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Sunday, 23 February 2014

Bachelor’s Thesis about Vinyl in the Digital Age

almost a year has passed since i got my bachelors degree, and finally the translation of the unabbreviated version of ‘Research of the Current Status of Vinyl Records in Context of the Internet’ is finished. that means i translated everything i had written for this paper in the first place and not only the parts i handed in to get the degree (it had to be shortened because the allowed number of pages was limited). Continue reading

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Saturday, 8 March 2014

My New HMV 101 Gramophone

P1070046
 it was in early december that i decided to look for a gramophone on ebay again. i wanted to have one for a couple of years by then, but most of my money went into records instead. and of course, with gramophones, you have to be lucky to get one for a decent price and in a decent condition.

to my surprise, during my first quick search i found a black HMV 101 on ebay starting at £110. i gave it a try, and to my even greater surprise i was the only bidder and won it for the starting price on 15th dec 2013.
 

P1070043
 the little device arrived by mail a couple of days later and i couldnt have been happier – it was SO beautiful! such a classy design, and looking absolutely fabulous even after some 80 years. of course i had already bought some steel needles and wanted to listen to some of the 78s that i had been collecting all the time without being able to play them.
 

P1070044

even the original key for the lock was included!

 
P1070045
 as it turned out, the gramophone hadnt been serviced in a long time (meanwhile i know that it hadnt been serviced at all since it was built). back then, graphite grease had been used as a lubricant for the springs, which is a quite good lubricant – but can you imagine what that stuff turns into after 80 years? well, the result was that the main spring, due not being properly lubricated, was too weak to spin the platter under the heavy sound box, so the platter would stop once the sound box was lowered onto the record.
 

P1070047

quality brand

 
P1070050

and real vintage!

 

fortunately i knew someone who owns and fixes a lot of gramophones and so i took my new treasure there and two weeks later i picked it up, not only fully cleaned and re-greased, but also with all the metal and wood parts polished. the leathercloth case had also been given a treatment. i still have to fix the leather handle, but at least it is in such a good condition that it doesnt need to be replaced.

here are some pictures of the single parts being restored:
 

WP_20140227_005

the main spring. its a huge and strong spring, i would never dare to handle such a thing myself. i think its better to have somebody do it who has a lot of experience, so no one gets hurt :-) you can see the dried remains of the graphite grease (well, in fact only graphite was left). the guy i took it to said he had never ever seen a spring and a motor that dry. he even had to let it soak in before he could clean it.

 

WP_20140226_017

the motor being dismantled

 

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here you can see the spring drum at the top in the background

 

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these parts are for starting and stopping the platter (hand brake) and for adjusting its speed

 

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and this is the crank and the sound box

 

no parts needed to be replaced, not even the sound box. according to the guy who did this marvelous job my gramophone is a late type of the HMV 101 and must have been assembled shortly before this type was replaced by the HMV 102. he assumes that it was built around 1928/29. WOW! thats even older than i thought it was, i had thought it wasnt built before 1930 because thats when this brake mechanism was introduced (so i read).
 

P1070048
P1070049
 well, now it was time to finally play some really old records! i have around forty 78s lying around i had never played them before. the oldest record i have is from 1928. here are two of my favourites, recorded with my mobile phone. (you might need a proxy to watch them, as theyre blocked in some countries. try proxtube for instance)
 

if you are a fan of the movie ‘the blues brothers’ like i am, you will be familiar with this song. its hard to believe that it was almost fifty years old when that movie was shot, which is now 34 years old itself. and here it is, the original 1931 recording of ‘minnie the moocher’:

 

this is also a song most people will know. elvis presley covered it a year later or so, and i think this version is a bit rawer and tougher than his. here is ‘hound dog’, by willie mae ‘big mama’ thornton:

 
recording it with a cellphone and the file conversion lowered the sound quality a bit, the gramophone has a much better sound in reality, and – you would not believe how loud it plays! there are three types of needles (loud, medium and soft) and i used soft tone needles in these videos. i tried a medium one once and i went to the next room because it was so incredibly loud!
 
