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the return of 7 inch vinyl (in the UK): anyone collecting?

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the return of 7 inch vinyl (in the UK): anyone collecting?

Old 06-18-07, 12:35 PM
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the return of 7 inch vinyl (in the UK): anyone collecting?

I find it both a passion and an addiction - I love the fact that in the UK the 'single' has and is the norm for releasing music to the masses: CD, 12 inch and the return of the 7 inch vinyl. Besides the 12 inch vinyl remix albums that are the staple for DJ's worldwide, I've been noticing 7 inch vinyl making a big comeback in the UK music retail market. The inclusion of bonus remix and non-albums tracks exclusive to each format is a definate plus to fans and collectors, like myself who listen and purchase music from the UK. With the popularity of ITunes and downloading, the manufacturing of vinyl even from the indie distributors here in the states has almost entirely disappeared.

Is it me or is anybody else diggin' the return of vinyl?
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Old 06-18-07, 01:01 PM
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the indie rock labels seem to be supporting vinyl, i regularly buy 7" singles and lp's records. i'd certainly welcome more, but given how few people probably buy these, i'll take what i can get.
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Old 06-18-07, 02:21 PM
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Well, I wouldn't say exactly a return in the UK, as the 7 inch format has always been used by at least one of the more popular indie bands there. What i find different as of late is the practice of releasing 2 separate 7 inches for the same single with exclusive non-album tracks not available on the cd singles. Bloc Party and The Long Blondes have been releasing singles like this for a while now. They're certainly going for the collector's crowd with this strategy.
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Old 06-18-07, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by polietilen
What i find different as of late is the practice of releasing 2 separate 7 inches for the same single with exclusive non-album tracks not available on the cd singles. Bloc Party and The Long Blondes have been releasing singles like this for a while now. They're certainly going for the collector's crowd with this strategy.
Uh, not the collectors crowd as much as the CHARTS. 2 singles = Double sales, boosting chart rankings, for a few weeks at least.

This practice was VERY widespread in the early 90s with CD singles. So much, in fact, that practically every CD single was released in packaging designed for 2 CDs, so that next week, when the second CD single was released, you would have space to put it. I have a bunch of these, and while you admire the packaging, somehow it always felt like being ripped off having 2 singles with what ended up being only 20 minutes or so of music.

-jason
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Old 06-18-07, 04:41 PM
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actually fuzzbox that was a ruling by the British Music industry that a CD single could only be three songs (max) + video and at no more than twenty minutes to qualify it as a legit 'single' hence why there was a perliforation of two disc CD single releases. The current trend amongst indie releases is two 7 inch vinyl releases and one CD single.
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Old 06-18-07, 05:31 PM
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I'm happy that more artists are putting exclusive tracks on their vinyl releases. For the most part, I was buying em anyways, and it's nice to have more tracks available. That said, I find the two separate 7" releases for a single incredibly annoying - why more annoying than the double CD format, I'm not sure, but I'm not impressed. I'm still buying, of course, but I'd much rather take a 7" and 2 CDs or a 7"/CDS/DVDs or even a 7"/12"/CDS [though I can't remember the last time that happened...maybe The Kills' 'No Wow' single at the end of 2005?] than a CD and two 7"s. Speaking of, I've noticed the DVD single dwindling over the past few years, which is kind of sad as I enjoyed that format as well.

That said, Duels put out two EPs last year exclusively on 2x7" format, and I absolutely adored them. Two of my favorite releases of 2006.

I'm such a format junkie.
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Old 06-18-07, 07:40 PM
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fuzzbox, they could easily cram 2 songs of 3-4 minutes into a single 7" and it'd sell much better than this new manner, i think. as was previously said, it is really annoying having 2 separate 7 inch singles when both songs can easily fit into one 7", since I've been noticing also that most of the exclusive b-sides are short songs anyway. the appeal is mainly for the alternate cover art. let's not forget that each of these 7 inches cost about $10-$11 as imports, so you end up spending almost $20 for 2 exclusive songs. not everybody is willing to spend that much for the sake of 2 exclusive tracks and some new artwork, hence, it's a strategy mainly catered to the obssessive vinyl collector.
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Old 06-18-07, 08:14 PM
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I'm sure most of you have seen that Ash have decided to stop releasing Albums and focus solely on singles..
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Old 06-19-07, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Giles
actually fuzzbox that was a ruling by the British Music industry that a CD single could only be three songs (max) + video and at no more than twenty minutes to qualify it as a legit 'single' hence why there was a perliforation of two disc CD single releases. The current trend amongst indie releases is two 7 inch vinyl releases and one CD single.
Actually the ruling was that a single had to be less than 40 minutes- hence The Orb's "Blue Room" single being 39:59. I think it might have been modified since then, but in the '90-94 or so era, that was the rule.

