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Back to Black vinyl! 60th Anniversary of the vinyl long play album December 28, 2008

Posted by oktyabr in audiophile, listen to this, musik links, opinions, other cool stuff, personal.


Think vinyl is dead?  But it’s not!  Far from it in fact.  And as evidence take a look at Universal Music Group’s “Back to Black Vinyl” campaign celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the LP (“long play”) album!   I know, I know, I’m sure at least one reader must think this born of quaint nostalgia known to frequent the “boomer” generation but think about it…  when is the last time you saw a new release on cassette, reel to reel or 8 track?

By contrast vinyl has never gone away completely and fairly recent marketing schemes seem to indicate it might be making a bigger come back than you may think…

Back to Black is a serious campaign featuring represses of some of the greatest albums of all time… everything from Martin Gaye to Metallica, Ronnie James Dio to Pink Floyd, Steely Dan to Guns & Roses and an awful lot in between.  Most of these are remastered and are an “audiophile quality” repressing on heavier vinyl, usually 180 gram.  To make things more enticing to the younger  iPod crowd you can download the entire album for free in mp3 format simply by entering the special code contained on the inside of any of the many offered albums!  One for Dad, one for the kids, all at one low price.  Pretty sweet!

I first found out about this deal after spotting a large selection of NEW albums at my local Fred Meyer’s store (a Kroger’s affiliate, think a slightly smaller and more expensive version of Walmart, if you have never heard of Freddies).  Originally rumored and later confirmed to have started out as a corporate level order and stocking made by mistake it now seems that sales have taken off enough that at least this chain will continue carrying the favorite medium of many.  Other brick and motar stores are also carrying the “Back in Black” selections, as well as online retailers… take a look at the website for more information… and if your local electronics and music store isn’t stocking vinyl (yet) point them there too!

On a related tangent, only a day after my son and I agreed to buy Coldplay’s new CD, “Viva La Vida”, I spotted this one on vinyl as well and while aparantly not part of the “Back to Black” campaign it too was marketed with a more modern flair actually *including* the complete CD version for free INSIDE the vinyl album packaging!  The album on both mediums for only a few bucks more than the original CD???  That’s a no brainer!

I won’t go into a big diatribe in this post about why I think vinyl is superior (technically it IS, but I’ll let you google that yourselves), I’ll only say that with a good turntable and stylus (needle) connected to a decent amp and speakers there is little that can compare.  Vinyl takes an effort to listen to and a surprisingly high amount of skill and patience…  you don’t just push a button and listen.  This means that most people, if they are going to go through the trouble to carefully place a record on the turntable, line up the tone arm and gently put it into play that they really intend to listen to the music, not just fill the room with background noise while you do something else.  While I won’t likely be buying my entire music collection on vinyl anytime soon this aspect of the music loving “hobby” (along with searching thrift stores and garage sales for that next bargain priced addition) makes me quite pleased to see that vinyl has NOT gone away and with any luck will be around to stay for quite some time yet.

Back to Black Vinyl

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1. stan gumpal - January 9, 2009

Hi everyone,

me too I’m so happy seing vinyl records in music one here in the Philippines, initially i bought one, The police, then I played in my turntable, then the rest I found out cleaning all my vinyl records. how I missed my singles, greese, lp’s the like of private dancer tina turner and
tom jones.

thanks for featuring this…. again thank you….

oktyabr - January 10, 2009

Welcome Stan!
Nice to know that vinyl is on the upswing not only here in the US but abroad as well.

2. rommeldak - January 13, 2009

Funny you should bring this up, Oct. Over Christmas break, my daughter asked if she could have the turntable, etc., set up in her room. Now all my old albums are getting new life!

3. oktyabr - January 13, 2009

Vinyl will never die! Although that doesn’t keep the smirk off my 12 year old’s face when I put one on 😉

4. rommeldak - January 13, 2009

I gotta tell you this: I am showing her how to carefully start the turntable and put the needle down and was telling her something like, “If you want to start the third song…” when she interrupted me. “How can I tell one song from another?”

I never thought about that! She had no idea how to look at the grooves and figure it out! I felt like the guy on Survivorman, handing down what had once been common knowledge but had now passed into obscurity!

5. sweet - January 19, 2009

hey there! HELP! we have a a lot of vinyl records especially from reader’s digest collection. japanese theme songs from mazinger z tv.
seems like the player itself is expensive else difficult to find here in cebu, philippines… where could we purchase? i’ll be sad to let go of these records and donating them if i can’t find a reasonable enough price for a turntable.

considering we have our cd players and recorders and all — entertainment system is well equipped but no turntable-sad to say.
anyway, if no reasonable enough price, anyone in cebu interested with the records?

6. val - April 22, 2009

hi! i will be in cebu from may 9th to may 26th and im looking to buy vinyl records! are there any stores or shops i should visit? ill also buy from people who are looking to get rid of their collections. please help!! thanks

7. faye - January 15, 2010

I wish they also released the original goodies inside, like stickers, patches, posters, books, buttons or whatever they put in the original pressing .. that would be kool…

oktyabr - July 2, 2010

Hi Faye!

Many of the new re-issues DO include all the goodies! My Dark Side of the Moon re-issue included a ton of stuff including a limited edition poster that is unavailable any other way.

8. Scott - June 18, 2010


I really like your post. I’m getting back into collecting vinyl after many years. Like yourself, I love the process of actually putting an LP on and I’ve found that I’m spending a lot more time listening to my music now and I’m really listening! Not just pottering about with a noise in the background.

I’m wondering what you think of the quality of these 60th Anniversary re-issues? I’ve read a lot of negative comments about them online but I’m not sure… there are so many great albums! It would be so disappointing if they sound terrible.


oktyabr - July 2, 2010

Thanks Scott. I think the opportunity to purchase a brand spanking new pressing of an album that might otherwise be near impossible to find a great thing. I suspect that most of the people with negative comments about the 60th Ann. re-issues already have mint copies of the originals in their collections and are simply upset about the non-exclusivity created by the new re-issues (and the potential for a drop in value of the “collectors” originals).

Acoustically I think they are for the most part VERY good and in some cases even better than the originals. I love my Dark Side of the Moon re-issue so much that I bought a second copy just to archive (along with a somewhat older and worn original). Re-issue usually means re-mastering and the current pressing technologies are much improved over those used fifty to sixty years ago.

9. eyen - June 18, 2010

I still keep a collection of the vinyl records but sad to say it is dificult finding a player in the Philippines…. hoping still to find one if the price is right… not too pricey since nowadays dvd players are very affordable.

oktyabr - July 2, 2010

Hi eyen!

I have read a lot about the interest in vinyl in the Philippines and the lack of good resources. Perhaps there is a local vinyl collectors club and if not it certainly sounds like it’s about time there was one!

10. eyen - July 2, 2010

yup! we still have a lot of DJs around who does the ‘mix scratch’ using turntables but these are way expensive for home use 😦 any interesting topic to start or write about? suggestions please, then this way i can get attention and have it printed in our local daily newspaper/magazine (i use to work and write for a local daily news).
thanks for reply. i do see vinyl used as ‘mixed art’ cut into pieces by artist to place on their artwork/paitning… (ouch, what a waste?!)

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