DJTees Blog — Vinyl Culture

This is where I indulge in my passions - VINYL & ROCK 'n' ROLL

A Short History Of Bearsville Records

A Short History Of Bearsville Records

Authored By John Nicholson

A small, but I always thought rather hip label, It was formed in 1970 by Albert Grossman manager of Bob Dylan and also Janis Joplin. It was only in existence for 13 years but in that time released some very significant albums and singles.  The first recording to hit the stores was a self-titled release by a band called American Dream, and amongst their number was Nick Jameson later of Foghat who would also record for Bearsville. They were a Philadelphia-based band and their debut album was the first ever album produced by Todd Rundgren. Todd would go on to...

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What's The Real Best Selling Live Album Ever?

What's The Real Best Selling Live Album Ever?

Authored By John Nicholson
Do you know what the best-selling live album of all time is? If you're around my age of 54, you'll probably think it is Peter Frampton's Frampton Comes Alive. But you'd be wrong. That record is only certified as 6 x Platinum in USA, therefore commonly stated that it sold 6 million copies in America [...]
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A Short History Of Tower Records

A Short History Of Tower Records

Authored By John Nicholson

In 1960, Russell Solomon opened the first Tower Records store on Broadway, in Sacramento, California. He named it for his father's drugstore, which shared a building and name with the Tower Theatre, where Solomon first started selling records.  The first stand-alone Tower Records store was located at 2514 Watt Ave in Arden Arcade, a suburb of Sacramento, California. By 1976, Solomon had opened Tower Books, Posters, and Plants at 1600 Broadway, next door to another Sacramento Tower Records location. Seven years after its founding, Tower Records expanded to San Francisco, opening a store in what was originally a grocery store...

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The Amazing Kornyfone Record Label

The Amazing Kornyfone Record Label

Authored By John Nicholson

The Amazing Kornyfone Record Label was one of the major bootleg operations in the 1970s. Working out of Southern California (though records were often pressed in Holland), it was set up by Ken Douglas who had been one half of the Trade Mark of Quality label with Dub Taylor. When they split up their partnership, at first Ken released recordings on his own ‘Smoking Pig’ version of Trade Mark Of Quality, before establishing Kornyfone in 1973. From 1974 to 1976 he released over 100 titles, many of them with fantastic artwork by William Stout, who also did work for TMOQ...

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The Joy of Single Sleeves

The Joy of Single Sleeves

Authored By Johnny Blogger
Record collecting isn't all about the actual records for me, I've had a lifelong fascination with the record company sleeves for 7" singles. Don't laugh, it's true. & I know this is supreme nerding, but they always fascinated me from an early age when my parents would bring home the new Beatles single. I loved [...]
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Dynaflex - The Infamous Floppy Vinyl

Dynaflex - The Infamous Floppy Vinyl

Authored By Johnny Blogger
Let me take you back to 1969. Looks groovy, huh? OK we smell sweaty, have badly conditioned hair and are wearing unpleasant large underpants, but on the upside no-one has heard of quinoa, starts sentences with the word "So...", or spends all their day looking at a phone. Oh and one other good thing, there [...]
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Collecting the Polydor Flashback Series

Collecting the Polydor Flashback Series

Authored By Johnny Blogger
I love a list. Lists help make sense of what is essentially a chaotic world. To those of us whose minds are troubled by this and constantly fear an entire collapse of our sanity, a list brings shape and sense to life. So when it comes to record collecting, any series of albums that can [...]
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The History of Manticore Records

The History of Manticore Records

Authored By Johnny Blogger
A manticore is a legendary beast with the body of a lion, the head of a man, the tail of a scorpion and a giant Hammond organ for a bottom. Okay, the last bit is made up. Well, the whole thing is made up; it's a mythical creature. It's also the name of the record [...]
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The Joy of Compilation Albums

The Joy of Compilation Albums

Authored By Johnny Blogger
These days, the compilation album put out by a label as a sampler of some of their artists, is pretty much dead as a concept. The digital age has put an end to it's worth but back in the 60 and 70s, it was a primo marketing tool for record labels. And for a record [...]
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UK EP #1s of 1967

UK EP #1s of 1967

Authored By John Nicholson

I've always loved EPs from the moment my parents bought one The Beatles. 'With The Beatles' EP.  The idea of a 7" single with 4 tracks on rather than 2 seemed exciting and exotic. Commercially, it made sense because albums were expensive and out of the reach of many teens pocket money, where as the EP was more affordable for the fan who wanted twice as much music by their favourite band or singer. From 1960 to 1967 there was an EP chart compiled by trade organisation Record Retailer and published by Record Mirror. By late '67 the album was...

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#1 USA Singles Of 1973

#1 USA Singles Of 1973

Authored By John Nicholson

January 6 "You're So Vain" Carly Simon January 27 "Superstition" Stevie Wonder February 3 "Crocodile Rock" Elton John February 24 "Killing Me Softly with His Song" Roberta Flack March 24 "Love Train" The O'Jays March 31 "Killing Me Softly with His Song" Roberta Flack April 7 "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" Vicki Lawrence April 21 "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree"Dawn featuring Tony Orlando May 19 "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" Stevie Wonder May 26 "Frankenstein" The Edgar Winter Group June 2  "My Love"     Paul McCartney & Wings June 30"Give...

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A Short History of Dandelion Records

A Short History of Dandelion Records

Authored By John Nicholson

Despite only existing for three years between 1969 and 1972, Dandelion is a label that is fondly remembered by heads of a certain age and a popular label to collect for vinyl junkies.  Famously set up by UK DJ John Peel, it only ever had one hit - "(And The) Pictures in the Sky" by Medicine Head which got to #22 on the UK charts.  There were 23 singles and 28 albums released in total by such often obscure luminaries as Stack Waddy, Principal Edwards Magic Theatre, Beau, Tractor and Bridget St John But the point was never to have...

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The History of Picture Discs

The History of Picture Discs

Authored By John Nicholson

Although in the late 70s and 80s picture discs became commonplace, it’s not often known that they had been around since the 1920s. Their first wave of significant popularity did not arrive until the start of the 1930s, when several companies in several countries began issuing them.  Some were illustrated with photographs or artwork simply designed to be appropriate to the musical contents, but some graphics also promoted films in which the recorded songs had been introduced, and a few were blatant advertising that had little or no connection with the recording.  Some politicians and demagogues explored the potential of...

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The Artwork of The Fool

The Artwork of The Fool

Authored By John Nicholson

Released in July 1967 at the height of the summer of love, The Incredible String Band's The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion is an album that became emblematic of the time both musically and visually. Its use of sitars and tabla combined with folk music was a perfect soundtrack for those trippy dope smoking days.  The cover of the record is very July 1967 in that it’s one of those sleeves which you could stare at endlessly as the various narcotics flowed into your bloodstream and it’d never quite look the same twice.  It was designed by Dutch...

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The Great Society

The Great Society

Authored By John Nicholson

For all aficionados of west coast rock of the mid to late 60s, The Great Society are an interesting San Francisco band who played an important part of the development of the scene. Formed in the summer of ‘65 in Frisco by Grace Slick, brother Darby and then-husband Jerry with David Miner on vocals and guitar, Bard DuPont on bass, and Peter van Gelder on flute, bass, and saxophone. Grace, of course, had been a model and was very much the focal point of the group both visually and vocally. They began playing around the North Beach area of the...

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