Swedish doom metal legends CANDLEMASS will release their 12th album, “The Door To Doom”, on February 22, 2019 via Napalm Records. The disc unsurprisingly follows the plotline mastermind, songwriter and bass player Leif Edling established in the past years: epic world-class doom metal that relies on slow mammoth riffing. 

“The Door To Doom” features newly returned singer Johan Längqvist, who recently replaced CANDLEMASS‘s frontman of the past six years, Mats Levén. Also appearing on the record is none other than BLACK SABBATH‘s Tony Iommi, who contributes a guest solo to “Astorolus – The Great Octopus”.

Commented Iommi: “CANDLEMASS are a major force in Scandinavian heavy rock and have always acknowledged the influence we had on their music. They asked if I’d contribute to a track which sounded pretty good so I thought, ‘Why not?'”

Added Edling: “We feel very honoured that Tony Iommisaid yes to play the solo on ‘Astorolus’. The song was sent to the management and amazingly enough, the master agreed to let his mighty SG sing on the track! For me personally, this is a dream come true. Tony Iommihas always been my hero and guiding light when it comes to heavy music, so to hear that he likes the song and also would like to play on it gave me chills down the spine! I’m still in shock! But kudos to him to be so cool to even listen to it. Hats off! Tony Iommi is and will always be God!”

“The Door To Doom” track listing:

01. Splendor Demon Majesty 
02. Under The Ocean 
03. Astorolus – The Great Octopus (feat. Tony Iommi) 
04. Bridge Of The Blind 

05. Death’s Wheel 
06. Black Trinity 
07. House Of Doom 
08. The Omega Circle 

Längqvist sang on CANDLEMASS‘s debut album, 1986’s “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus”, before exiting the group and being replaced by Messiah Marcolin.

CANDLEMASS‘s most recent full-length album, “Psalms For The Dead”, came out in 2012 via Napalm Records. It was the last CANDLEMASS album recorded with singer Robert Lowe, who left the band just days before its release.

CANDLEMASS is:

Leif Edling: Bass 
Mats “Mappe” Björkman: Guitars 
Jan Lindh: Drums 
Lars “Lasse” Johansson: Guitars  
Johan Längqvist: Vocals

CANDLEMASS band photo by Anders Pålsson

BLACK SABBATH’s TONY IOMMI To Guest On New CANDLEMASS Album, ‘The Door To Doom’

Written By Robert Ham

The estate of Dimebag Darrell and Dean Guitars have won a lawsuit filed against them by a man who alleged that he hadn’t been compensated for the sale of replicas of the late Pantera co-founder’s “Dean From Hell” guitar.

Buddy Webster, aka Buddy Blaze, brought the copyright suit against the estate as well as Armadillo Enterprises, the parent company of Dean Guitars, which made the original instrument and has sold replicas of the Dean ML guitar used by Darrell.

The crux of Webster’s claim, according to the suit, which was filed first at the U.S. District Court in Central California before being transferred to the Middle District of Florida, is that he was responsible for the design of the “visual look for the guitar… a unique blue background with lightning emanating from the center of the guitar body.”

Webster alleges that he and the guitarist were friends when Pantera was getting their start in the ‘80s and that, after Darrell had sold the guitar, he purchased it secretly and “modified the neck of the guitar, changed some of the hardware and stripped the paint” as well as adding the new artwork. He then gifted the new Dean ML to his friend, which, according to the lawsuit, quickly “became his signature guitar.”

After Darrell’s murder in 2004, Webster apparently worked with Dean Guitars to produce a similar instrument, sold as the “Buddy Blaze Signature Model.” According to the suit, the manufacturer went on to sell further reissues without giving Webster credit or money for his work.

In a motion filed in June of this year, Darrell’s estate and Armadillo Enterprises countered that Webster had no claim to the graphic on the guitar, stating that it was really the work of artist Craig Patchin who painted the design after receiving instructions from Webster. And because Webster wasn’t even around for the painting of the design, he can’t be considered owner of the copyright. The motion also states that Patchin recently signed over the rights to the lightning graphic to Darrell’s estate, making it the sole owner.

According to Law 360 [via BraveWords], a judgement in favor of the defendants was handed down on Monday (December 3rd) by a Middle District court in Florida.

While Darrell’s estate hasn’t commented on the ruling of the District Court, Evan Rubinson, President and CEO of Dean Guitars, took to Facebook to post his relief at the results.

