. Up to 30 copies can be made. You can also have your pet’s ashes turned to vinyl as well allowing pet owners a whole new way to remember their loving furry companions.
And for an added visual element, (Extra fee I’m sure), the company can provide a portrait artist who can create a portrait of the deceased on canvas using paint mixed with the remaining ashes after creating the records. Copies of the portrait can be printed onto the record covers. The portrait can me made from a photo or if you can get your future deceased loved one to do a pre-planned sitting the portrait can me completed in an hour.
In all my years of listening to and reading about vinyl records this is a first for me. So, if you are looking for a start up business here in the US this would be a pretty low competition business I would think.
5. Repress, Reissue and Remaster
Here is a brief explanation of three terms you will encounter in your search for vinyl.
- REPRESS: is identical to the original meaning that it is produced from the same source as the original/ It is a term sometimes misused.
- REISSUE: applies to a wider variety of releases. Could show variances from the original such as sourcing of the masters, country of origin and packaging. Literature about the album will use the term reissue as well as being printed on the packaging, inserts, hype-stickers etc. A reissue may also come with extra stuff like bonus tracks, inserts and posters.
- REMASTER:simply means the sounds have been reprocessed to enhance playback. The process is subjective and mastering engineers have different objectives in mind when remastering, The original intent of the artist is usually maintained but the results can be different. Sound and quality is subjective to every individual so what sounds good to one person may sound terrible to another. Some remasters I have listened to sound far worse than the original as far as I’m concerned. I’ll take a repress or even a reissue over a remaster almost every time. Check out some albums on Spotify sometime. Often you will see the original and the remastered version and almost every time I prefer the original. The same usually holds true for the vinyl version
Just a few
There are just a few record trivia facts and a bit of news. As always I welcome comments and thoughts below.