US vinyl sales climb to 30-year high as CD sales plummet

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jserraglio
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US vinyl sales climb to 30-year high as CD sales plummet

Post by jserraglio » Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:03 am

https://thevinylfactory.com/news/us-vin ... year-high/

The highest since 1988.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has published its end-of-year report for 2018, with revenue from vinyl sales in the US reaching its highest point since 1988.

Climbing 8% from 2017, revenue from vinyl sales now accounts for a more than one third of all physical formats. CD sales revenue fell a staggering 34% to $698 million, the first time the format has generated less than $1 billion since 1986.

In the bigger picture, things were looking more positive, with overall revenue growing 12% to an estimated $9.8 billion. Much of this is down to a 30% rise in streaming revenue, which now accounts for 75% of all formats. By contrast, physical formats account for 12%, with digital downloads at just 11%.

And today a poster on the RMCR site noted something else interesting:
Sales of used vinyl have skyrocketed even more than brand-new vinyl. Unfortunately, there are no reliable sources tracking used vinyl sales since it's a very decentralized marketplace comprised of independent used-record stores, thrift stores and charity shops, library shops, craiglist ads, yard and garage sales. You'll notice that sought-after used LP titles get snapped up quickly, and thrift stores display more modest quantities of used LPs than they did a few years ago during the two-decade-long great vinyl dump.
Bucking the trend, I am dumping ALL my vinyl except, blues, jazz, pop, rock, folk and these three classical labels: Lyrita, Albany and Franklin Mint. All told, about 8-10,000 items.

Belle
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Re: US vinyl sales climb to 30-year high as CD sales plummet

Post by Belle » Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:28 am

I find that really strange; I ditched vinyl decades ago because my kids used to run into the stereo with their little plastic bikes and the records became shockingly damaged. What a salvation when CDs came along.

To tell truth, I'm fed up with the new technology. I bought expensive Heos computer speakerss which are activated by an App on my Android and it constantly dropped out and had to be re-installed. Today I pulled them out of the wall socket, packed them up and am giving them to number 2 son - for free. Absolutely terrible - and this heat is making me more short-tempered too. Cannot afford to think about the money I've wasted on these wretched things; boomy and bassy and they all but escaped the trash bin today!!

maestrob
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Re: US vinyl sales climb to 30-year high as CD sales plummet

Post by maestrob » Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:59 am

Belle wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:28 am
I find that really strange; I ditched vinyl decades ago because my kids used to run into the stereo with their little plastic bikes and the records became shockingly damaged. What a salvation when CDs came along.

To tell truth, I'm fed up with the new technology. I bought expensive Heos computer speakerss which are activated by an App on my Android and it constantly dropped out and had to be re-installed. Today I pulled them out of the wall socket, packed them up and am giving them to number 2 son - for free. Absolutely terrible - and this heat is making me more short-tempered too. Cannot afford to think about the money I've wasted on these wretched things; boomy and bassy and they all but escaped the trash bin today!!
Folks, I've stayed with CDs since they first started manufacturing those little miracles of sound in 1983 in Japan, and have never been disappointed in comparing them to LPs, downloads, or any other format. When I buy, I want a physical product with the best quality sound, whether the format is in or out of fashion. CDs to me are like hardbound books, made to last, with information about the recording right there if I need it. I don't understand this craze for fragile vinyl, with pops, ticks, scratches and distortion in the inner grooves. I'm pleased with my CD collection, and plan on acquiring more, as classical sales of CDs increased last year by 6%, I read recently here. Long live big boxes!

