Saturday, February 9, 2008

"Investing: old vinyl's top of the pops"

from - by Toby Walne

Vintage records are shooting up the investment charts – if you know which ones to buy.

Vinyl can provide record returns for investors willing to take a musical spin with their money.

The Holy Grail is That'll be the Day, a seven-inch single recorded exactly 50 years ago by the Quarrymen – the group that later became the Beatles. On paper it is worth £100,000, but experts believe it might fetch more than double this at auction, if the only known disc could be wrestled from its owner, Sir Paul McCartney.

The acetate 78rpm was cut in a booth in 1958 by a five-man combo that included John Lennon, McCartney and George Harrison.

The Beatles are the giants for collectors as they hold universal appeal, but there are still plenty more which can prove to be great investments," says Stephen Maycock, a rock and roll memorabilia consultant for Bonhams, the auction house.

Other British blue-chip bands that command thousands of pounds for rare and earliest pressings include the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Who and The Smiths. David Bowie and Marc Bolan also have a huge fan base.

Across the water, Elvis is among the most sought-after rock and roll innovators. As a 19-year-old truck driver he walked into Sun studio and sang That's All Right in 1954. The single shook up rock and roll forever and an early pressing with a £3,500 book price can now hit five figures at auction.

"The record market is still a relatively new kid on the block compared to more traditional investment areas such as furniture and paintings," Maycock says.

"It only really became recognised with the birth of rock and roll in the 1950s. However, it wasn't until the 1980s that vinyl really started to be viewed as collectible. In the past few years some records have soared tenfold in value, but when first released they could have been picked up for pennies."

Bernard MacMahon, a 37-year-old record investor from west London, believes a key reason for the rise in vinyl values is that the quality of sound easily beats CDs or MP3 players.

MacMahon, who is head of A&R for Lo-Max Records, says: "You don't have to be an anorak or vinyl junkie to love records; you just have to want the best from your music. Some great quality stuff is from the mono recording era of the 1960s. Rich fat acoustic sounds on vinyl turn to tinpot tunes when transferred to CD."

He says his best value vinyl was picked up for a few pounds in the 1980s. A favourite such as a 1965 My Generation album by The Who cost just £10 second-hand but is now worth £400, while an ultra-rare version of Velvet Underground's third album – which he also picked up for a tenner – might now fetch thousands.

But MacMahon's most valuable record is a 1926 shellac 78prm of Rabbit Foot Blues by Blind Lemon Jefferson. It cost £1,800 a couple of years ago but its unique appeal means it might sell for £5,000.

"The best advice I can give for anyone interested in investing in vinyl is to befriend the dealer at your local second-hand record store," he says.

"Trade fairs and eBay are also great sources for the unusual."

The Rare Record Price Guide, produced by Record Collector, is seen as the industry bible for those interested in vinyl. It puts the Beatles top of the pops, with a limited reissue of the Quarrymen single and the first numbered White Album copies at £10,000 each.

Next come a God Save The Queen single by the Sex Pistols, cut just before they were dumped by the A&M label in 1977, and a 1975 limited edition blue vinyl disc of Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, both valued at £5,000. However, these are probably conservative estimates. For example, a copy of God Save The Queen recently hit £12,000 on eBay.

Ian Shirley, the editor of the Rare Record Price Guide, points out that rarity – and not just the musical value – is key for the investor. But he warns that it is vital to bone up on the value of vinyl if you are ever to turn an interest into a money-making concern; remember that you are competing with dealers who make a living out of buying and selling vinyl at a profit.

"If you go into charity shops you will find thousands of records that can be picked up for a few pence – but that doesn't make them investments," says Shirley.

"It is a question of knowing what to look out for. Pick a niche – whether it is early rock and roll, punk or old blues – and then knuckle down and do your homework."

This is where books such as the Rare Record Price Guide become invaluable, listing a rule-of-thumb price for British issues and specific disc information.

