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Month

August 2019

Charles T. Downey Briefly Noted: Half-Adapted Bach Sonatas

J. S. Bach, Gamba Sonatas (arr. for viola and harpsichord), A. Tamestit, M. Suzuki
(released on August 23, 2019)
Harmonia Mundi HMM902259 | 44’32″Johann Sebastian Bach’s three sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord are one of the curious delights of his catalog. The instrument, in the family of softer antecedents to the violin and relatives, was on its way out even in Bach’s time. Thanks to

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Thanks to 1530 Main for the fun interview! Check it out at the link below!Also, don’t miss my Mick…

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Jeffrey Lee Puckett The New Pro-Ject T1 Phono SB Hits The Sweet Spot

The new Pro-Ject T1 series of turntables is the Austrian company’s latest addition to its budget line, which is filled with turntables $500 and below. But the three T1 models are Pro-Ject’s purest expressions of an entry-level product, designed to appeal to vinyl fans who like to keep things cheap and simple.

We’re taking a look at the T1 Phono SB, the $399 model in the middle. It has a built-in phono preamp and electronic speed controls for 33 and 45 rpm. The basic T1 ($329) does not have a phono preamp and requires you to change speeds by manually moving the belt. The T1 BT ($429) adds Bluetooth and a phono preamp but takes away electronic speed switching. They all come with a $70 Ortofon OM5e cartridge.

The T1 Phono SB’s Combination Of Features Seems Just Right

The T1 Phono SB can be plugged directly into a pair of powered speakers, or you can switch out its preamp and use an external phono stage for a more traditional set-up. Many similar turntables have landed in recent years, with Audio-Technica leading the way with its wildly popular LP120X and LP120 models.

The T1 Phono SB and its siblings certainly look enticing. Plinths are available in glossy black, satin white or walnut, and the sporty glass platter has a satisfying heft. Pro-Ject reports that plastic is not involved in the manufacturing of the T1 plinths and that keeping resonances to a minimum was a priority.

A new tonearm is similar in many ways to other Pro-Ject arms but doesn’t have adjustable anti-skate, an apparent cost-cutting move which some may not like. But whatever Pro-Jet has done to achieve usable anti-skate works; the arm never once skipped, jumped or hiccuped.

At $399, the T1 Phono SB feels like a lateral move in the Pro-Ject line. The popular Pro-Ject Essential III Phono is $389 and has a better tonearm and better cartridge, but speed has to be changed manually by moving the belt (although you can opt for the Essential III SB, which at $460 adds electronic speed switching).

So like the entitled little blonde-haired girl who stole all the porridge said, the T1 Phono SB’s combination of features seems just right.

With the Essential line firmly established and competitively priced, what’s the point of the T1 Phono SB?

The primary appeal is the simplicity of set-up and use. A newcomer to turntables has enough variables to worry about even on a good day, and the T1 Phono SB is designed to scratch some of those variables off the list. It’s easy to get lost when playing with anti-skate adjustments, for example, and when a noob gets lost bad things usually happen. Toss in electronic speed switching and the T1 Phono SB is the closest thing to plug-and-play that Pro-Ject offers under $400.

Setting up the T1 Phono SB was straightforward and the instructions were clear and concise. The cartridge was perfectly aligned but the vertical tracking force (VTF) was set at 2.40 grams instead of the recommended 1.75. For anyone comfortable with making the adjustment this is no big deal, but I’ve rarely dealt with a counterweight as fussy as this one. This thing likes to scrap and tightening its set screw invariably led to the VTF changing. Eventually, I settled on close enough for rock and roll because life is short.

Overall, the T1 Phono SB makes pretty music and looks even more pretty, making it strong competition for the handsome Audio-Technica LPW40wn, a budget model I really like. It leans toward a friendly sound, with a plump bass and tipped-down highs (some of which, of course, is attributable to the cartridge, which is easily upgradeable).

It’s an easy ‘table to listen to for extended periods. You don’t get that magical suspension of disbelief, the sensation that John Lee Hooker is in the room, but that’s just not going to happen with a budget turntable. Instead, you get a reasonable facsimile, just enough to make you hungry for more, which is why Pro-Ject makes The Classic and the 1Xpression.

