How Records Are Made

Posted by V.B., May 4, 2011 10:59am | Post a Comment
To check out extensive LP label and price guides, head to the Vinyl Beat website!

As you may have heard, vinyl is in the midst of a major comeback and is threatening to become more than just a niche phenomenon. took a virtual field trip to a pressing plant. We found that manufacturing records is a labor intensive, antiquated process that reached its zenith forty years ago.  However, since vinyl is still the best medium to hear music, the pressing plant lives on.

Watch a wonderful 1942 documentary here: Part 1 and Part 2.

How vinyl records are made - Part 1:

How vinyl records are made - Part 2:

Rainbo Records from Canoga Park:

The Chambers Brothers - The First Great Black Rock Band

Posted by V.B., April 1, 2011 05:17pm | Post a Comment

chambers brothers the time has come

Also known as the founders of “Rock Gospel,” the Chambers Brothers always went for feeling and excitement in their songs. It didn’t hurt that Lester Chambers has one of the most soulful voices ever.  While Sly is rightly lauded for combining funk and psychedelic sounds, it was still soul music, not rock. The unheralded Chambers Brothers put gospel soul into their unique brand of rock music.

The Brothers had been kicking around L.A. for ten years before they finally landed a slot at the Newport Folk Festival. They brought the house down, landed a deal with Columbia, went electric, and eventually had a top 10 album with The Time Has Come!

"Time Has Come Today"

"Going Uptown"

Early "People Get Ready" on Shindig with washtub bass!

"Time Has Come Today" covered by The Ramones

The Spotnicks, The Shadows & The Ventures - When Instrumental Bands Ruled the World

Posted by V.B., March 8, 2011 03:55pm | Post a Comment
To check out extensive LP label and price guides, head to the Vinyl Beat website!


It looks like the Spotnicks must have influenced DEVO! This wacky early ‘60s Swedish band was the number two instrumental band in Europe behind the Shadows.


The Shadows were originally Cliff Richards’ backing band. John Lennon said, “before Cliff and the Shadows, there had been nothing worth listening to in British music.” Their instrumental career began with “Apache.”


Since we’re playing “Apache,” here are some other famous versions. Below is the 1961 hit version in the U.S. by Jorgen Ingmann, a Danish guitar player.

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Grading and Other Rants

Posted by V.B., February 8, 2011 05:01pm | Post a Comment
To check out extensive LP label and price guides, head to the Vinyl Beat website!
gilberto lopez
“When some yahoo says his album is V++, what the hell does that mean?”

Grading is a record collector’s biggest pet peeve, as it’s rarely accurate or biased in our favor. There are two types of grading -- aural and visual -- and since probably 90% of all used purchases are made without listening to the record, collectors have come to rely on the seller’s visual grading, which leads to many problems. Nobody uses the same lighting system for inspection, there’s no standardization as to what that condition translates to in written grades, and then there’s absolutely no guarantee that an album that looks to be in a certain condition will actually sound that way. Aural grading is a much more accurate barometer of a record’s condition, but there’s still variation between stereo systems, the quality of the styli, and how different ears tolerate varying degrees of ambient noise. It’s unrealistic to expect sellers to play grade their vinyl, becernest tubbause it takes a lot of time. And then, even if a record sounds good but looks awful, like some ‘50s albums I’ve encountered, most people don’t want them because there’s very little resale value.

I do some shopping on eBay, and the worst problem is that half the sellers don’t even define their grading criteria. So when some yahoo says his album is V++, what the hell does that mean? For some sellers, that’s their second highest grade and only befits a near perfect album, but for others, it’s only the fourth highest grade behind M, NM, and E. I would lobby for some kind of standardization, but how would you define the gradations? I like a 10 point system (with 10 being the highest), but the reality is that only the top five numbers matter; nobody lists an album as a 4. So, maybe a 5 point system… Speaking of grading, Neil Umphred, who curated the early Goldmine price guides, used to define the VG (Very Good) grade as Very God Awful! The point is that if sellers don’t include their grading criteria in their listings, their gradernest tubbes are meaningless.

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Vinyl Addiction

Posted by V.B., January 20, 2011 05:17pm | Post a Comment
To check out extensive LP label and price guides, head to the Vinyl Beat website!
 anna king neighborhood childrn
“You’re spending that much on records?” she gasped, as I plunked down $75 after my employee discount. 
rolling stones greatest hits
She had discovered a few knickknacks on her shopping expedition, but she’d been far more frugal than I. Of course if I hadn’t dawdled in the dollar vinyl section on the way out, I could have waited for her outside and bluffed my way through the expenditures conversation. The big treasure I found was an original 1966 Dutch Rolling Stones Greatest Hits LP with a unique cover -- only $35! I’d never seen it before in my life, how cool is that? It needed to come home with me. That’s one of my collecting adages -- “if you’ve never seen it before, BUY IT; you might never see it again.” It wasn’t in great shape, and of course I had all the music already, but with an item like that, it’s more about the gestalt.
Everyone has vices. I don’t smoke, do drugs, drink excessively, chase women or buy clothes. But, guilty as charged, I do spend too much money on records. Amoeba sells an “I bought too many records at Amoeba Music” bumper sticker. But that’s untrue, because as all collectors know, you can’t have too many records. Each new find leads to exciting new musical directions. One of my latest passions is 60s garage rock from around the world, which is mostlyyardbirds greatest hits uncharted territory – aside from the excellent Pekora books, which only show the rarest items. So, it’s basically a treasure hunt.
Every record collector starts with a great love for the music. At some point you start buying records, innocently enough. Soon you’ve got a lot of them, then a lot more. Then a whole lot more. Once the collector gene kicks in, it’s hard to turn back. Suddenly you’re buying records not for the music, but simply because they fit in the collection. If you own the first five Yardbirds albums, you need the Greatest Hits, just because it fits. Besides, it’s an original yellow label Epic, and wonder of wonders, it’s even mono! This phenomena isn’t so strange. Most hobbies are all about being a completest, with dabs of beauty and esthetics thrown in for good measure. Think stamp collecting, baseball cards, etc. The wonderful thing about record collecting is that we can be just as nerdy as any other collector, but we can also HEAR our collections, as well as see and categorize them. Try listening to your stamp collection, buddy.
This blog is here to chat about everything under the sun related to collecting vinyl. Thanks for reading. If you’re a vinyl collector please check out for price and label guides.
 laura nyro todd rundgren
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