P1070051

the speed can be adjusted next to the platter

 
P1070055

heres the sound box without a needle in it

 
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and here it is placed onto the record

 
P1070056
P1070061
P1070062

this is the handle i still have to fix

 

it is a lot of fun to watch this little thing playing. and although it is a simple technique and very easy to understand, it still amazes me that it produces such a great and powerful sound without electricity! definitely the coolest toy for grown ups :-)

 

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Sunday, 12 January 2014

VA: Rock Sessions Volume 15


this one and the two posts below are the last three volumes of a set of compilation CDs i made for a friend a couple of years ago. there are NO music downloads, i just wanted to post the covers i made for the CDs back then. i hope you like them :-)

click here to see the previous volumes.

 
tracklist:

  1. Back in the U.S.S.R. ∙ The Beatles ∙ 1968
  2. Hey Gyp (Dig the Slowness) ∙ Belfast Gypsies ∙ 1967
  3. Crawling Up a Hill (live) ∙ John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers ∙ 1964
  4. I Ain’t Done Wrong (live) ∙ The Yardbirds ∙ 1965
  5. Berry Rides Again ∙ Steppenwolf ∙ 1968
  6. Our Home ∙ Bang ∙ 1971
  7. I’m So Glad ∙ Cream ∙ 1966
  8. Dark Side of the Mushroom ∙ Chocolate Watchband ∙ 1967
  9. Spoonful ∙ Howlin’ Wolf ∙ 1968
  10. Thorjon ∙ The Electric Prunes ∙ 1969
  11. Blind ∙ Deep Purple ∙ 1969
  12. White Room ∙ Cream ∙ 1968
  13. Blues News ∙ Jesse Harper ∙ 1969
  14. Let’s Work Together ∙ Canned Heat ∙ 1969
  15. Bring It on Home ∙ Led Zeppelin ∙ 1969
  16. Listen, Learn, Read on ∙ Deep Purple ∙ 1968
  17. Hall of the Mountain King ∙ The Who ∙ 1967
  18. Lady Orange Peel ∙ The Attack ∙ 1968
  19. Jaguar and Thunderbird ∙ The Troggs ∙ 1966
  20. Lemming Song ∙ Nazz ∙ 1968

 
 

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Sunday, 12 January 2014

VA: Rock Sessions Volume 14


just a cover art i made some years ago for a friend, no download

click here to see the previous volumes.

 
tracklist:

  1. I Am the Walrus ∙ The Beatles ∙ 1967
  2. Mr. Universe ∙ Episode Six ∙ 1968
  3. Silver Tongue ∙ Humble Pie ∙ 1969
  4. Wasted Union Blues ∙ It’s a Beautiful Day ∙ 1969
  5. Wring That Neck ∙ Deep Purple ∙ 1968
  6. Silence of the Morning ∙ Glass Sun ∙ 1968
  7. In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida ∙ Iron Butterfly ∙ 1968
  8. Problems ∙ Red Dirt ∙ 1970
  9. Castles Made of Sand ∙ The Jimi Hendrix Experience ∙ 1967
  10. She Said, She Said ∙ The Beatles ∙ 1966
  11. Hold on ∙ Les Fleurs De Lys ∙ 1969
  12. Foggy Notion ∙ The Velvet Underground ∙ 1969
  13. Are You Gonna Be There (at the Love-in) ∙ Chocolate Watchband ∙ 1967
  14. Introspection Part One ∙ The End ∙ 1969
  15. I’m Your Witch Doctor ∙ Them ∙ 1967
  16. Barabajagal ∙ Donovan ∙ 1969
  17. I Feel Free ∙ Cream ∙ 1966
  18. Susie Q ∙ The Rolling Stones ∙ 1964
  19. Do You Remember Walter? ∙ The Kinks ∙ 1968
  20. Obviously 5 Believers ∙ Bob Dylan ∙ 1966

 
 

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Sunday, 12 January 2014

VA: Rock Sessions Volume 13


just a cover art i made some years ago for a friend, no download

click here to see the previous volumes.

 
tracklist:

  1. Need You ∙ Lyd ∙ 1970
  2. Purple ∙ Steve Morgen ∙ 1969
  3. Dirty Old Man (at the Age of Sixteen) ∙ Them ∙ 1967
  4. You Really Got Me ∙ The Kinks ∙ 1964
  5. Shakin’ All Over ∙ The Swinging Blue Jeans ∙ 1964
  6. Fortune Teller ∙ Thee Sixpence ∙ 1966
  7. I’m a Loser ∙ The Beatles ∙ 1964
  8. 4th Time Around ∙ Bob Dylan ∙ 1966
  9. Girl with No Eyes ∙ It’s a Beautiful Day ∙ 1969
  10. Coming into Los Angeles (live) ∙ Arlo Guthrie ∙ 1969
  11. Buttermilk Boy ∙ Humble Pie ∙ 1969
  12. I’m Not Talking (live) ∙ The Yardbirds ∙ 1965
  13. Glass Onion ∙ The Beatles ∙ 1968
  14. Double Dare ∙ Lyd ∙ 1970
  15. Anyone’s Daughter ∙ Deep Purple ∙ 1971
  16. Throw Down a Line ∙ The Jeff Beck Group ∙ 1969
  17. Whole Lotta Love ∙ Led Zeppelin ∙ 1969
  18. Born Under a Bad Sign ∙ The Apple Pie Motherhood Band ∙ 1968
  19. Angeline ∙ Genesis ∙ 1968
  20. Crest of Wave ∙ Rory Gallagher ∙ 1972

 
 

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Sunday, 12 January 2014

The Music Machine: (Turn On) The Music Machine (US 1966)

The Music Machine - (Turn On) The Music Machine 

Original Sound – OSR LPS 8875 (US)

 

one of my favourite garage rock-era albums of all time. i bought this lovely copy from an ebay seller in greece almost a year ago. not quite cheap but totally worthwhile. the cover has some faint ringwear, but thats all, otherwise both cover and record are near mint. just beautiful!
 
 
The Music Machine - (Turn On) The Music Machine 
 

this is the stereo version of the first issue. the mono version is rarer and more sought-after, thus also more expensive. when the mono version of a record is generally valued higher than the stereo version, it is often the case that the stereo version is “fake” stereo (recorded in mono and then re-processed with sometimes disputable results) and these fake stereo recordings mostly do sound crappy.
however, in this case i do not regret my buying decision, i’d take the stereo version again and i recommend it to everyone who wants to buy an original copy of this album.
the sound is clear, crisp and powerful. a high quality recording transferred onto high quality vinyl. this one is definitely one of the best-sounding records from the mid 60s in my collection!

 

The Music Machine - (Turn On) The Music Machine 
 

The Music Machine - (Turn On) The Music Machine 
 

unlike the groups second album, this first one contains quite a number of cover songs. they are not bad, dont get me wrong (especially this rendition ‘hey joe‘ is one of my favourite versions right after hendrix’), but what really rocks here is the self written material. first of all theres ‘talk talk‘, which is undoubtedly the groups most famous number.

 

A1 Talk Talk 1:56
A2 Trouble 2:11
A3 Cherry Cherry 3:12
A4 Taxman 2:33
A5 Some Other Drum 2:29
A6 Masculine Intuition 2:08
     
B1 The People in Me 2:53
B2 See See Rider 2:29
B3 Wrong 2:18
B4 96 Tears 2:17
B5 Come on in 2:54
B6 Hey Joe 4:12

 

The Music Machine - (Turn On) The Music Machine 
 

The Music Machine - (Turn On) The Music Machine 
 

along with the already mentioned ‘hey joe’ my favourite tracks from the album are ‘masculine intuition‘, ‘come on in‘ and ‘some other drum‘. listen to two of them here (well, this time in mono) and enjoy this milestone with the marvelous singing voice of the – sadly now deceased – sean bonniwell!
 
(as always: depending on the country from which you access the internet you may need a youtube-unblocker to watch this. try proxtube, it did the trick for me)

 
‘some other drum’:

 

 
‘hey joe’:

 

 
if you cant find an original copy for a decent price, there are several re-issues to chose from (because this album is so popular this list is far from being exhaustive): Impact – IMLP 4.00262 J from 1981 (coloured vinyl), Big Beat – WIK 17 from 1983, or Performance – PERF 397, from 1993.

