Vinyl: A History of the Analogue Record by Richard Osborne

By Richard Osborne

Vinyl: A background of the Analogue list is the 1st in-depth examine of the vinyl checklist. Richard Osborne strains of the evolution of the recording layout from its roots within the first sound recording experiments to its survival on the earth of electronic applied sciences. This publication addresses the record's courting with song: the analogue checklist used to be formed via, and helped to form, the song of the 20th century. It additionally appears on the cult of vinyl documents. Why are clients so keen about this structure? Why has it turn into the topic of works of art and ads? Why are vinyl documents nonetheless being produced?This publication explores its topic utilizing a particular strategy: the writer takes the vinyl list aside and historicizes its building. every one bankruptcy explores a unique point: the groove, the disc form, the label, vinyl itself, the album, the one, the b-side and the 12" unmarried, and the sleeve. through anatomizing vinyl during this demeanour, the writer shines new mild on its effect and charm.

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Commonly it was bicycle wholesalers and retailers who stocked the machines and their records. As the Phono Trader and Recorder remarked in 1911, ‘The talking machine, as is wellknown, found its first sponsor in the cycle trade – the music trade would have none of it’ (‘The Trade’ 1911: 342). At the time of Berliner’s Franklin Institute speech the market for pre-recorded music was virtually non-existent. It emerged, surreptitiously, during the course of the next three years. The North American Phonograph Company, formed by Jesse Lippincott in 1888, had little success in marketing the phonograph and Graphophone as dictation devices.

The original tinfoil recordings, far from being immortal, lasted only a few plays. What eroded them was their reading instrument, the stylus. This destructive relationship affected later shellac and vinyl records as well. Shellac discs gained their best levels of reproduction when there was a close fit between needle and groove. In order to achieve this fit abrasives were added to the shellac mixture so that the record itself could wear down the needle. This battle resulted in the distinctive ‘frying-bacon’ sound of 78 rpm records.

Adding, ‘as all records wear out … I presume he means that disc records of exceptional merit should be carefully preserved without being played’ (A Lover of Music 1905: 97). This dissolution helped to change the role of the phonograph and gramophone. Their preservative function was superseded by a commercial use: the need to generate new recordings as old ones wore out. Shellac was eventually replaced by tougher and more durable vinyl records, but with these came the microgroove: styli now had to negotiate the most delicate of tracings.

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