I had two glitches during the review period, neither of which turned out to be a dealbreaker. The T1 Phono SB’s phono preamp is pretty good, no better or worse than the recently-upgraded version used by Audio-Technica, but you can always do better. I like to plug any budget ‘table with a line out option into a Lounge Audio LCR MKIII, which at $300 puts a lot of expensive phono preamps to shame.

However, the Pro-Ject and the Lounge refused to get along. No matter what I tried, there was a constant low-level 60Hz hum — these guys just didn’t get along. With every other phono preamp I tried, including a PS Audio GCPH and Eastern Electric MiniMax, there was zero hum.

The other glitch came after a really long listening session, around seven hours, when the motor pulley started making a steady noise best described as a rubbing sound.

Maybe something heated up and expanded. Most people don’t play records for seven hours straight unless hosting a record party, in which case they’re probably super drunk, listening to Black Oak Arkansas for no good reason, and definitely not worried about a rubbing pulley. In normal use, including sessions that lasted a few hours, the noise never returned.

As with every other turntable/cartridge combo at this price point, an experienced listener will notice things such as a lack of bass definition, average separation of instruments and a more dry tonal quality. None of it was missing to an alarming degree, and if you’ve never heard a nice upper-middle-class stereo system — and the majority of people buying this turntable likely haven’t — then you won’t miss them.

Pro-Ject offers a dizzying array of models between $250 and $500, maybe too many, but the T1 Phono SB hits a sweet spot of features, sound and price. For anyone looking to get into vinyl without dropping a lot of cash, it joins Pro-Ject’s Essential line and the AT LPW40wn on the shortlist of potential buys.

This article produced in partnership with Pro-Ject.

The post The New Pro-Ject T1 Phono SB Hits The Sweet Spot appeared first on Discogs Blog.

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“A camera is a wonderful ally. It requires minimal maintenance and provides entry to a world…

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Guillaume Dufay

Donald Macleod is joined by William Lyons to explore Guillaume Dufay’s life and music.

The beauty, originality and technical mastery of Guillaume Dufay’s music illustrate why the Florentine ruler Piero de’Medici gave him the epithet “the greatest ornament of our age”. Undoubtedly he is one of the 15th century’s most distinctive voices. He was in his late 70s by the time he died in 1474; a long life by medieval standards. His outstanding talent transported him from an uncertain start in life as the illegitimate son of a servant and an unknown man, to being a musician who was feted at court, and respected by the church and the papacy alike. As his fame spread across Europe, he commanded the admiration of his fellow composers, influencing not only his direct contemporaries but also the generation of composers who succeeded him, among them Johannes Ockeghem.

Donald Macleod is joined by William Lyons, a historical music researcher and the founder of the ensemble The Dufay Collective. Pulling together what’s known about Dufay, across the episode, they build a picture of the man behind this illustrious reputation, examine the key relationships he fostered, and consider how his music flourished as he navigated the turbulent political currents of the age.

Music featured:
St. Anthony of Padua Mass
Ce jour de l’an
Quel fronte signorillo
C’est bien raison de devoir essaucier
Ave Regina caelorum
Missa Ave regina caelorum
Motet: Apostolo gloriosum
Seigneur Leon, vous soyés bienvenus
Missa Sancti Jacobi – Offertorium
Magnificat tertii et quarti toni
Missa Ecce ancilla Domini – Sanctus
Malheureulx cueur
Motet: Moribus et genere
Adieu ces bons vins de Lannoys
Missa Sine Nomine – Kyrie & Gloria
Ballade: Resvelliés-vous et faites chiere lye
Vasilissa ergo gaude
O Sancte Sebastiane
Missa Sancti Jacobi – Sanctus, Agnus Dei
Vergene Bella
La Belle se siet
Ballade: Se la face ay pale
Flos Florum
Ecclesiae militantis
Balsamus et munda cera
Supremum est mortalibus bonum
Ave Maris Stella
L’alta tua bellezza
Salve flos Tusce gentis
Ce moys de may
Bon jour, bon mois
Il sera par vous combatu
Missa L’homme armé – Kyrie
S’il est Plaisir
Je me complains
Par le regard
Ave regina caelorum II
Sanctus Ave verum corpus
Gaude virgo

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Johannah Smith for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Guillaume Dufay https://ift.tt/2ZJ2x4I

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: https://ift.tt/2vwHS8q

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falsepriest How Music Films & Biopics Are Affecting Music Sales

Music films seem inescapable at the moment. Granted, as a music fan, I deliberately put them in my line of vision, many of these films are geared towards fans and non-fans of the artist alike, or even of that particular music genre. Record execs are likely taking note of the incredible achievement of Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody and pushing through film projects at an accelerated rate. 