“After a long-fought battle to defend the legacy that is #DimebagDarrell, we emerged victorious on summary judgment on every single claim by Buddy Blaze (Webster). Dean Guitars & the Dimebag Darrell Estate are pleased to announce that we are back & better than ever!”

Dimebag Darrell estate and Dean Guitars win lawsuit over “Dean From Hell” guitar

Looking back at the legendary Black Sabbath frontman’s long—and often bizarre—career.

Written By Evan Bleier

Like rock legends Robert Plant and Roger Waters before him, Ozzy Osbourne, the man, the myth, the legend, is celebrating a milestone birthday this year.

It’s been neither confirmed nor denied that he’ll be having a bat-flavored cake, but Osbourne is celebrating his 7oth birthday today.

Had he not cleaned up his act and gotten sober, the high school dropout made good as the frontman for Black Sabbath likely would no longer be with us.

Sober or not, Osbourne has always had a penchant for drawing attention—be it for biting the head off a bat onstage, peeing on the Alamo while wearing a woman’s gown or snorting a line of ants because nothing else was available—and a mouth on him to match. (His wife, Sharon, has a similar affliction.)

Since Osbourne has created both stellar songs and great sound bites over the course of his 70 years, we thought it’d be good practice to collect some of the best of them.

In honor of the Ozzman turning seven decades young, let’s get this train off the rails with 13 of the craziest things Osbourne has said over the years.

No. 1  On what a bat tastes like: “Immediately, though, something felt wrong. Very wrong. For a start, my mouth was instantly full of this warm, gloopy liquid, with the worst aftertaste you could ever imagine. I could feel it staining my teeth and running down my chin. Then the head in my mouth twitched.”

No. 2  On how people perceive him: “People take me too damn serious. I mean, I have sung songs about the darker forces, but I’ve also written songs about everything across the spectrum from pollution to politics to war to poverty to happiness to a boy meets girl. People go, ‘Oh, Ozzy Osbourne. He bites the heads off things and pissed up the Alamo.’ I kinda feel typecast … What I’ve desperately tried to get across is that if you think you know Ozzy Osbourne, you’re only scratching the surface because I don’t even know Ozzy Osbourne. I so often frequently surprise me, you know?”

No. 3 – On Black Sabbath’s (perceived) interest in the dark arts: “We couldn’t conjure up a fart. We’d get invitations to play witches’ conventions and black masses in Highgate Cemetery. I honestly thought it was a joke. We were the last hippie band—we were into peace. I never did this black-magic stuff. The reason I did “Mr. Crowley” on my first solo album [Blizzard of Ozz, 1980] was that everybody was talking about Aleister Crowley. Jimmy Page bought his house, and one of my roadies worked with one of his roadies. I thought, ‘Mr. Crowley, who are you? Where are you from?’ But people would hear the song and go, “He’s definitely into witchcraft.”

No. 4– On a manicure infection almost killing him: “I was in hospital for a couple of days and had emergency surgery, and I remember waking up in the morning and Sharon said: ‘What the f**k have you done to your hand?’ The funny thing is they reckon I got it from a manicure. It won’t stop me from heading to the U.K. in February. I’m right-handed. You can’t wipe your own ass. And I didn’t have many f**king volunteers who would do it for me.”

No. 5  On his experience using drugs: “It was always fun in the early days of Black Sabbath, when I stayed away from heavy drugs. Then someone gave me cocaine and I went, ‘Hallelujah!’ I thought I’d found the meaning of life! But everything I tried after that was the same. The first hit was the best but I would never get the same hit again—morphine, f**king Demerol, Vicodins, f**king quaaludes, you name it, LSD, speed. It eventually stopped working or rather I stopped working with it. I just started to isolate. I would lock myself in a room all flicking day and just do paintings and watch a big-screen TV. I became a TV f**king fiend. I never shot up smack. I tried heroin once and I didn’t like it. It frightened me.”

No. 6  On why he doesn’t talk politics: “I don’t understand them. I don’t. I don’t understand how we all go nuts for a few months to get the people into office and then they never do a f**kin’ thing they said they were gonna do anyway! If there’s a job ad in the newspaper saying ‘Builder wanted’ and you show up for the job and they say ‘Can you do this?’ and you say ‘Yeah, yeah!’ And they go ‘Start Monday’ and then Monday they say ‘Can you do what you said?’ and you say ‘No,’ you’d be f**kin’ fired! So what’s the deal with politicians, eh? I don’t get it. They should all start to play rock and roll, I think.”