Belle
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Re: US vinyl sales climb to 30-year high as CD sales plummet

Post by Belle » Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:24 pm

I'd have to agree with this!! I remember when CDs were first produced; my daughter was born in the same month and that was 36 years ago this month. I remember my first one - Carlos Kleiber, Brahms #4 with VPO; a harsh and dry digital recording but what a cracker of a performance.

maestrob
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Re: US vinyl sales climb to 30-year high as CD sales plummet

Post by maestrob » Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:12 pm

Belle wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:24 pm
I'd have to agree with this!! I remember when CDs were first produced; my daughter was born in the same month and that was 36 years ago this month. I remember my first one - Carlos Kleiber, Brahms #4 with VPO; a harsh and dry digital recording but what a cracker of a performance.
Yes, Belle, and here it is, still in print! As for the harshness, people blame digital for a dry sound, yet I've found in all my years of listening that the digital medium simply reproduces faithfully what it is given, and if the master recording is open and spacious, then the disc sounds fine. Digital recording technology was developed years before CDs were manufactured (I think the first Sony digital recording was a live concert in Japan (1975?) w/Bernstein conducting Shostakovich V and Schumann IV, still available on DVD). Remember the Telarc label? They issued (on audiophile LPs) a Chopin disc by Malcolm Frager, and on another label a Wagner disc by Erich Leinsdorf that were really superior in quality.

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Belle
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Re: US vinyl sales climb to 30-year high as CD sales plummet

Post by Belle » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:31 pm

No matter how good the level of playing equipment, this particular recording reaches a ceiling beyond which it cannot move; there's a lack of spacial dimension and, yes, I've always attributed that to early digital recordings. Many CDs recorded some years later still suffered from that dryness and harshness; and some to one degree or another, if not completely. It's been my biggest complaint about the digital process. Then there are ADD transfers; they didn't work too well either. Turning up the volume does nothing except produce some level of distortion. The highest level of digital sound recording is a feature of only a few CDs of mine, off the top of my head. There may be more but they don't come immediately to mind. Some of these are "The Magic Flute" with Akademie for Alte Musik Berlin/Rene Jacobs (a superb set altogether because of the details and libretto), 'The Nutcracker' with the BPO/Rattle and (same conductor) the Glyndebourne "Porgy and Bess" and Montreal/Dutoit's "Swan Lake" . It's obvious what these recordings have in common!! Other 'theatre' works also have a pretty high standard of recording quality, such as "Guilio Cesare" - a HIP version. Lastly, all the Chamber Orchestra of Europe Beethoven symphonies with Harnoncourt.

The others I have of absolutely superb recording quality are not classical music; The Concord Jazz recordings of George Shearing and Mel Torme (recorded in 1986) and performances of theatre classics; studio recording of "Pardon My English", "Strike up the Band" and Porter's "Kiss Me Kate. Then a single compilation; 'Leonard Bernstein's New York' with songs from his various shows. Magnificent recordiding quality. These are just some of the examples which come to mind.

The Eric Kunzel digital demonstration disc produced in the early CD era was very good; I still have it here, even though it isn't my music. This was the benchmark for early digital recordings and, from my experience, few lived up to that ideal. For some reason the promise was never really fulfilled. But the convenience of the CD itself is beyond question.

jserraglio
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Re: US vinyl sales climb to 30-year high as CD sales plummet

Post by jserraglio » Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:34 pm

I have a decidedly mid-fi system--all my equipment except an Oppo DVD/CD player was purchased used for less than $300. I prefer live recordings and go for performance over sound. That being said, here are my nominations for natural-sounding CDs and LPs irrespective of genre or date of recording:

On CD:
-- classical and jazz on the Reference Recordings label, esp. the Nojima and Dick Hyman issues
-- Tsuyushi Yamamoto Midnight Sugar on Three Blind Mice (Japan)
-- Frank Zappa's catalogue on Ryoko
-- Little Richard/Here’s Little Richard MFSL
-- Rudy Van Gelder's Blue Note reissues
-- Sarah Vaughan with Clifford Brown (1954) on EmArcy Japan
-- anything on Lyrita

On LP:
-- The Franklin Mint "100 Greatest Recordings of All Time" series. Fabulous pressings. I'm currently deep-sixing thousands of classical LPs. These I will never part with.
-- almost every single one of UK Decca's operas, regardless of recording date
-- anything on Lyrita