 

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Sunday, 12 January 2014

The Churls: The Churls (CAN 1968)

The Churls - The Churls 

A&M – SP-4169 (US) promotional copy

 

a nice near mint copy i bought in december 2012. to be honest, this is one of the LPs i only bought because of a single track on it. the rest of the album is not bad, but doesnt kick ass as much as that one song, thus only 4 out of 5 stars for this LP.
 
 
The Churls - The Churls 
 

this self-titled record of the churls is the first of two LPs the group recorded. they are from canada, but the albums were issued in the US only at the time (as far as i know), and you often find promotional copies (like this one). they obviously didnt hit the big fame, but their output is decent.

 

The Churls - The Churls 
 

The Churls - The Churls 
 

my favourite track is the third one on the second side, ‘time piece‘. i added it as a youtube clip at the end of this post, and i assure you you wont be disappointed! its a heavy psych rocker i always like to put on compilations together with stuff like ultimate spinach or captain beefheart. the in my opinion second best song on the album is ‘gypsy lee‘ which you will also find below.

 

A1 Eventual Love 2:45
A2 Crystal Palace 3:24
A3 Think I Can’t Live Without You 3:16
A4 Princess Mary Margaret 3:28
A5 City Lights 2:58
A6 Fish on a Line 6:05
     
B1 Weeks Go By 3:07
B2 Where Will You Be 2:30
B3 Time Piece 4:46
B4 Reservations 2:08
B5 Gypsy Lee 5:31

 

The Churls - The Churls 
 

The Churls - The Churls 
 

(as always: depending on the country from which you access the internet you may need a youtube-unblocker to watch this. try proxtube, it did the trick for me)

 
‘time piece’:

 

 
‘gypsy lee’:

 
 

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Saturday, 30 November 2013

More News

 

the record carrying cases i had bought on ebay have arrived :-) one of them came decorated with jimi hendrix stamps by some previous owner. looks lovely, i’m gonna leave them on.

 

 
 

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Thursday, 28 November 2013

News

 

hi folks, this is the pile of records i took home from the record fair at the jaarbeurs in utrecht, netherlands, last saturday. i had spent all the money i took with me in less than three hours – what a great day :-)

 

The Balloon Farm
7″ A Question Of Temperature

Laurie
3405
USA  1967
The Barbarians
7″ Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl

Laurie
LR 3308
USA 1965
The Changin’ Times
7″ How Is The Air Up There

Philips
40341
USA 1965
The Count Five
LP Psychotic Reaction

Double Shot
DSS-5001
USA 1966
Simon Dupree & The Big Sound
7″ Kites

Parlophone
R5646
GB 1967
Kaleidoscope
7″ (promo) Tempe Arizona

Epic
5-10500
USA 1969
Jerry Lee Lewis
7″ Great Balls Of Fire

London American Recordings
HLS 8529 (early 60s reissue)
GB 1958
Postively Thirteen O’clock
7″ Psychotic Reaction

Hanna-Barbera
HBR-500
USA 1967
The Rolling Stones
7″ Paint It Black

Melodija
M62-36979
UDS 1979
Bob Seger & The Last Heard
7″ Persecution Smith

Cameo
C-465
USA 1966
The Electric Prunes
LP Underground

Reprise
RS-6262
USA 1967
The Standells
LP Try It

Tower
ST 5098
USA 1967
The Swamp Rats
7″ Psycho

Get Hip Archive Series
GHAS-21 (2003 reissue)
USA 1966
The Tidal Waves
7″ (promo) Farmer John

Hanna-Barbera
HBR-482
USA 1966
The Trolls
7″ Every Day And Every Night

ABC
45-10823
USA 1966
Willie And The Red Rubber Band
LP We’re Comin’ Up
RCA Victor
LSP-4193
USA 1969