No. 7  On his wife making him who he is: “It’s true to say that if it wasn’t for Sharon, I wouldn’t be here. Yeah, I’d be dead. She has helped make me the man I am today. Through tough love and pushing me. In the ’70s I was so scared I wouldn’t go on stage. I’d sing on the side of the stage. And she said, ‘Here’s a cordless mic, f**king work that stage!’ She just bulldozed me into becoming what I am now.”

No. 8  On getting old: “The hardest thing about getting old is all my good friends are dead. My problem, really, is I don’t remember I’m 70 [said when he was 69]. I don’t really know what 70-year-old people are supposed to do. So I just do my own thing.”

No. 9  On what has kept his marriage going: “I suppose it’s fair to say we love each other. I love her, and she loves me. She was brought up in a music industry, so she’s not like a schoolteacher who married a rock star. But that’s a very good question. There’s no other woman I really want to spend the rest of my life with. You make a mistake and you learn by it. She’s made a few mistakes, and so have I. You know when you hear these people go, ‘Oh, we’ve been married 35 years and we’ve never had a row.’ I go, ‘You must have been living in a different f**king country.’ Sometimes, I’ve looked at my wife and I’ve just been angry as f**k, and vice versa. Other times, I go, ‘F**k, I love you.’”

No. 10  On if he would change anything: “No, I wouldn’t change a thing. If I changed anything, I wouldn’t be where I am now. ‘Road to Nowhere’ is about how none of us know where we’re gonna go. I had no idea when we did our first Black Sabbath album, 50 years up the road, I’d be doing all these shows in front of 20,000 people like we had last night,” he continues. “I thought, ‘This will be good for a couple of albums and I’ll get a few chicks along the way.’ I left Sabbath and I did a great thing on my own. I met Randy Rhoads. He was a phenomenal guy. My life has just been unbelievable. You couldn’t write my story; you couldn’t invent me.”

No. 11  On life on the road (which he once summed up as “a bag of dope, a gram of coke, and as many chicks as I could bang.”): “Well, if you were going to have sex, you had to shove your willy somewhere. But, you know, been a long time since those days. And you’d always end up paying one way or another. I’d be lying in bed thinking, Have I got the f**king clap, or something else? It would drive me insane by the end of the week. But women were running away from me in the end because I was so f**king out of it.”

No. 12  On late Black Sabbath guitarist Randy Rhoads: “I was smoking dope and getting tanked and f**ked up on powders and I just wanted to go home, but he said I had to see this guy. So Randy came in, five foot f**king two and so skinny, I thought he was a fairy. When he played my brain went, ‘Either this is the greatest gear ever or this guy really is the best guitarist in the world.’ It took me a very long time to get over his death. I’m on a low dose of anti-depressants even now. Randy gave me a purpose, he gave me hope. I was fed up fighting people. I just had the greatest respect for him.”

No. 13  On what he would put on his epitaph: “Just ‘Ozzy Osbourne, born 1948, died so-and-so.’ I’ve done a lot for a simple working-class guy. I made a lot of people smile. I’ve also made a lot of people go, ‘Who the f**k does this guy think he is?’ I guarantee that if I was to die tonight, tomorrow it would be, ‘Ozzy Osbourne, the man who bit the head off a bat, died in his hotel room….’ I know that’s coming.”

At 70, Ozzy Osbourne Talks Sharon, Drugs and What a Bat Tastes Like

Neahkahnie Gold

A question many record collectors ask is, where can I put all these records? If you’ve asked yourself this then you’re in luck, as we’ll be doing our best to cover storage options and tips. We’ll begin by outlining the proper, recommended, government-approved guidelines for how to store vinyl records. In a separate post, we’ll look at some vinyl record storage options that meet these criteria and will look nice in your humble abode. I know some of you have stellar storage setups, as evidenced by the 5K+ posts tagged with #iloveDiscogs on Instagram. If you have recommendations on vinyl record storage cabinets, shelves and the like, feel free to drop them in the comments below. You might see your pick mentioned, with credit, in the next post!

