Special Issue: The History of Vinyl

<em>American History Now</em> presents a curated experiment in a collaborative history of vinyl records.

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Black Sabbath – The Original Six

To commemorate scoring Black Sabbath concert tickets for the April 20, 2014 show in Calgary, I decided to make my largest and longest post yet. Most of you wouldn’t give a crap about this stuff, but please indulge an old man and his neurotic hangups. Thanks to my ongoing sell off ofRead More…

Jerry’s Record Store

Sarah Schneider is an MFA student at the Maryland Institute College of Art. More of her work can be seen at her site.

Bootlegging as Material Culture

  Long before “cassette culture” and DIY, there was a distinct culture of homemade media: bootleg records.  Even with the technological limitations of shellac and vinyl, pirates, collectors, and music fans figured out how to reproduce sound.  In doing so, they also invented a unique aesthetic of piracy in theRead More…

Why Music Sales are Down

There’s a good reason why you might not enjoy listening to music as much as you used to: It’s gotten too loud. All music has “dynamic range,” variations in volume between the loud parts and the soft parts. People sing and play at different volumes. Individual notes have an initialRead More…

My Experiences With Vinyl Media

As far as my experiences with vinyl records are concerned, it is hard to know where to begin, but all of those experiences were memorable. At 59, I am old enough (and hopefully wise enough) to understand that nostalgia and memories from one’s youth tend to positively bias your feelingsRead More…

Vinyl is the real deal. I've always felt like, until you buy the vinyl record, you don't really own the album. And it's not just me or a little pet thing or some kind of retro romantic thing from the past. It is still alive. ----- Jack White