Sunday 12 October 2014

DIY Home Bar built from IKEA Stuff


It had been an aim of mine for some years now to build myself a bar at home for entertaining friends regularly, but somehow time and inspiration just simply did not allow for it. However several weeks ago I decided to stop procrastinating and just get down to it. The bar in the photo above is the final result and below I will explain how I got there.

Sunday 8 June 2014

Vinyl Feature: Pavarotti's Greatest Hits

Released in 1980 on the DECCA record label this was truly Pavarotti's greatest hits, showcasing the tenor maestro at his finest and doing what he did best.

I picked up this copy over the weekend from the Red Cross charity shop in Landskrona Sweden for the paltry sum of 10kr. They don't have a large selection of vinyl there, but I happen to know they have some great classical records in very good condition at the moment (including some more Pavarotti), but you will have to get there soon because I have them in my sights! ;-)

Mark Knopfler interview - Parkinson - BBC

Vintage Advertisement: Admiral Radio-Phonograph with Automatic Record Changer - 1941

Friday 6 June 2014

Vintage Advertisement: Fairchild Precision 440 - 1960

Vinyl Feature: Fame - Motion Picture Soundtrack - 1980

The soundtrack album from the movie Fame did exceptionally well both on the hit parades and in terms of awards. The album won the Academy Award for Best Music - Original Score. It was also nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music and a Grammy Award. Two songs, Out Here On My Own and Fame received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Original Song, with Fame going on to win the award.

Monday 2 June 2014

Vintage Advertisement: Pioneer M6500 music centre - 1976

Vinyl Feature: Fats Waller & His Rhythm - Handful Of Keys

Handful Of Keys by Thomas "Fats" Waller was released under the RCA Victor label and features a
compilation of the wonderful jazz sounds of Fats Waller & His Rhythm.

The album is a bit of a mystery to me however as there is another album using the exact same name but with a very different track listing that was released in 1929 under the same record label.

Friday 30 May 2014

Saturday 24 May 2014

Vinyl Feature: Billie Holiday - Billie Holiday

The tragic life of Billie Holiday is the stuff of jazz legend and this tragedy is accentuated through this album, her final recording before she died four months later at the age of 44. After her death the album was renamed "Last Recording", but was otherwise the exact same album.

Billie's voice on this record adds to the sense of finality with her sounding frail and weak through most of the album, and yet it is pure Billie Holiday and full of the soul and passion she always infused into her music. For me this album completes the collection of Billie Holiday LP's that I have and it simply wouldn't be the same without this addition.

Vintage Advertisement: Dual CS-505 Turntable - 1981

Friday 23 May 2014

Vintage Advertisement: RCA Records ad in Billboard Magazine - 1956

1956 RCA Records ad in Billboard Magazine hailing ELVIS PRESLEY as "the new singing rage":

Vinyl Feature: Lead Belly 2 - Storyville Blues Anthology vol. 12

This Lead Belly compilation album was released in Denmark in 1963 and was number 12 in the Storyville Blues Anthology. It is titled Lead Belly 2, and of course that means that there was a previous Lead Belly release in the same series, it was number 7 and I hope to find a copy of it some day.

I am a Lead Belly (and old time blues) fan so when I found this copy I was very thrilled, and the music certainly doesn't disappoint and contains some of his best recordings faithfully reproduced. I am a happy vinyl fan right now!

Thursday 22 May 2014

Vinyl Feature: Erroll Garner - plays all-time hits

Erroll Garner was distinctive in the jazz world as being entirely unable to read music, and everything he played was from memory. Despite this he was called "one of the most distinctive of all pianists" and a "brilliant virtuoso" by Scott Yanow of Allmusic. He also was also, apparently, Johnny Carson's favourite jazz musician and appeared on the Johnny Carson show several times.

This particular album, "Erroll Garner plays all-time hits" was his 33rd album and has a wonderful collection of hits from the era reinterpreted and delivered in true Errol Garner jazz piano style. It was released in 1965.

Vintage Advertisement: Pink Floyd The Piper at the Gates of Dawn - 1967

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Vinyl Feature: Neil Diamond - Diamonds

As far as I can see this album was not a worldwide release and was only manufactured under licence in the Netherlands and Germany. It was released in 1974 and essentially was a Neil Diamond compilation album.

My copy was manufactured in Western Germany by TELDEC (Telefunken-Decca).

The only info I could get about it was from Discogs, and they don't give any more info than I can get off the album cover... except that it was also made in the Netherlands.

Monday 12 May 2014

Vinyl Feature: Andy Gibb - Shadow Dancing

Shadow Dancing by Andy Gibb was released in April 1978 in the USA and only in September 1978 in the UK. Why? I have no idea...