Now, let’s check in with the consummate professionals of media storage, the US Federal Government. Yes, you read that right. They just so happen to have one of the largest collections of vinyl records in the world, safely nestled in the remarkably dust-free archives of the Library of Congress. We reached out to staff librarians through the Recorded Sound Research Centerand utilized their guide to storing audio visual materials to learn how to store vinyl records properly.

Luckily, a collector has an advantage when it comes to storing vinyl records. Vinyl records are the most stable physical sound recording format developed to date (tally 1 for vinyl in the great format debate). Unlike tapes and CDs, they can last 100 years in a controlled environment. However, a wide range of variables, from dust and foreign matter to heat and pressure, can cause distortion and surface noise in playback. Also note that although vinyl records are relatively hardy, record covers are not. You’ll want to keep in mind the fragility of the cardboard sleeve as much as the record itself.

Casual and Household Vinyl Record Storage

We’ll start with the four core tenets of sound vinyl storage; heat, light, humidity and pressure.

  • Heat: For home collections, room temperature or below is preferable. Room temperature, for those accustomed to living in sweat dens without air conditioning, is generally considered to be between 15 to 25 °C (59 to 77 °F). Make sure you keep those records clear of radiators, vents and your George Foreman Grill.
  • Light: Minimal exposure to all kinds of light; no exposure to direct or intense light. Vinyl records are most susceptible to ultraviolet light; which can damage records in just a few minutes. For best results, don’t store your records in a bright window, a grow room, or a tanning bed.
  • Humidity: This is where vinyl record storage guidelines part ways from indoor plant care. Unlike your indoor greenery, vinyl records should be stored in a relatively dry environment (about 35-40% relative humidity or RH). For those not in the know, hygrometers are cheap and efficient tools that measure humidity.
  • Pressure: Don’t stack things on your records. Don’t stack your records on other records. We know it saves space, but sometimes life ain’t that easy. In addition, do not store your records too tightly together. As they used to say at school dances down South, leave a little room for Jesus. You should leave enough space to easily flip through your records.

Though less problematic than the rules above, there are a few other factors to consider when storing vinyl records.

  • Vibration – Despite whatever #goodvibes your records give off, their structural integrity can be compromised by strong vibrations. Keep your records a reasonable distance from speakers, washers and dryers and stampedes of wild stallions.
  • Vinyl of a similar diameter, store together – Don’t snug your 12” records next to your 10” records. Separate records of a different diameter with a divider.

As a rule of thumb, attics and basements are typically not the best places to store vinyl records, though there are exceptions to this. Neither are non-climate controlled storage units. My parents made the mistake of storing their collection in a non-climate-controlled storage unit in Texas one summer. None of the discs made it out in a playable form. Try to find a place that is relatively clean, cool and stable.

What to Store Vinyl Records In

Now that you know the requirements for the location you should aim for while storing your records, let’s talk a bit about what vinyl records should be stored in.

  • Use protection fellas. Unlike grocery bags, paper is out and plastic is in. Commercial vinyl records may be stored in their original sleeve, but should also be placed in a static-free polyethylene liner to avoid print-through from the original sleeve. Yes, I know, this is different than the paper liners most records come with. Sorry to complicate your life. I’ve used these in the past, though they’re a bit pricey so do some research on your own. If you have any that you prefer, don’t be a stranger and drop them in the comments to share with the community.
  • In addition to storing records in a plastic sleeve, you should store record covers in a plastic sleeve. To recap: put the record in a plastic sleeve and the album cover in a plastic sleeve.
  • Ensure the shelving you choose is sturdy enough to support the weight of vinyl records, which average 35 pounds per shelf-foot. All formats concentrate weight on the centerline of a shelf, which can cause some shelving to collapse.
  • To reduce static, opt for wood vinyl record storage containers instead of metal.
  • Once they are on a shelf, vinyl records should be stored with sturdy, immovable dividers every 4-6 inches that support the entire face of the disc in its sleeve. This recommendation is one that I rarely see used in the wild, and one that I admittedly have not utilized for my home collection yet, so drop your recommendations in the comments for some good karma. A quick search led me to both relatively affordableand cool but exorbitant resources that provide these. Dividers have the added benefit of helping in the quest to organize a vinyl record collection.