 

definitely the best find of the day was the psychotic reaction LP by the count five. both cover and record are in a stunning near mint condition, and the record also plays near mint! what a blast :-)
i also had some nice chats with record dealers and enjoyed meeting some friends there. jaarbeurs days are definitely the best days to look forward to each year :-)

in other news, i finally received the two 7″ record racks from i-cubes (i first tried to order them about a year ago. the company would not reply to the several emails i sent them (on their website you can only order to UK mainland). then, after calling them on the phone, i received and paid their invoice on 9th october – and the racks arrived last week… too bad this is the only company manufacturing these things). i had ordered the white one two or three years before without any problems; very weird.
anyhow, now i can throw away all those shoe boxes i used as an interim solution and still have room for about 250 45s! :D

 
 

i also bought some 45s carrying cases, because in a nearby town there is now a regulars table for vinyl buffs at a place called ‘rekorder’. i have been there three or four times and its really nice – its not limited to any specific genres, everybody can bring their records and play them. this event is every second wednesday and i really like it, because its a nice way to share all the great music one has collected over the years :-)

and last but not least i am happy to tell you that there are now only 12 pages left to translate in my bachelor thesis. i might not finish them this year (lots of work to do at work…), but i will get very close :-)

 
 

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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

July: July (UK 1968)

July - July (promo) 

Epic – BN 26416 (US) promotional issue

 

this LP took over ‘the original wizard’s position as the ‘crown jewel’ of my collection when i bought it this summer. i was lucky to get it for such a fair price ($174), which is mainly due to the flaws on the rear side of the cover (doesnt matter very much to me though). the vinyl, however, plays just beautifully; ranging from EX- to M-. i doubt that there are truly dead-silent copies of the US issue out there, so i guess this is about as fantastic as it gets!
 
 
July - July (promo) 
 

as far as i know, there are 5 original issues of this record from four different countries:

it could also be 4 different issues if you count UK mono and stereo as one issue. however, the UK issues are insanely expensive in mono as well as in stereo. a copy would eat up more than half of my monthly salary (of which i still have to pay rent, food, etc), and i havent reached the point yet at which i am willing to pay such an enormous amount for a single record :-) (that point will come – i am awfully sure.. haha)

 

July - July (promo) 
 

thus, i was quite happy to find out that at least the US issues are somewhat more affordable – and in stereo! (by the way this is the only issue with a cover variation (black background) and i like the ‘normal’ cover more, but this is sort of a trade-off here)
i know many collectors always prefer mono issues over stereo ones (seems to be ‘good form’), and i admit that some stereo copies sound really crappy compared to the mono ones (eg. the sonics, who’s second album i recently acquired). but given that the recording was made professionally and flawless, i always prefer stereo. i love the depth, and the way you can experience how the sound changes when you walk around the room while listening, etc etc :-)
well, so i always try out the stereo issue first, and if i dont like it i get the mono one. no need to do so in this case! while some US records sound rather poor in general, this one does not. in fact it plays so amazing that the sound – excuse my language – just KICKS ASS!!!

 

A1 My Clown 3:21
A2 Dandelion Seeds 4:29
A3 Jolly Mary 3:20
A4 Hallo to Me 2:56
A5 You Missed It All 2:48
A6 The Way 3:30
     
B1 To Be Free 2:46
B2 Move on Sweet Flower 3:23
B3 Crying Is for Writers 2:34
B4 I See 2:59
B5 Friendly Man 3:09
B6 A Bird Lived 2:38

 

July - July (promo) 
 

‘july’ (the groups only LP by the way) has always been one of my favourite psychedelic albums, and its a shame that there was no further output by the band. but anyway we have the great opportunity to let our minds fly away like a puffy little dandelion seed gliding over two sides of sitar-swinging black plastic – now get aboard the smashing little boat!
the LP is all-killer-no-filler, so picking songs was hard, but here we go:
 
(as always: depending on the country from which you access the internet you may need a youtube-unblocker to watch this. try proxtube, it did the trick for me)

 
 
‘dandelion seeds’:

 

 
‘you missed it all’:

 

 
you have to be lucky to obtain an original copy of this album for a reasonable price, but of course there are alternatives. this album is quite well-known, so there are many re-issues to choose from. for instance Bam Caruso – KIRI 097 from 1987, or Guerssen – GUESS080, a 180g issue from 2011.

 

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