I am not a great Andy Gibb fan and never owned one of his albums before, despite being a BeeGee's fan and having a couple of their LP's. However, this LP was sitting in it's original shrink wrap in the crates at a local second hand store when I was browsing around there recently and I simply couldn't resist the chance of purchasing guaranteed mint vinyl for 5 kr. ($0.76 US)!

Sunday 11 May 2014

Vintage Advertisement - Presto T-18 Turntable and SR-27 Tape Recorder - 1956

Vinyl Feature: Roger Whittaker - New world in the morning

This copy of Roger Whittaker's "New world in the morning" is a bit of a mystery to me because all on-line sources, including Wikipedia, have it listed as being released in 1971 under the EMI record label. However the copy I purchased this morning from Larssons Lager in Landskrona clearly says it was released under the Phillips record label in 1974. I assume this was some kind of a re-release but it is unusual to have the record label change from one release to the other...

Either way the track listing appears to be the same, and the recording quality on my 1974 edition is absolutely first class so you will not hear any complaints from me!

Monday 5 May 2014

Vintage Advertisement - Sony Walkman - 1982

Vinyl Feature: Placido Domingo - The Best of Domingo

The Best of Domingo by opera sensation Placido Domingo is a kind of "Greatest Hits" album and contains a number of very well known operatic pieces for the male tenor. This vinyl record was produced by Deutsche Grammophon in West Germany and released in 1982.

This copy, which I purchased from the Red Cross charity store in Landskrona, still has the original insert with all the lyrics and the vinyl record itself is in near mint condition. Not bad for a 10 kr. price tag!

Saturday 3 May 2014

Vintage Advertisement - Garrard SL 95 Synchro-Lab Automatic Transcription Turntable - 1967

Vinyl Feature: Julio Iglesias - 1100 Bel Air Place

1100 Bel Air Place was Julio Iglesias' first (mainly) English album and it was instrumental in giving him a
breakthrough into predominantly English speaking markets.

The album was released in February of 1984 and contained three hit singles, "To All the Girls I've Loved Before", "All of You" and "The Air That I Breathe".

Saturday 19 April 2014

Very creative Record Store Day posters for 2014!

I really love the creativity being displayed this year to advertise Record Store Day! Here are a bunch of my favourite posters:

Friday 18 April 2014

Vinyl Feature: Madonna - True Blue

True Blue was Madonna's third studio album and was released on June 30th 1986 by Sire Records. It reached a record breaking number one in 28 countries around the world and lingered for 34 weeks at the top of the European Top 100 Albums chart, the longest of any other album ever. It was the biggest selling album of the 1980s by a female artist and is still one of the best-selling albums of all time with more than 25 million copies sold.

All in all a great success!

Vintage Advertisement - Fidelitone Master Floating Point Needle - 1940's

Sunday 13 April 2014

Vintage Advertisement - K-TEL Disc-O-Matic - 1970's

Vinyl Feature: The Eagles - Hotel California

The iconic Hotel California was the fifth studio album by The Eagles and was released on the 8th of December 1976 under the Asylum Records label.

This album was the The Eagles best selling studio album with over 32 million copies sold worldwide, and it contained three major hit singles. The album was also ranked at 37 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Saturday 5 April 2014

How It's Made - Headphones

Vintage Advertisement - Sharp VZ-3000E - Early 1980's

Vinyl Feature: Phil Collins - But Seriously

The fourth studio album by Phil Collins was released on the 24th of November 1989 by Virgin Records in the UK and Ireland and Atlantic Records across the Atlantic in the US and Canada.

But Seriously turned out to be the best selling album in the UK in 1990 as well as topping the charts around the World. The first song on side 2, "Another Day In Paradise", also won the Record of the Year award at the 33rd Grammy awards.

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Looking for an affordable Turntable? Try out one of these!

From The Vinyl Factory:


A few months ago we rounded up the 8 best turntables for home listening aimed at the committed audiophile, in which 6 of the 8 were priced liberally between £850 and £15,000. Fine to gawp at, and perhaps even aspire to, but with the selection generating a fair bit of debate on the site, we decided to follow it up with this; a list of the 8 best budget turntables that won’t chew up your records, all available for under £400.

Words: Paul Rigby


Sunday 30 March 2014

Friday 28 March 2014

Vinyl Feature: Supertramp - Breakfast in America

An absolute classic of an album by British rock band Supertramp! I ordered this as an unsighted second hand purchase on-line from a dealer in Germany through Amazon and even though it said it was in "very good" condition I really didn't know what to expect. I was therefore very pleasantly relieved when it finally came and after opening it it looked very good, which was confirmed a few minutes later when I listened to it for the first time. It sounds brilliant!

Breakfast in America was Supertramps sixth album and was released on 29 March 1979 by A&M Records.

*UPDATE* Audio Technica AT95e - My First Thoughts

Just added a minor update to my AT95e review relating to a small cartridge down-force weight adjustment.
CLICK HERE and scroll down to the bottom to read the update.