In the Rolling Stone Music Now podcast, writers Brian Hiatt and Andy Greene discuss how Queen is now arguably bigger in the US than they’ve ever been. Thanks to Hollywood, there’s probably a whole generation of teenagers getting into rock and roll who are convinced that the biggest rock bands are Queen and Mötley Crüe, citing the following Tweet:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

“Because if Nirvana’s so good then where’s their movie?” says Hiatt, putting himself in the teen’s frame of mind.

Having just released our mid-year report, comparing data from the Discogs Database and Marketplace to that of the wider-music industry via Nielsen Music we’ve spent a bit of time poring over Nielsen’s findings. So great was the influence of music films on music consumption (sales, downloads, and on demand streaming) in 2019 so far, they dedicated a whole section of their mid-year report to it. Seeing the undeniable impact of these music movies really highlights what a marketing machine they are for the artist beyond the box office; against all odds Queen is the biggest selling artist for the first half of 2019. 

Queen weren’t the only band to benefit some Hollywood marketing; Nielsen also highlighted Rocketman‘s impact on Elton John‘s catalog, A Star Is Born for Lady Gaga, The Dirt for Mötley Crüe, and Amazing Grace for Aretha Franklin, among others.

One of the most striking things about these music films is that all they’re pretty different. Bohemian Rhapsody is a pretty classic, cut-and-dry rock biopic. Rocketman is more of a musical with fantastical leanings. A Star Is Born is a completely fictionalized film, with a popstar portraying the lead character. The Dirt is another classic biopic, but being a Netflix production, bypassed the traditional means of cinematic distribution. Amazing Grace is a concert film which was mainly shown on the festival circuit.

While music film releases like this haven’t traditionally had a place in the Discogs Database despite the close connection to the artist and their discography, for that very reason, we think they should be. Check out the Film tab on Discogs Artist pages (e.g. Queen) and see all the films related to that artist. Film releases can be added to this tab by submitting them to Filmogs and ensuring the Discogs page links to the artists’ Filmogs profile page.

Biggest Music Films Of The Past Year vs. Music Sales

We wanted to compare Nielsen’s notes to what we’ve seen on Discogs over the past year following the release of each film. Streaming a Queen or Elton track after seeing a trailer, or catching the film at the cinema is pretty low stakes – it’s easily accessible and free. Buying an album is much more of a commitment. We took a look at Collection figures on Discogs to see if the number of people who bought the albums or singles from these artists and added them to their Discogs Collections increased around the time the film were released.

Define ‘Collection Addition’…

We count the number of times a member of the Discogs community adds a physical release credited to the artist to their Collection, ranging from album, single, soundtrack, appearance, on vinyl, CD, cassette, reel to reel – whatever. It doesn’t have to be bought in the Discogs Marketplace, added to Collection are the only numbers we’re looking at here.

Bohemian Rhapsody vs. Queen Interest & Collection Additions

Release date: November 1, 2018
Box office: 903m USD

While achieving larger than life status in their native England, Queen never really struck a chord with the American crowd in as big a way. Many Americans first introduction to Queen was in Wayne’s World in the ’90s. Bohemian Rhapsody has proven to be an unbelievable success, setting a new box office records for biographical film and drama genres, and winning a number of awards, including the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama, and picking up a Best Actor Oscar for Rami Malek’s Mercury. 

As of the first half of this year, Queen had shifted 731,000 units, making them the biggest selling artist of the year so far. Strangely, there wasn’t a single Queen album on our top 10 vinyl sales of 2019 so far, but we definitely saw an increase in the number of appearances Queen made on our monthly Top 50 Best Selling Records lists. Eight out of the 50 albums on our best seller list in November 2018 were Queen albu

ms. That number dropped down to two for a few months, then jumped back up to four in February, the month the film was distributed for home release. Similarly, we saw more Queen on our Top 30 Most Expensive Items list leading up to and after the release of Bohemian Rhapsody, including a 2017 pressing of News Of The World going for $1592 in February.

