Head to the Vinyl Beat website to check out extensive LP label guides and wild cover galleries!
I. Use 90% proof isopropyl alcohol, which can be bought at any drug store. Don’t get rubbing alcohol as it contains oil.
A. Fill a spray bottle with the isopropyl alcohol.
B. Spray alcohol on a soft washcloth or microfiber cloth.
II. View your record under a 100 watt desk lamp in an otherwise dark room to see the vinyl.
You don’t want any ambient light because it masks the true condition. Hold the record with one hand without touching the grooved surface and use your chest as the anchor.
III. Wipe the record and don’t be afraid to rub fairly hard to clean off fingerprints and smudges.
A. This works for vinyl LPs and 45s.
B. Don’t ever use alcohol on 78s, as they’re made from shellac. To clean 78s, use a damp soapy wash cloth, then rinse. Try to keep the water off the labels as much as possible. Stack in a dish rack to dry.
IV. What about record cleaning products?
A. Amoeba sells them and they’re fine, but not as thorough or as inexpensive as this method.
B. Record Washing Machines, such as the VPI, are definitely a step up, but are more for audiophiles. They are generally expensive, time consuming and cumbersome, but they do a better job of sucking dirt out of the grooves.
V. After cleaning, store your records in a plastic outer sleeve.
A. Regular sleeves are fine.
B. Japanese resealable mylar sleeves not only look great but they seal up. This protects your vinyl against one of its five natural enemies, which are:
2. Water – Resealable sleeves can protect against water
As a music fan and lifelong record collector, I love the opportunity to join Amoeba buyers when they travel to check out large privately-owned record collections to potentially scoop up and get onto the shelves at Amoeba Music's three stores. For me, flipping through record collections is always fun. I get a kick out of looking at album covers, spotting records that I already know and/or own, along with ones I have never seen nor heard of. Such was the case earlier this week when I joined Amoeba Marc just outside of New York City to check out a moderate sized record collection consisting of mostly LPs from the '70's through the early '90's and ranging in genres. Our job was to check out the collection to see if it had records Amoeba customers would want (it did) and then to pack it up and ship it back safely (there's an art to shipping large quantities of records without them encountering any damage) to Amoeba's Hollywood store where they will begin making their way into the vinyl isles within a week.
The first record collection buy for Amoeba that I was a part of was a few years back in Queens, NY when we packed and shipped a 30,000 unit (mostly vinyl) collection cross country back to Cali. That was a large collection but not compared to one that Amoeba Marc and crew shipped from Ohio earlier this year. That one numbered 80,000 records, which is a lot to pack and ship. In comparison, this latest collection acquired by Amoeba was relatively modest in scale. It numbered 3,200 12" records (90% albums with the balance in 12" singles) and around 750 7" singles, plus a short stack of 10" singles/EPs. That' a little over three quarters of a ton in weight; something I learned from Peanut Butter Wolf who released the 2001 album My Vinyl Weighs A Ton. That album's title, he informed me in a previous Amoeblog on this topic, was based on not just a play on words of the famous Public Enemy album but also his personal experience when he had to move and determine the weight of his vinyl for the trucking company. 4,000 LPs = 1 ton. The U-Haul "small" size box (the best size box for record packing/shipping) holds approx 100 albums and weighs approx 60 lbs.
Promoting one's logo and style has always been a concern if not a priority of any creative business, especially the music business. To have your record store or record label's graphic sensibility out in the world is like a tag, a notice that, "we exist righteously", and "take a look at us, we are cool and you want to be part of this!". What better way to do this than to attach your graphics onto the outside of an LP's inner sleeve living in eternity with the record snugly inside. Or, to have the store's bag carried out onto the street by your loyal customers with your logo beaming out at the universe. Now that's promotion, or perhaps simply an affirmation of being in the moment.
Here is a 10-year collection of various record store and record label's logo and graphic style across the eras, mostly committed to an LP's inner sleeve, and some retail shopping bags inclusive, logos singing raucously or whispering of the quality within. With trends and budgets shifting moment to moment, this collection becomes a small guide to the attraction of it for everyman's taste. What do folks think will look good? How will they remember our business? As I deal with old record collections and their ephemera daily, it's always a wonderful gift to have an exotic sleeve pop up from accross the country, or even the world. Records have always been a universally traded entertainment, and it's becoming more so by the month now.
So, this Record Store Day, sit back and find your favorites within the trove of typographical time. Just browsing these photos fills me with hope.
I can't tell you how many times people ask for Manu Chao music on vinyl. So it's my duty to inform you that Because Music out of France is re-releasing most of Manu Chao catalog on LP. All the early Manu Chao's catalog on CD as well as the original LPs have been long out of print and sell for collector's prices. Six of his titles, Clandestino, Promxima Estacion: Esperanza, La Radiolina, Radio Bemba Sound System, Baionarena, and Siberie M'Etait Conteee, his all French language album that was never released on LP, will be released November 12th. All releases are double LPs (Baionarena will be a triple LP) that will come with a CD version of the album.
The entire vinyl collection of one of the greatest DJs of our time is going on sale today at Amoeba Hollywood. Internationally known DJ, Cut Chemist, decided to sell his entire record collection a few weeks back to Amoeba Hollywood. The collection is approximately 40 thousand LPs, 12s, 45s and acetates, which has been hidden in the Amoeba warehouse underneath stacks of clearance DVD's so that no employees would get to them before the public. Also, as part of the agreement that Amoeba has with Cut Chemist, we agreed that would keep the sale of his collection a secret until today. This was done at Cut's request, so that everyone would get an equal chance at buying these records with no special preferences given to employees, famous DJs or private collectors.
As you can imagine, the collection is immense, with every record you could ever want from any genre you can name. Rare funk 45s, first edition Reggae and Hip-Hop records, obscure private press Free Jazz and folk LPs, International records from Africa, Brazil and Colombia, with every great Salsa, Cumbia and Afro-Beat record ever made. Also many first edition punk/post punk and goth records (which I didn't know he collected) and every collectible soundtrack, prog and psyche LPs that one could ever want. About seventy five percent of these records that I saw would go for hundreds of dollars on E-Bay, and this is just the first few crates into this incredible collection!