For American releases, investors should check out the Goldmine Record Album Price Guide and Goldmine Price Guide to 45rpm Records. The most sought-after vinyl is typically a first pressing. The record company name and issue code on the disc and sleeve can help to reveal the exact identity but there may be other subtle changes around the platter that require an expert eye.

Reissues tend not to be sought after. Condition also has a huge impact on value, with good-as-new mint condition being the best investment quality, although near mint is typically the best you will find.

A badly scratched disc with a torn cover will fetch less than a 10th of the value of a top-notch example, while even a few surface scratches on a well loved but looked-after prize record usually halve its worth.

Other considerations include whether the disc was a commercial release or promotional, whether it was recorded in stereo or mono and whether it included any freebies or had a picture sleeve.

Whether it is a single, album or EP is not the most important consideration – it is the collectable cachet that matters. When records were first produced, many were discarded as worthless novelty items or endlessly played before getting destroyed over time. But as the historic significance and appreciation of their music have grown, so has the demand among investors. And despite the near-extinction of vinyl in the late 1980s, when CDs became the format of choice, the market not only survived but now appears to be enjoying a resurgence.

It is not just a nostalgia market: many new bands have embraced the format, such as Radiohead and Arctic Monkeys. It is not just sound quality that has driven this trend: vinyl remains more tactile than CDs or downloads, and many albums have great cover art. A common misconception is that 78s are more valuable than 45s, because they are older and made of more brittle – and breakable – shellac.

The reality is that during the birth of rock and roll in the 1950s there were actually more 78s on the market than 45s. However, in pre-rock genres such as the blues you can pay up to £10,000 for recordings from some of the seminal artists of the 1920s and 1930s, such as Blind Lemon Jefferson, Charlie Patton and Robert Johnson, who paved the way for modern music. With tunes such as Jefferson's Matchbox Blues and Patton's Mississippi Boll Weevil Blues you are also investing in history.


1. THE QUARRYMEN: That'll Be The Day/ In Spite Of All The Danger (1958): £100,000

2. SEX PISTOLS: God Save The Queen (1977) Value: £7,000

3. SEX PISTOLS: Anarchy In The UK (1976) Value: £6,000 (double-sided acetate)

4. QUEEN: Bohemian Rhapsody (1978) Value: £5,000

5. JOHN'S CHILDREN: Midsummer's Night Scene (1967) Value: £4,000

6. TOBY TYLER: The Road I'm On (Gloria) (1964) Value: £3,000 (acetate)

7. DAVID BOWIE: Space Oddity (1969) Value: £3,000

8 JOHN LENNON WITH THE PLASTIC ONO BAND: You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) (1969) Value: £3,000

9. XTC: Science Friction (1977) Value: £2,500

10. JACKIE LEE COCHRAN: Ruby Pearl (1957) Value: £2,500

List compiled by Record Collector Magazine

Friday, February 8, 2008

"Shakira to 'Lose' Wardrobe, Including Her Bra"

from - by Hollie McKay

LOS ANGELES — Shakira has proven she has a huge heart in addition to her huge hits by putting her personals up for auction on eBay.

The megastar already has sold off her custom-made Roberto Cavalli bra, the Carolina Herrera dress she donned at the Grammys, her entire wardrobe from the sold-out "Oral Fixation" world tour, outfits she posed in for her album covers and tickets to get up close and personal over dinner in Toronto.

And Pop Tarts also has been told the "Hips Don't Lie" hottie has just thrown in her own personal jewelry collection and the two signed guitars she strummed with on her tour.

But this isn't to boost Shakira's already bountiful bank balance — the auction is all in the name of giving back to her homeland.

The itty bitty beauty is donating 100 percent of the proceeds raised in purging her personals to Colombian-based charity the Pies Descalzos Foundation, which assists needy children in escaping poverty.