Overflow & Long-Term Record Storage

Many of us are at a place in our life where we have run out of room in our living quarters to store all of the records we have acquired. At this point, some tough decisions must be made: Which ones should be kept? Which ones can be let go? For those who cannot trim their collection, overflow storage becomes a necessity. Whether it’s a basement, attic, storage unit, or hole in your backyard, there are some precautions you can take to ward off potential disasters.

  • Avoid any place susceptible to water damage. Have you heard the story of what happened to Eyebeam Art and Technology Center in Hurricane Sandy? Though the vinyl itself is relatively resistant to water damage, record covers and labels are certainly not.
  • Avoid extreme temperatures (looking at you attic) and places where temperature fluctuations of more than 19°C (35°F) in 24 hours are possible. Remember, no matter what kind of container you store your records in, they will be vulnerable to warping due to temperature.
  • You’re going to want to ensure air circulation. This means you need to avoid storing your records in a sealed container of any kind, including plastic bins with lids or taped-up cardboard boxes. Sealing your records can lead to the creation of a damaging micro-climate and makes it more difficult to monitor their condition. Take care when using mobile vinyl crates – once you’ve made it to your destination, either open the box or remove the records from the case.

Okay, now you know the cardinal rules to follow while storing records. You’re welcome! While you’re here, jot down some notes, or refresh your memory, on how to properly handle vinyl records.

  • Wash your hands before handling vinyl records. Those dirty paws of yours contain oils that can promote fungal growth on records and sleeves.
  • Handle any grooved discs (78s, 45s, LPs, lacquer discs, picture discs, even those Star Wars creature shaped ones) by the edgeand label areas only. This takes practice to get good at. What better time to start than now?

One final tip – keep your machines clean and well maintained. Make sure your mat is dust free and replace your needles when they start to get worn folks.

That’s it! This vinyl record storage post turned out a bit longer than expected, but I learned a lot along the way and I hope you did too. Don’t forget that this is just part one in a two-part series. I’ll be reviewing some vinyl record storage cabinets and shelves in the next post. Send me your leads if you got ’em and thanks for reading!


I want to give credit to the Library of Congress and Reference Librarian Harrison Behl for assisting with this post. They were a huge help in leading me to informative resources and with answering specific questions I had. If you’re curious about the work they do or have questions that weren’t answered in the post, check out the Recorded Sound Research Center, where you can read more and reach out to librarians for assistance. As a reminder for those living in the United States, your local librarians are tremendous resources whose job is to help you find information. If you ever have a question, stop by your local library and you might be surprised by the help you receive! 

Interested in joining the passionate community of music lovers at Discogs? Sign up for an account to track your Collection, start a Wantlist and shop for thousands of music releases in the Marketplace!

How To Store Vinyl Records

THE BEATLES CELEBRATE ‘THE BEATLES’ (‘WHITE ALBUM’) WITH SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY RELEASES

‘White Album’ Presented with New Mixes in Stereo and 5.1 Surround Audio;  Expanded with Previously Unreleased Demos and Session Recordings

– AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE NOVEMBER 9, 2018 

PRE-ORDER HERE

London – September 24, 2018 – In November 1968, millions of double LPs were shipped to record stores worldwide ahead of that tumultuous year’s most anticipated music event: the November 22nd release of The BEATLES (soon to be better known as ‘The White Album’). With their ninth studio album, The Beatles took the world on a whole new trip, side one blasting off with the exhilarating rush of a screaming jet escorting Paul McCartney’s punchy, exuberant vocals on “Back In The U.S.S.R.” “Dear Prudence” came next, John Lennon warmly beckoning his friend and all of us to “look around.” George Harrison imparted timeless wisdom in “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” singing, “With every mistake we must surely be learning.” Ringo Starr’s “Don’t Pass Me By” marked his first solo songwriting credit on a Beatles album. For 50 years, ‘The White Album’ has invited its listeners to venture forth and explore the breadth and ambition of its music, delighting and inspiring each new generation in turn.

On November 9, The Beatles will release a suite of lavishly presented ‘White Album’ packages (Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe). The album’s 30 tracks are newly mixed by producer Giles Martin and mix engineer Sam Okell in stereo and 5.1 surround audio, joined by 27 early acoustic demos and 50 session takes, most of which are previously unreleased in any form.