Looking at collection numbers on Discogs, we see a sharp rise from July 2018 through January 2019. It should be noted that there is an increase in the number of items being added to collections in general around December-January of every year, likely due to newly acquired items over the holiday season, but this spike is a lot steeper than the general trend around this time of year. The second spike around March coincides with the release of Bohemian Rhapsody on DVD and Blu-ray.

Rocketman vs. Elton John Interest & Collection Additions

Release date: May 31 2019
Box Office: 185.5m USD

The pressure on Elton John’s biopic, coming so closely after Bohemian Rhapsody was high. It was a pretty different in movie, both in terms of the style of filmmaking and the context of its subject (musical with elements of fantasy vs. dramatic  biopic, alive vs. dead frontman, still touring vs. still touring but sans-original frontman). Rocketman got a good critical reception and did well enough at the box office, but clearly didn’t have a patch on Bohemian Rhapsody.

Despite not quite hitting the same heights as Bohemian Rhapsody at the box office, the timing of Rocketman has no doubt been great for ticket sales of his current 300 date worldwide tour, Farewell Yellow Brick Road. The tour had grossed over $125m by the end of its first leg and won a Billboard Music Award for Top Rock Tour. Oh, and what’s this? An autobiography coming out in October! It’s already a number 1 best seller in preorders on a certain internet retail site. Elton means business.

And then there’s the music. Nielsen reported an 84% increase in consumption of Elton’s catalog in the week following the May 31 release of Rocketman. Discogs Collection adds tell a more modest story. It’s possible that bump in collection adds around the start of the year was buoyed by press around the upcoming biopic, but the adds around June – where we might expect to see a bigger uptick – is a little underwhelming.

I really hope that at least one person added some Elton to their collection as a result of seeing this Snickers ad from August 2018.

A Star Is Born vs. Lady Gaga Interest & Collection Additions

Release date: October 5 2018
Box office: 435m USD

Not a biopic, but a music heavy film with an original soundtrack and popstar, Lady Gaga playing a popstar. Some things I learned about this film when researching this part: Aaliyah was in talks to pick up Gaga’s role in a 2000 adaptation following her breakout role in Romeo Must Die. Clint Eastwood wanted to take a run at an adaptation in 2011 with Beyoncé in the lead, but the project was put on hold when she got pregnant, then left in 2012. Eastwood was then interested in bringing Prince protegé, Esperanza Spalding on board. 

Gaga’s streaming numbers were way up following her turn as Ally in A Star Is Born. Lead single from the soundtrack, Shallow set new records, spending 45 weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100. That’s longer than any other track that’s won the Oscar for Best Original Song (previous record holder was Let It Go from Frozen, which was on the charts for 33 weeks). Nielsen reported that the song received 684,000 digital downloads in the first half of the year, and had been streamed 316 million times.

That performance of at the Academy Awards is what really seems to pique wider interest in Lady Gaga. Looking at Google Trends data below here, where the blue trend line is the volume of Google searches for Lady Gaga and the red trend line is Google searches for A Star Is Born, the film release sees a small boost to Gaga’s search popularity. But that spike right around the date of the Academy Awards shows that’s where the magic is.  

While Lady Gaga isn’t a particularly popular artist among the Discogs crowd, it seems not even you were not immune to her charms at the Academy Awards. Interest in Lady Gaga’s catalog following the release of A Star Is Born sees a marked upswing from October through December 2018, with another small surge in March earlier this year, right around that award performance.

The Dirt vs. Mötley Crüe Interest & Collection Additions

Release date: March 18 2019
Box office: N/A – Made for Netflix. Netflix is famously tight-lipped on viewership data, so streaming numbers are unknown.

In the words of New York Times reviewer Jason Bailey, “The Dirt” plays like an ill-advised remake of This is Spinal Tapone in which all the laughs are unintentional.” Is he right? I don’t know, I haven’t seen it and I didn’t really have any major inclination to tune in until reading that.

The film is based on the Neil Strauss assisted autobiography, The Dirt: Confessions Of The World’s Most Notorious Rock Band. How much money Netflix puts into marketing and promotion for a film like this compared to more traditional studios, distributors and networks is also a mystery. 