Belle
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Re: US vinyl sales climb to 30-year high as CD sales plummet

Post by Belle » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:55 pm

What an interesting and eclectic mix of recordings you have!! I agree that performance is more important than sound - absolutely. We were discussing the merits, or otherwise, of digital/CD. And better than any of these is the live concert experience, IMO!! This is how I felt about being in the Musikverein, Wiener Konzerthaus and all the other wonderful Vienna venues. There's no way any recording can substitute for those magnificent venues and experiences. And you people who are regular opera or concert-goers in NYC are extremely fortunate.

Yesterday I presented my program on the Beethoven 'middle period' Sonatas to an enthusiastic audience of about 35 people - most of them retired professionals across the spectrum including music, medicine, pharmacy, architecture, teaching and psychology. You could have heard a pin drop when I was talking to them about structure and innovation in those great Beethoven sonatas and I made this observation: 'thanks to recording technology we, all of us, can enjoy these (and other) works in perpetuity, listening to them over and over and over. In some respects we know these works better than the composer did himself and this affords the opportunity to examine their DNA in ways the composer would never have imagined, unless by musicological and scholarly research". Subject to that kind of intense scrutiny, the staggering fact is that they're nothing less than profoundly crafted and almost completely without error.

It's not like film; you can watch one over and over (they were never designed for this kind of scrutiny by the general public) but they often reveals flaws, whether that be continuity, 'crossing the line', bad edits etc. etc.

jserraglio
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Re: US vinyl sales climb to 30-year high as CD sales plummet

Post by jserraglio » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:30 am

Carlos Kleiber Complete Orchestral Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon
https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Orchest ... merReviews

Formats:
Audio CD, Blu-ray, September 9, 2014
Vinyl LP (12" album, 33 rpm), Limited Edition, September 30, 2014

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Belle
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Re: US vinyl sales climb to 30-year high as CD sales plummet

Post by Belle » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:27 pm

Absolutely wonderful to see these recordings from Kleiber but sad to realize that there are just so few for us to enjoy. The Brahms #4 is my standout; I never grow tired of that symphony nor that performance of it. And his recording on CD was found in the player of Kleiber's Audi shortly after he died; he'd obviously listened to it while driving on that final trip from Munich to Konjsica, Slovenia -where he died less than 24 hours after arrival, 15 years ago this July.

barney
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Re: US vinyl sales climb to 30-year high as CD sales plummet

Post by barney » Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:03 pm

I have everything Kleiber junior ever recorded for labels now owned by Universal. Yes, disappointly few, Sue.
I bought my first CD player on November 27, 1987 - I know that because I bought my first six CDs from the same shop the same day. I'm pleased to say the same shop is still thriving.
1. J.S. BachBrandenburg Concerto No. 4 BWV 1049Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, BWV 1050Brandenburg Concerto No. 6, BWV 1051English Concert, Trevor Pinnock1982, DG Archiv 410 501-2.

2. B. BartokConcerto for OrchestraDance SuiteChicago Symphony Orchestra, Georg Solti1981,Decca 400 052-2

3. L. Van BeethovenPiano Sonata 29 in B flat, Op 106, HammerklavierEmil Gilels1983, 48.29mDG 410 527-2

4. J. HaydnCello Concerto in C major, Hob VIIb:1Cello Concerto in D major, Hob VIIb:2Lynn Harrell, Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Neville Marriner1983, 1987, 53.58mEMI CDM 769009-2

5. W.A. Mozart, L. Van BeethovenWind quintet in E flat major, K452Wind quintet in E flat major, Op 16Vienna Wind Soloists, Andre Previn piano1985, 53.18mTelarc CD 80114

6. R. SchumannKinderszenen, Op 15Kreisleriana, Op 16Martha Argerich piano1984,DG 410 653-2
The next day I went to a second-hand classical LP and CD shop, and again invested wisely!