"Photo of the Day: 2/08/08"

Early promotional 8" x 10" press photo of Bow Wow Wow circa 1982! - Ace:)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

"Playboy Cover : February 2008 : Tiffany Fallon : Body paint : Wonder Woman"

Here's a scan of the brand 'spankin' new February 2008 issue of Playboy Magazine featuring Tiffany Fallon all body painted up as comic book icon Wonder Woman. - Ace:)

"New 2-part album release coming from Erykah Badu : Track listing / Cover art"

from reuters - By Hillary Crosley

In her decade-plus career, R&B artist Erykah Badu hasn't been afraid to wait long periods between projects.

But now Badu is making up for lost time. Five years since her last release, the "Worldwide Underground" EP, she is putting the finishing touches on "Nu AmErykah," a double album to be released in separate installments.

The first disc, dubbed "4th World War," arrives February 26 via Universal Motown, while the second, as yet untitled installment is tentatively slated for the summer.

Badu isn't particularly concerned about whether the extended layoff may have affected her fan base. "I don't worry about that, but the label mentions that a lot," she said. "I think if people like music, then they like music."

To be sure, the Dallas native has still posted impressive sales numbers by focusing solely on the music. Her 1997 debut, "Baduizm," has sold 2.6 million units in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. A live album released that year shifted another 1.8 million, while the sales total for 2000's "Mama's Gun" stands at 1.3 million.

"Worldwide Underground" topped out at 609,000 copies. Badu freely admits that she didn't promote it. "I just didn't feel like it," she said. "I'd just had a new baby and I chose that."

Since then, she's made the occasional studio guest appearance (2002's "Brown Sugar" soundtrack, Zap Mama's "Bandy Bandy" from its "Ancestry in Progress" album), but has spent most of her time on the road.

"Artists don't make any money from recording," said Badu, who will be back on the road in the United States in May. "The only thing I make money from is touring. I stay on the road. I'm taking R&B where it's going."

Where Badu is going now is "Nu AmErykah." The album pushes the envelope of contemporary R&B with songs accented by finger cymbals, electronic keys and eerie, high-pitched choruses. The happy first single, "Honey," this week soared from No. 52 to No. 34 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.

Universal is targeting coffee shops and trendy cinemas in an effort to expand Badu's artsy niche market. "Honey" is playing before films at national indie theaters across the country, while the psychedelic "Nu AmErykah" cover art is gracing coffee-cup sleeves at an array of outlets.

Universal is also employing the burgeoning USB stick technology for the release. Fans who purchase the album in this format can access exclusive videos and Web content (including a Badu-created photo flipbook) that will be updated monthly.

And in fourth-quarter 2008, Universal hopes to extend Badu's reach with coffee drinkers by releasing a live album, "Loretta Brown," exclusively via Starbucks. Details have yet to be confirmed, and knowing Badu, they'll be decided on her own time.

"I don't always make the best decisions when it comes to timing between my records," she said. "I could be seen as a poor decision-maker when it comes to those things. But it sure feels good to me, and that's the only thing I can really go with."


Below is the track listing for the first release, titled "New AmErykah, Pt. One: 4th World War" - along with the cover art.

This album will be released on Erykah's 37th birthday - February 26th, 2008. - Ace:)

01. "Amerykahn Promise"
02. "The Healer / Hip-Hop"
03. "Me"
04. "My People"
05. "Soldier"
06. "The Cell"
07. "Twinkle"
08. "Master Teacher"
09. "That Hump"
10. "Telephone"
11. "Honey" (bonus)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

"Public Enemy to perform 'Nation of Millions' album is it's entirety"


Band will play 'It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back' live in May

Public Enemy will perform their classic 1988 album 'It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back' in its entirety on three UK live dates in May.

The band will perform the former NME album of the year at London's Brixton Academy on May 23, at the Manchester Academy on May 26, and at the Glasgow ABC1 on May 27 as part of the Don't Look Back season of gigs.