But whatever they did worked. Nielsen shows a 683% surge in the consumption of Mötley Crüe’s catalog in the week following the premiere of The Dirt, including 30.4 million song streams streams. Discogs Collection numbers reflect that; just look at the chart below – interest in Mötley Crüe almost doubled in the months leading up to that biopic release.

Amazing Grace vs. Aretha Franklin Interest

Release date: April 12 2019
Box Office 5.2m USD

Another very different take on the music film; Amazing Grace is a concert film with a festival concentrated release, premiering at Doc NYC.

It took a long way to find its way to the screen, being recorded in 1972 alongside an album of the same name, but the film was not released at the time due to technical difficulties with syncing the audio and visual. Footage was shelved, gathering dust in a vault at Warner Bros. until it was purchased by producer, Alan Elliott in 2007. Elliott tried to release it twice – once in 2011 and once in 2015 – and was met with a lawsuit from Franklin both times. Following Franklin’s death in 2018, her family made an arrangement to release the film, which has been met with critical acclaim.

Nielsen noticed a 16% increase in streaming of Franklin’s Gospel Greats compilation following the wide theatrical release of Amazing Grace. On Discogs, we see a slight influx in items added to collection around the release date. Unfortunately, any movement in the amount of Franklin records added to collection on Discogs is dwarfed by events the spike around her death in August.

With all that in mind, it’s time to start calling bets on who’s already sitting in meetings discussing who will portray them on the big screen. There’s already a whole bunch slated for the coming year, including Bowie, Elvis, and Madonna. Whose biopic would you most like to see?

The post How Music Films & Biopics Are Affecting Music Sales appeared first on Discogs Blog.

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falsepriest How Music Films & Biopics Are Affecting Music Sales

Music films seem inescapable at the moment. Granted, as a music fan, I deliberately put them in my line of vision, many of these films are geared towards fans and non-fans of the artist alike, or even of that particular music genre. Record execs are likely taking note of the incredible achievement of Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody and pushing through film projects at an accelerated rate. 

In the Rolling Stone Music Now podcast, writers Brian Hiatt and Andy Greene discuss how Queen is now arguably bigger in the US than they’ve ever been. Thanks to Hollywood, there’s probably a whole generation of teenagers getting into rock and roll who are convinced that the biggest rock bands are Queen and Mötley Crüe, citing the following Tweet:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

“Because if Nirvana’s so good then where’s their movie?” says Hiatt, putting himself in the teen’s frame of mind.

Having just released our mid-year report, comparing data from the Discogs Database and Marketplace to that of the wider-music industry via Nielsen Music we’ve spent a bit of time poring over Nielsen’s findings. So great was the influence of music films on music consumption (sales, downloads, and on demand streaming) in 2019 so far, they dedicated a whole section of their mid-year report to it. Seeing the undeniable impact of these music movies really highlights what a marketing machine they are for the artist beyond the box office; against all odds Queen is the biggest selling artist for the first half of 2019. 

Queen weren’t the only band to benefit some Hollywood marketing; Nielsen also highlighted Rocketman‘s impact on Elton John‘s catalog, A Star Is Born for Lady Gaga, The Dirt for Mötley Crüe, and Amazing Grace for Aretha Franklin, among others.

One of the most striking things about these music films is that all they’re pretty different. Bohemian Rhapsody is a pretty classic, cut-and-dry rock biopic. Rocketman is more of a musical with fantastical leanings. A Star Is Born is a completely fictionalized film, with a popstar portraying the lead character. The Dirt is another classic biopic, but being a Netflix production, bypassed the traditional means of cinematic distribution. Amazing Grace is a concert film which was mainly shown on the festival circuit.

While music film releases like this haven’t traditionally had a place in the Discogs Database despite the close connection to the artist and their discography, for that very reason, we think they should be. Check out the Film tab on Discogs Artist pages (e.g. Queen) and see all the films related to that artist. Film releases can be added to this tab by submitting them to Filmogs and ensuring the Discogs page links to the artists’ Filmogs profile page.

Biggest Music Films Of The Past Year vs. Music Sales

We wanted to compare Nielsen’s notes to what we’ve seen on Discogs over the past year following the release of each film. Streaming a Queen or Elton track after seeing a trailer, or catching the film at the cinema is pretty low stakes – it’s easily accessible and free. Buying an album is much more of a commitment. We took a look at Collection figures on Discogs to see if the number of people who bought the albums or singles from these artists and added them to their Discogs Collections increased around the time the film were released.