maestrob
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Re: US vinyl sales climb to 30-year high as CD sales plummet

Post by maestrob » Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:14 pm

Barney! What a good memory you have..... :!:

My first miniscule collection of CDs is contained in a small cabinet very precious to me. I bought my first player in 1984, but I forget the brand (Dual?) for $1000, a hefty sum in those days, but I was prosperous. My first purchases were at a Sam Goody here in Manhattan, and were actually historical recordings for $11.99 each disc:

Bruckner VIII (2 discs): Szell/Cleveland (Columbia)
Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde: Walter/Haefliger/Miller (Columbia)
Bruckner IV: Walter (Columbia)

I still have them, of course. They were produced in Japan in the first factory that made CDs, from 30ips master tapes burned directly onto the master CD, and the sound is still awesome. The minute I heard them, I went back to Sam Goody and bought more and the rest, as they say, is history. I also still have the original demo disc that came with the player, which featured both jazz and classical (Suitner's Beethoven) tracks. Still have that, also.

Belle
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Re: US vinyl sales climb to 30-year high as CD sales plummet

Post by Belle » Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:32 pm

I bought my first CD player and CDs in June, 1985 with a first-rate sound system. From 1979 I was buying the "Gramophone" (20 years!) and "Fanfare" magazines and keeping up to date with the latest in recordings and reviews. Consequently, when I started buying in 1985 (first one Kleiber Brahms #4) I had a great range to choose from and always bought them from shops. It was always difficult buying CDs when you lived outside these two capital cities. Up until I made those purchases in 1985 I had to intermittently use my somewhat damaged vinyl LPs and listen to the ABC-FM classical music network (the far easier option). But I still had 4 very small children (youngest 2) that year and, even then, it wasn't easy finding time to listen to music; as well, I'd started piano lessons in 1984 and university in 1985 - the latter barely a few months after my mother (living on the adjoining property) had died. I remember this time as frantically busy, and terribly tragic.

In 1983 I bought an old piano from a local farmer and the day we brought it home in my father's car and trailer was very funny; he had dismantled the keyboard and it sat across my mother's and my knees on the back seat. When we got it to our house and put it back together my mother immediately performed Grieg's "Wedding Day at Troldhaugen", after many many years of never playing it and entirely from memory. The old piano wobbled and creaked and moved along the timber floor and how we all laughed - but it endured Grieg and my early piano lessons!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MicFum-kWnU

Not very many months passed and we learned my mother had Pancreatic Cancer; by then I'd seriously started lessons on that old piano and I remember her weakly and somewhat tearfully observing to me, "this brings back very many memories of thousands of hours of lonely practice (from age 5) in that forbidding boarding school".

Ah; musical memories!! I still very much miss my mother and her wonderful sense of humour, lively wit and intelligence - and superb musicality. Her gift to me is a great love of music.

Wallingford
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Re: US vinyl sales climb to 30-year high as CD sales plummet

Post by Wallingford » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:38 am

As for myself, I was entranced by vinyl ever since my first record player 55 years ago--not merely the music, but the ways in which discs were pressed, and just watching them go round and round.

I'm one of those contributing to the high figures of used vinyl, ordering mainly over ebay and discogs.com. (...Am, however, annoyed at having about one skip per side on some of my orders.....don't know how the original owners had otherwise kept their LPs so well--i.e., no fingermarks and such, and yet there's still that one isolated hard scratch. I've invested in a Discwasher kit to see if my not cleaning them has been the problem.)

Otherwise, I'm embracing it all over again.
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

barney
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Re: US vinyl sales climb to 30-year high as CD sales plummet

Post by barney » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:00 am

maestrob wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:14 pm
Barney! What a good memory you have..... :!:

Thank you Brian. Just part of my general genius!
Actually, the first 6 CDs in my catalogue.

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