Meanwhile, also as part of 'Don't Look Back', Wu-Tang Clan member Raekwon will perform his album 'Only Built 4 Cuban Linx' at KOKO in north London on May 19.

Tickets for the gigs go onsale at 9am GMT on Friday (February 8).

To check the availability of Public Enemy tickets and get all the latest listings, go to NME.COM/GIGS

"Another sure sign of the apocalypse"


"Music collector finds sales outlet at library"

from - by Dawn DeCwikiel-Kane

GREENSBORO, NC — Bill Trotter carries a carton of vinyl record albums and CDs into the downtown Central Library.

Trotter isn't returning loans. He is stocking his small niche of collectible music for sale in its Booklovers' Shop.

This is an experiment for Trotter and Friends of the Greensboro Public Library, which runs the shop selling coffee, snacks and gently-used books to raise money for the library.

Now it also has a section of Trotter's secondhand and new LPs and CDs, at prices ranging from 50 cents to $10.

Most feature hard-to-find classical recordings. But browsers also will find jazz, soundtracks, folk and pop.

Trotter splits proceeds with Friends of the Library. Since he set up shop in mid-December, sales have totaled nearly $200.

"That's better than I thought," clerk Lucy Leary says. "I am rather surprised."

Want a rare 1954 vinyl recording of George Malcolm conducting J.S. Bach orchestral suites? Trotter has one for $5.

How about a 1929 recording of Leopold Stokowski leading the Philadelphia Orchestra in Brahms Symphony No. 2? That's $10.

"Hopefully, I am doing a service for music lovers who can't find these anywhere else in town," Trotter says.

The shop itself is somewhat unusual among libraries, library director Sandy Neerman says. Although library friends' groups nationally hold annual book sales, having a book and coffee shop is more unique.

Now it's giving Trotter — author, music critic and former record-store owner — an outlet for 8,000 albums and CDs that overflow his storage unit.

Just a year ago, Trotter was selling them at Collectables, one of a handful of local shops selling vintage vinyl records.

But burglaries prompted the owner to close the West Lee Street shop last March.

Aside from his Web site (, Trotter had no sales outlet.

The longtime library patron thought about The Booklovers' Shop. "The demographic of clients who come in here is perfect," he says.

The shop had sold a donated collection of rare albums several years ago. When Trotter made his proposal, the quality of his collection sold the idea.

"It seemed like a good fit," librarian Beth Sheffield says.

For those interested in the music but not on vinyl, Trotter will burn it onto a CD for $10, complete with custom covers by his artist wife, E.A. Lustig.

Browsers and buyers get more than music. They get Trotter's commentary, written on each selection.

"Listen to great '60s musicians before the '60s became the sixties! $7.50." he writes on the CD "Hootenanny '64," with Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger and others.

"Terrific live performance, only $3," he says about Mahler Symphony No. 10, conducted by Simon Rattle.

There is the quirky "Eugenia Mayantz Sings a Pot-pourri of Russian and Gypsy Melodies," a vinyl bargain at $4.

"If you're turned on by the idea of 45 minutes of unaccompanied (and tonally very appropriate) singing by an old Ukrainian lady, here ya go!" Trotter writes.

Then there's the popular 1977 soundtrack to the movie "Saturday Night Fever."

"Here's a decent, playable copy for fifty cents. That's how desperately I want to get rid of it!"

photo by: H. Scott Hoffmann/News & Record

"Remember folks, vote or DIE!"

In case you haven't heard, today is Super Tuesday. So, get out there and vote or ummm... DIE! Yeah, that's it. Thanks Diddy & Paris! - Ace:)

"Pimp C died from Sippin' on Some Syrup"

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Influential Southern rapper Pimp C died of an accidental overdose of a combination of drugs he had named in his lyrics - codeine and promethazine, the county coroner's office ruled Monday.

The drugs are key ingredients in "syrup," a narcotic of choice in Southern rap circles that was most famously celebrated by Three 6 Mafia and Pimp C's group Underground Kingz in the 2000 single "Sippin' on some Syrup."