Define ‘Collection Addition’…

We count the number of times a member of the Discogs community adds a physical release credited to the artist to their Collection, ranging from album, single, soundtrack, appearance, on vinyl, CD, cassette, reel to reel – whatever. It doesn’t have to be bought in the Discogs Marketplace, added to Collection are the only numbers we’re looking at here.

Bohemian Rhapsody vs. Queen Interest & Collection Additions

Release date: November 1, 2018
Box office: 903m USD

While achieving larger than life status in their native England, Queen never really struck a chord with the American crowd in as big a way. Many Americans first introduction to Queen was in Wayne’s World in the ’90s. Bohemian Rhapsody has proven to be an unbelievable success, setting a new box office records for biographical film and drama genres, and winning a number of awards, including the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama, and picking up a Best Actor Oscar for Rami Malek’s Mercury. 

As of the first half of this year, Queen had shifted 731,000 units, making them the biggest selling artist of the year so far. Strangely, there wasn’t a single Queen album on our top 10 vinyl sales of 2019 so far, but we definitely saw an increase in the number of appearances Queen made on our monthly Top 50 Best Selling Records lists. Eight out of the 50 albums on our best seller list in November 2018 were Queen albu

ms. That number dropped down to two for a few months, then jumped back up to four in February, the month the film was distributed for home release. Similarly, we saw more Queen on our Top 30 Most Expensive Items list leading up to and after the release of Bohemian Rhapsody, including a 2017 pressing of News Of The World going for $1592 in February.

Looking at collection numbers on Discogs, we see a sharp rise from July 2018 through January 2019. It should be noted that there is an increase in the number of items being added to collections in general around December-January of every year, likely due to newly acquired items over the holiday season, but this spike is a lot steeper than the general trend around this time of year. The second spike around March coincides with the release of Bohemian Rhapsody on DVD and Blu-ray.

Rocketman vs. Elton John Interest & Collection Additions

Release date: May 31 2019
Box Office: 185.5m USD

The pressure on Elton John’s biopic, coming so closely after Bohemian Rhapsody was high. It was a pretty different in movie, both in terms of the style of filmmaking and the context of its subject (musical with elements of fantasy vs. dramatic  biopic, alive vs. dead frontman, still touring vs. still touring but sans-original frontman). Rocketman got a good critical reception and did well enough at the box office, but clearly didn’t have a patch on Bohemian Rhapsody.

Despite not quite hitting the same heights as Bohemian Rhapsody at the box office, the timing of Rocketman has no doubt been great for ticket sales of his current 300 date worldwide tour, Farewell Yellow Brick Road. The tour had grossed over $125m by the end of its first leg and won a Billboard Music Award for Top Rock Tour. Oh, and what’s this? An autobiography coming out in October! It’s already a number 1 best seller in preorders on a certain internet retail site. Elton means business.

And then there’s the music. Nielsen reported an 84% increase in consumption of Elton’s catalog in the week following the May 31 release of Rocketman. Discogs Collection adds tell a more modest story. It’s possible that bump in collection adds around the start of the year was buoyed by press around the upcoming biopic, but the adds around June – where we might expect to see a bigger uptick – is a little underwhelming.

I really hope that at least one person added some Elton to their collection as a result of seeing this Snickers ad from August 2018.

A Star Is Born vs. Lady Gaga Interest & Collection Additions

Release date: October 5 2018
Box office: 435m USD

Not a biopic, but a music heavy film with an original soundtrack and popstar, Lady Gaga playing a popstar. Some things I learned about this film when researching this part: Aaliyah was in talks to pick up Gaga’s role in a 2000 adaptation following her breakout role in Romeo Must Die. Clint Eastwood wanted to take a run at an adaptation in 2011 with Beyoncé in the lead, but the project was put on hold when she got pregnant, then left in 2012. Eastwood was then interested in bringing Prince protegé, Esperanza Spalding on board. 

Gaga’s streaming numbers were way up following her turn as Ally in A Star Is Born. Lead single from the soundtrack, Shallow set new records, spending 45 weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100. That’s longer than any other track that’s won the Oscar for Best Original Song (previous record holder was Let It Go from Frozen, which was on the charts for 33 weeks). Nielsen reported that the song received 684,000 digital downloads in the first half of the year, and had been streamed 316 million times.