“We had left Sgt. Pepper’s band to play in his sunny Elysian Fields and were now striding out in new directions without a map,” says Paul McCartney in his written introduction for the new ‘White Album’ releases.

https://youtu.be/1dhy26KIOEI

This is the first time The BEATLES (‘White Album’) has been remixed and presented with additional demos and session recordings. The album’s sweeping new edition follows 2017’s universally acclaimed Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Anniversary Edition releases. To create the new stereo and 5.1 surround audio mixes for ‘The White Album,’ Martin and Okell worked with an expert team of engineers and audio restoration specialists at Abbey Road Studios in London.

All the new ‘White Album’ releases include Martin’s new stereo album mix, sourced directly from the original four-track and eight-track session tapes. Martin’s new mix is guided by the album’s original stereo mix produced by his father, George Martin. “In remixing ‘The White Album,’ we’ve tried to bring you as close as possible to The Beatles in the studio,” explains Giles Martin in his written introduction for the new edition. “We’ve peeled back the layers of the ‘Glass Onion’ with the hope of immersing old and new listeners into one of the most diverse and inspiring albums ever made.”

The BEATLES (‘White Album’) releases include:

Super Deluxe: The comprehensive, individually numbered 7-disc and digital audio collections feature:

CDs 1 & 2: The BEATLES (‘White Album’) 2018 stereo album mix

CD3: Esher Demos

– Esher Demo tracks 1 through 19 sequenced in order of the finished song’s placement on ‘The White Album.’ Tracks 20-27 were not included on the album.

CDs 4, 5 & 6: Sessions

– 50 additional recordings, most previously unreleased, from ‘White Album’ studio sessions; all newly mixed from the four-track and eight-track session tapes, sequenced in order of their recording start dates.

Blu-ray:

– 2018 album mix in high resolution PCM stereo

– 2018 DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 album mix

– 2018 Dolby True HD 5.1 album mix

– 2018 direct transfer of the album’s original mono mix

Deluxe: The BEATLES (‘White Album’) 2018 stereo album mix + Esher Demos

The 3CD; 180-gram 4LP vinyl box set (limited edition); and digital audio collections pair the 2018 stereo album mix with the 27 Esher Demos.

Standard 2LP Vinyl: The BEATLES(‘White Album’) 2018 stereo mix

180-gram 2LP vinyl in gatefold sleeve with faithfully replicated original artwork

The minimalist work for the White Album’ was created by artist Richard Hamilton, one of Britain’s leading figures in the creation and rise of pop art. The top-loading gatefold sleeve’s stark white exterior had ‘The BEATLES’ embossed on the front and printed on the spine with the album’s catalogue number. Early copies of ‘The White Album’ were also individually numbered on the front, which has also been done for the new edition’s Super Deluxe package.

The set’s six CDs and Blu-ray disc are housed in a slipsleeved 164-page hardbound book, with pull-out reproductions of the original album’s four glossy color portrait photographs of John, Paul, George, and Ringo, as well as the album’s large fold-out poster with a photo collage on one side and lyrics on the other. The beautiful book is illustrated with rare photographs, reproductions of handwritten and notated lyrics, previously unpublished photos of recording sheets and tape boxes, and reproduced original ‘White Album’ print ads.

The book’s comprehensive written pieces include new introductions by Paul McCartney and Giles Martin, and in-depth chapters covering track-by-track details and session notes reflecting The Beatles’ year between the release of ‘Sgt. Pepper’ and recording sessions for ‘The White Album,’ the band’s July 28 1968 “Mad Day Out” photo shoot in locations around London, the album artwork, the lead-up and execution of the album’s blockbuster release, and its far-ranging influence, written by Beatles historian, author and radio producer Kevin Howlett; journalist and author John Harris; and Tate Britain’s Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Andrew Wilson. The Deluxe 3CD is presented in an embossed digipak with the fold-out poster and portrait photos, plus a 24-page booklet abridged from the Super Deluxe book. Presented in a lift-top box with a four-page booklet, the limited edition Deluxe 4LP vinyl set presents the 2LP album in a faithful, embossed reproduction of its original gatefold sleeve with the fold-out poster and portrait photos, paired with the 2LP Esher Demos in an embossed gatefold sleeve.

The Beatles White Album Turns 50

Written By Bill Rosenblatt Via Forbes Magazine

Music industry watchers know that vinyl records have been enjoying a resurgence since their near-death in the mid-2000s, and the market continues to grow. But vinyl sales are actually much larger than what industry figures report, because they don’t count used vinyl sales. Now, thanks to some new data, we know that with used sales taken into account, the true size of the vinyl market is at least double those industry figures.