The coroner's office said Pimp C had sleep apnea, which causes people to stop breathing for up to 30 seconds at a time while sleeping. That illness combined with large amounts of prescription-strength cough syrup is what killed the rapper, coroner's Capt. Ed Winter said.

DJ Screw, another influential figure in the Texas hip-hop scene, died of a heart attack in 2000 after a reported overdose of codeine-laced cough syrup.

Pimp C, born Chad Butler, was 33 when he was found in his bed Dec. 4 at the upscale Mondrian hotel in West Hollywood. The coroner's office said his body was decomposing when it was found.

With partner-in-rhyme Bun B, Pimp C was half of the pioneering Port Arthur, Texas-based rap duo UGK. The group's self-titled CD topped the Billboard charts last year. Pimp C had been working on a solo effort before he died.

**Warning: The video below is uncensored. It features explicit lyrics, and dangerous levels of wackness.** - Ace:)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Lost footage : Led Zeppelin / Jimi Hendrix / The Who performances: Beat Club"

According to The Pulse of Radio, online music channel Rockworld.TV has announced that they have purchased footage of Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles that has been rescued from obsolete Super 8 and Betamax formats. reported that a new deal has been reached between RockWorld.TV and the Infernal Machine music archive to digitally clean up such lost 1960s TV broadcasts as the German music show "Beat Club", among other rarely seen shows. The remastered footage will appear sometime this year on Rockworld.TV along with additional performances from Aerosmith, The Who, and the Grateful Dead.

Pete Hadfield, co-founder and joint CEO of Carnaby Media, who own Rockworld.TV, has said: "We are getting access to some of the most exciting music footage in existence, a great deal of which has rarely if ever been seen before, which make our broadcast offering even stronger than it is already."

"New album from Paula Abdul : Summer 2008"

Abdul Says New Album Expected in Summer

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.(AP) -- Paula Abdul, who has a new song with fellow "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson, blames a plane mishap for keeping her out of the musical arena for more than a decade.

"I've been really, really blessed and fortunate and it's really, really poignant for me to come back now," Abdul told The Associated Press.

Abdul is featured on the first single off the new album from Jackson, due out next month. The song is titled "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow."

Abdul says an emergency plane landing that caused her injury in 1992 — she calls it a "plane crash" — was a key reason why she abandoned her multiplatinum singing career (she hasn't released a new album since 1995).

"I had four plates and fourteen cervical spinal surgeries," Abdul said while she picked up items Saturday at The Retreat at Super Bowl XLII, a celebrity gifting suite. "It all happened during the time that I disappeared and no one knew where I went. For five and a half years, I went through paralysis, the worst experience, and then I came back on 'American Idol,' that was my first time back out there."

Abdul decided to return to music when Jackson asked her to be one of the artists on "Randy Jackson's Musical Club, Vol. 1."

"Everything felt right. The song was amazing," said Abdul, who added that she just finished a video for the song: "I'm dancing," she said. "I'm doing things that you won't believe, that I don't even believe."

She's already started work on a new album that she expects to be released by the summer.

As for her other job, "American Idol," Abdul claims that this season's talent is the strongest yet.

"All the fat is trimmed, meaning that it's prime rib the whole lot," she said. "If we do it right and America does it right there could be a top twelve that are of the likes of Daughtry, Kelly, Carrie, I'm telling, you're in for an amazing season."

Sunday, February 3, 2008

"Super Bowl Sunday!"

Although I tend not to discuss politics, religion, or sports openly on this blog, I would like to offer this little tidbit....


Hope everyone has a great Super Bowl Sunday - wherever you are, whatever you're doing!

and did I mention...



Congrats going out to The Super Bowl Champions New JERSEY Giants! It was GREAT to see Tom Brady get his ass handed to him on a silver platter! BIG BLUE GOT IT DONE! - Ace:)