That performance of at the Academy Awards is what really seems to pique wider interest in Lady Gaga. Looking at Google Trends data below here, where the blue trend line is the volume of Google searches for Lady Gaga and the red trend line is Google searches for A Star Is Born, the film release sees a small boost to Gaga’s search popularity. But that spike right around the date of the Academy Awards shows that’s where the magic is.  

While Lady Gaga isn’t a particularly popular artist among the Discogs crowd, it seems not even you were not immune to her charms at the Academy Awards. Interest in Lady Gaga’s catalog following the release of A Star Is Born sees a marked upswing from October through December 2018, with another small surge in March earlier this year, right around that award performance.

The Dirt vs. Mötley Crüe Interest & Collection Additions

Release date: March 18 2019
Box office: N/A – Made for Netflix. Netflix is famously tight-lipped on viewership data, so streaming numbers are unknown.

In the words of New York Times reviewer Jason Bailey, “The Dirt” plays like an ill-advised remake of This is Spinal Tapone in which all the laughs are unintentional.” Is he right? I don’t know, I haven’t seen it and I didn’t really have any major inclination to tune in until reading that.

The film is based on the Neil Strauss assisted autobiography, The Dirt: Confessions Of The World’s Most Notorious Rock Band. How much money Netflix puts into marketing and promotion for a film like this compared to more traditional studios, distributors and networks is also a mystery. 

But whatever they did worked. Nielsen shows a 683% surge in the consumption of Mötley Crüe’s catalog in the week following the premiere of The Dirt, including 30.4 million song streams streams. Discogs Collection numbers reflect that; just look at the chart below – interest in Mötley Crüe almost doubled in the months leading up to that biopic release.

Amazing Grace vs. Aretha Franklin Interest

Release date: April 12 2019
Box Office 5.2m USD

Another very different take on the music film; Amazing Grace is a concert film with a festival concentrated release, premiering at Doc NYC.

It took a long way to find its way to the screen, being recorded in 1972 alongside an album of the same name, but the film was not released at the time due to technical difficulties with syncing the audio and visual. Footage was shelved, gathering dust in a vault at Warner Bros. until it was purchased by producer, Alan Elliott in 2007. Elliott tried to release it twice – once in 2011 and once in 2015 – and was met with a lawsuit from Franklin both times. Following Franklin’s death in 2018, her family made an arrangement to release the film, which has been met with critical acclaim.

Nielsen noticed a 16% increase in streaming of Franklin’s Gospel Greats compilation following the wide theatrical release of Amazing Grace. On Discogs, we see a slight influx in items added to collection around the release date. Unfortunately, any movement in the amount of Franklin records added to collection on Discogs is dwarfed by events the spike around her death in August.

With all that in mind, it’s time to start calling bets on who’s already sitting in meetings discussing who will portray them on the big screen. There’s already a whole bunch slated for the coming year, including Bowie, Elvis, and Madonna. Whose biopic would you most like to see?

The post How Music Films & Biopics Are Affecting Music Sales appeared first on Discogs Blog.

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Mark Kimber Interpol ‘Turn On The Bright Lights’

Following the horrific events of September 11th, 2001, New York was a scarred city that was determined to move on and rebuild. Members of Interpol had watched the scene unfold from the rooftops of their buildings and through the surreal spectacle of 24 hour news coverage. A strange atmosphere had taken over the city: unusually high levels of mutual kindness between strangers gave way to a new sense of clarity. Sam Fogarino recalls: “It was weird in the band, too. For a short period of time, it felt like, ‘Let’s just shake hands and move on. We’re not doing a record.’ Everything seemed so trivial.”

The band kicked off the recording process just over a month later, opting for the home studio of producer Peter Katis, far away in Bridgeport, Connecticut: an isolated location, removed from the social and narcotic distractions of New York. Turn On The Bright Lightsmarked the beginning of a longstanding relationship between Interpol and Katis – an accomplished, Grammy-winning engineer who would also record seven albums with indie-rock darlings, The National.

Listen to the full episode below.


Listen: Interpol ‘Turn On The Bright Lights’ Musical Lead Up Playlist

 

The post Interpol ‘Turn On The Bright Lights’ appeared first on Classic Album Sundays.