Revenue from sales of used records is particularly significant in the digital era, now that most of the attention is on streaming, where users can’t “resell” music. The music industry doesn’t bother to count used sales because no revenue from used sales goes to record labels, artists, or songwriters. “Given the size of the overall market, I am always shocked that these numbers are ignored when reporting sales,” says Ron Rich, SVP of Discogs Marketplace, one of the two largest online marketplaces for used records, along with eBay.

In honor of eBay’s first-ever Vinyl Obsession Week this week, the company has offered a rare glimpse into its vinyl sales data. Discogs also supplied data for this story. A household name among record collectors, Discogs is an online database of detailed info about physical music products — mostly vinyl — that launched in 2000 and started its e-commerce marketplace in 2007.

Both Discogs and eBay have very large catalogs of used vinyl available. Discogs lists 5.7 million used vinyl items in its marketplace from U.S. sellers (Discogs doesn’t distinguish between new and used; it only lists items by condition. The 5.7 million figure doesn’t count a million items rated as “Mint.”) eBay lists 2.3 million used vinyl items from U.S. sellers. Amazon is likely the third-largest player in this space; it lists about 900,000 used vinyl records on its U.S. site. If those numbers seem small compared to streaming catalogs like those of Spotify and Apple Music, bear in mind that Amazon is the largest online seller of new vinyl but lists “only” about 300,000 new titles.

These online marketplaces also sell several million vinyl records per year. As this figure shows, unit sales numbers from eBay and estimates based on Discogs data added up to about 6 million last year. Compare that to new vinyl sales, which reached 16 million units and $395 million in revenue last year, according to RIAA figures. (Skeptics counter that this is a far cry from vinyl’s early 1980s market peak, when vinyl pulled in $2 billion from 300 million units.)

Note that Discogs’ sales are growing at roughly the same rate as new vinyl sales, while eBay’s sales have stagnated. Discogs is becoming the preferred marketplace for serious record buyers and sellers. That’s because Discogs requires that sellers submit highly detailed metadata about music releases — including such things as identifiers, country of release, pressing information, artist credits, and conditions of both discs and sleeves — whereas eBay has looser metadata standards to encourage more casual sellers and buyers (and, of course, supports auctions). It takes more effort to list your records on Discogs, but collectors like having all that information.

Meawhile, beyond eBay and Discogs’ 6 million, Amazon and other specialized online vinyl marketplaces (like these and these, which focus on classical, jazz, world music, rarities, and so on) probably account for one or two million more. That gets us to about half of the RIAA’s 16 million figure.

But these figures don’t count offline sales — of which there are likely at least as many as online. Discogs’ Rich says that their online sales represent only “a fraction of what is out there in the used market, considering the amounts of used inventory selling through local record stores.”

To make a stab at offline sales volume, consider that there are over 2000 record stores in the U.S., the vast majority of which are indie stores that sell used as well as new vinyl. If each of those stores sold just one piece of used vinyl every hour, that would add roughly another 6 million total annual units sold. If we add in sales at thrift shops, garage sales, and flea markets, we probably get to the RIAA’s new-vinyl figure of 16 million. In other words, the overall vinyl market is likely about double the size that the RIAA reports in unit sales, possibly more.

It’s also interesting to note that used vinyl prices are almost as high as new — and new vinyl is quite a bit more expensive than new CDs. In fact, as this chart shows, average used vinyl prices (currently $22.80) are 92% of new ($24.73) and have been mostly tracking at that percentage since 2010. Meanwhile used CD prices are a much lower percentage of new CD prices.

That’s because vinyl albums have become collectibles, while CDs haven’t really (apart from special editions, box sets, and so on). This chart shows that this happened around 2009-2010, when the average price of used vinyl on eBay almost doubled. Prices have risen steadily since then; even adjusting for inflation, used records have appreciated 9% in price since 2010. And the turntable market is growing too: NPD reports that revenue from turntables with prices over $250 grew 135 percent from 2016 to 2017. That’s the market for quality vinyl-enthusiast machines like this, not novelty/nostalgia items like this.