And it was definitely about the charts- the UK market is so small and fluid that singles were literally topping the charts one week and being completely off the next week, which is why the singles were released a week apart- that way the bands with the crazy fans would keep the band on the chart for 2 weeks instead of 1. There might have even been some triple singles.

In general, there were 4 formats of each single released- a 7" single, a cassette single, and 2 CD singles. Sometimes also a 12".

But when it comes down to it, it's all the same reasoning for releasing multiple formats- keeping them on the charts. It just looks like the second 7" has replaced either the cassette single or a second CD single.

-jason
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Old 06-19-07, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by fuzzbox
Actually the ruling was that a single had to be less than 40 minutes- hence The Orb's "Blue Room" single being 39:59. I think it might have been modified since then, but in the '90-94 or so era, that was the rule.

And it was definitely about the charts- the UK market is so small and fluid that singles were literally topping the charts one week and being completely off the next week, which is why the singles were released a week apart- that way the bands with the crazy fans would keep the band on the chart for 2 weeks instead of 1. There might have even been some triple singles.

In general, there were 4 formats of each single released- a 7" single, a cassette single, and 2 CD singles. Sometimes also a 12".

But when it comes down to it, it's all the same reasoning for releasing multiple formats- keeping them on the charts. It just looks like the second 7" has replaced either the cassette single or a second CD single.

-jason
my comment about the 20min running time was because of the release of the double cd-single, that was a recent (within the last ten years) change.

for awhile there, DVD-Singles were also released along with the varying formats - it was a quick brief faze.
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Old 06-19-07, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by polietilen
fuzzbox, they could easily cram 2 songs of 3-4 minutes into a single 7" and it'd sell much better than this new manner, i think. as was previously said, it is really annoying having 2 separate 7 inch singles when both songs can easily fit into one 7", since I've been noticing also that most of the exclusive b-sides are short songs anyway. the appeal is mainly for the alternate cover art. let's not forget that each of these 7 inches cost about $10-$11 as imports, so you end up spending almost $20 for 2 exclusive songs. not everybody is willing to spend that much for the sake of 2 exclusive tracks and some new artwork, hence, it's a strategy mainly catered to the obssessive vinyl collector.
not if you purchase the singles in it's first week of release over at Action Records there's sometimes a package deal of the two 7" and the CD for 5 GBP ($10 dollars for all three editions)
two recent examples:

- the new Ash single (yes Badlydrawnboy they do know to exploit the trend )
- the new Editor's single

the real kicker is the postage where and how the stores make their money, and with the current summer heat, I always pray the vinyl doesn't melt or warp.

The few US Virgin megastores I've noticed try to stock the 7" and 12" import releases.
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Old 06-20-07, 05:30 PM
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Newbury Comics stores are the only places I've seen new vinyl around here. Some of the independent joints carry vinyl, but all I've seen is used stuff.

cheers,

-the Jesus
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Old 06-20-07, 06:02 PM
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I have a place called Vintage Vinyl (which mostly sells CDs but has a lot of vinyl) about 15 minutes from me, and I'm always tempted to buy a few of my favorite albums in the old ways. Maybe some day, when I have enough money.
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Old 06-21-07, 12:37 PM
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re: running times

Regarding running times of CD singles, this is how I remember it:

It was definately under 40 minutes during the early- to mid-90's, but I believe a certain amount of it had to be remixes or alternate versions of tracks. I'm not familiar with the Orb, but check out some of the Bjork "Post"-era singles.

I believe it was early 1998, they changed the formatting rules so that a CD had to be under 3 tracks and 20 minutes, regardless. There was some ridiculous reason about helping bands who might not be able to fill 40 minutes of a single - and, to be fair, 40 minutes is hardly a single anymore. I remember this well because it ended up causing Bjork to delay the release of "Hunter" by a number of months - they had commissioned all the remixes based on a 40-minute CD2 [a la "Bachelorette" in January], then all of a sudden couldn't use em. Hence the emergence of CD3 for a while, and the release of "Hunter" and "Alarm Call" within 6 weeks or so of each other. [And the multiple, multiple 12" releases of "Alarm Call", but we won't go there.]

Recently, I believe the end of 2002/early 2003, they changed to the new "2 CDs are OK, but one has to be a 2-tracker and no longer than 10 minutes for no more than 2 pounds", though this changed the maxi-CD length to possibly 25 minutes if I'm not mistaken.

How this has led to the emergence of the 2 separate 7"s for each single I'm not sure, but that's definately the trend as of late.

Even though, I think, it's designed to help the charts and give you the most bang for your buck, I've found I'm spending at least as much if not more for less. Of course, that's mostly the exchange rates fault and not really under their control, but still.
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