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Discogs Staff Seven Tips For New Record Sellers On Discogs

Are you new to Discogs? Perhaps you are thinking about selling some records, CDs or cassettes on the world’s largest physical music marketplace. There are millions of completed orders each year on Discogs from sellers around the world. We’ve reached out to some of the most prolific sellers to learn about how they successfully use the platform. Below are seven of the best tips for new record sellers.

Don’t overcharge shipping; be fully transparent with prices

People dislike finding out they overpaid for something just about as much as they dislike surprise fees as they’re completing their transaction. Avoid both of these problems by disclosing all fees and shipping costs upfront, so they aren’t a surprise to your buyer later on. This will reduce your number of non-paying buyers (people who decide not to go through with the transaction after learning the shipping cost) while also increasing your amount of positive feedback. Both buyers and sellers want to be satisfied with their transactions, and this is a great way to start. We have made this as easy as possible for you by introducing a tool to set up your shipping policies. Learn more about it here.

Package your items well

It may seem somewhat obvious, but you want to be very careful with how you package your items. For shipping vinyl, consider getting cardboard record mailers, made specifically for this purpose. They can be a bit expensive upfront, but it’s much better than having to issue refunds when your records arrive damaged. You’ll want all pieces to be snug and secure in their packaging, as any movement could cause damage. Remove vinyl from their jackets, and don’t use bubble mailers or anything flimsy; even with stiffeners, your piece is much more likely to be damaged. Finally, write ‘FRAGILE – VINYL RECORD – DO NOT BEND’ on the outside of the package, for that extra bit of security. Check out our guide on how to ship vinyl records.

Communicate with your buyer at all stages

Good communication is key to providing your customers with a good buying experience. You want them to be able to ask any questions about your item before they purchase, you’ll want to let them know once you’ve shipped the item, and you’ll want to make sure they’re satisfied with their purchase. This will result in happier customers, more positive feedback, and more sales in the future. As a seller, it is important to be trustworthy and reliable. Clear and open communication with your buyers does just that.

Really, really pay attention to how you grade your vinyl

Grading vinyl, also known as determining a record’s condition, is one of the most important aspects of selling on Discogs. The grade given to the media and the sleeve not only helps determine the value of the piece, but it also helps a buyer find exactly what they’re looking for. Naturally, a buyer would be disappointed to purchase a vinyl graded as ‘Near Mint (NM or M-)’ and receive something ‘Very Good (VG)’ instead. This could result in them returning the item and leaving negative feedback for you, which will impact your reputation and how much you are able to sell in the future. Accurate grading is crucial to being a respected seller on Discogs, and doing it well will work out in your favor.

Set up an inventory control system

As you start to list more and more items for sale on Discogs, you’ll absolutely want to have some kind of inventory control system so that you can easily find your items when they sell. This could be on shelves, in boxes or online using the Discogs Collection feature. In the private notes section of your listings or in your Collection, you can write ‘Shelf 3, Box 2’ or something similar and then have this correspond to where you are keeping your media. It may take a bit to set up initially, but it will save you a ton of time in the long run. If you have multiple copies of the same piece but they are different versions or grades, it can be good to put them in separate boxes to avoid having to re-grade or shipping the customer the wrong item.

Use the notes below the ‘media condition’ to add more info

Using this section allows you to be more specific about how/why you graded a piece, how you did, and it can help give the buyer a better idea of exactly what they are purchasing. Buyers want to know as many details as possible, so using this section can increase a buyer’s trust while also making your listing stand out from others. It can also prevent problems from occurring after the sale since buyers know exactly what they are getting. Many sellers also listen to their piece, known as play grading, and note any problems here, which can be another strategy to increase buyer satisfaction and help you stand out from other sellers.

Check what prices other copies have sold for or are selling for and price accordingly

This is good advice for selling anything; you should check what other comparable pieces have sold for and price accordingly. Doing so will help you avoid getting too little for your sale, while also helping prevent your piece from staying on the market for months because it is priced too high. If you’re unsure of which price to use you should put in the higher price that you’re thinking of since you can always lower it if the item doesn’t sell. As most of you should know, Discogs is a great tool for determining the value of a vinyl record. Use public sales data to your advantage and sell more records!

If you still need help getting started you can check out our selling support articles here. Good luck selling on Discogs!

List your records, CDs, cassettes and more for free
on the world’s largest music marketplace.
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