Finally, here’s a revenue chart that shows eBay’s revenue from used vinyl juxtaposed with RIAA new vinyl figures on apples-to-apples scales. It shows that while revenue from new vinyl sales grew at a fairly constant rate since 2007, used vinyl sales jumped dramatically between 2011 and 2012. That’s remarkably consistent with music industry trends at that time. 2011 was the year when the music industry began its big shift to streaming. Spotify launched in the U.S. in July 2011, and the major record labels concluded license agreements with YouTube by the end of that year. Revenue from on-demand music streaming started to skyrocket, while revenue from digital downloads started to decline and then plummet.

In other words, 2011-2012 was the time when music fans found that the best way to hear music digitally was on demand from an enormous online library, for $10/month or free with ads, rather than through permanent downloads at $9.99 per album or 99 cents per single; and by then, the collectible nature of vinyl had grown into a sizable movement.

Vinyl fans have various reasons for their love of black discs, but audio quality is the one heard most often. “Despite the broad availability of digital today, the unique sound qualities of vinyl are resonating more than ever,” says Michael Mosser, General Manager of Lifestyle, Media & Toys at eBay. While no one will argue that vinyl is any threat to streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube, now we know that vinyl is still a stalwart presence in the music market and will likely remain so for years to come.

Bill Rosenblatt runs GiantSteps Media Technology Strategies, a consultancy that focuses on digital media technology, business models, and copyright. Check him out on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Vinyl is Bigger Than We Thought, Much Bigger

“Rival”, a new song from SOEN, the progressive heavy rock group featuring world-renowned drummer Martin Lopez (formerly of AMON AMARTH and OPETH), can be streamed below. The track is taken from SOEN‘s fourth album, “Lotus”, which will be released on February 1, 2019 via Silver Lining Music. 

Having spent the last six months digging deep into the muddy depths of their emotions, the nine songs comprising “Lotus” are intoxicating, addictive aural therapies, questioning much of today’s darkness while juxtaposing them with moments of great escape and hope.

“We are all very fortunate to have this place where we can go and explore thoughts, perspectives and emotions which everyday life maybe does not have the room for,” says Lopez, one of SOEN‘s founding members. “There are definitely things that we say, and places we go, in SOEN which would be very hard to express without us coming together and creating music.”

Produced by David Castillo and Iñaki Marconi at Ghostward Studios and Studio 6 between July and October 2018, the album marks the first recorded SOENwork of new Canadian-born guitarist Cody Ford, whilst the center-point of the album remains those trademark, snap-heavy, progressive SOEN riffs. Songs such as “Rival”, “Covenant” and “Martyrs” are dissertations on modern societies, fraught with poetic, finitely designed confusion and chaos, yet as the name “Lotus” suggests, there is still strength, beauty, and purity to be extracted from what at times seems like an endless cycle of human regression.

“The world right now is undeniably a very strange, tense place,” says Lopez. “I think the songs clearly reflect that, but they also reflect that we must now be stronger than ever in challenging, confronting, and dealing with the pandemonium life throws at us all.”

The lavish “Lotus” artwork features nothing other than an enigmatic and engaging copper-reflective pyramid, offering elements of the sixth sense and greater consciousness before gate-folding open to reveal a girl touched by the copper aura.

“We each have our own personal ideas as to what it means,” says Lopez, “but we’d much rather discuss what others think, what our audience thinks, what the media thinks… I think it’s extremely important that we all communicate with each other and take the time to fully conceive our own meanings and interactions with life and creativity.”

“Ultimately,” concludes Ekelöf, “‘Lotus’ is about rising from whatever darkness, or dark places, you might find yourself. And its inspiration comes from a deep motivation to not just settle for the situation you might find yourself in. ‘Lotus’ is about changing life — both your own and your surroundings for which we must all take responsibility — and make them better rather than letting darkness pacify you and take you down.”

“Lotus” track listing:

01. Opponent 
02. Lascivious 
03. Martyrs 
04. Lotus 

05. Covenant 
06. Penance 
07. River 
08. Rival 
09. Lunacy

SOEN will bring “Lotus” on the road as it tours Europe starting in March 2019.

SOEN is:

Joel Ekelöf – vocals 
Martin Lopez – drums 
Lars Åhlund – keys, guitar 
Stefan Stenberg – bass 
Cody Ford – lead guitar

https://youtu.be/q_z7lB1N-tE

SOEN Feat. Ex-OPETH Drummer MARTIN LOPEZ: Listen To ‘Rival’ Song From ‘Lotus’ Album