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"the vinyl bubble" article
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Demoniarch



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 5900

PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

People really should only be buying vinyl because they personally enjoy it a lot. (sound quality argument on format = whatever to me here)

Playing investment games on possible cult classics is rather tedious and jewish to me, but to each their own I suppose. Not everyone can actually work in the real world, some of these mouth breathing basement dweller twits have to keep ebay up and running I suppose.
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Reaper's Grave



Joined: 28 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

astralvesl wrote:
Knucklehead wrote:
nonwave wrote:
i press editions of 100-300 LPs on my label because almost nobody wants these records. it has nothing to do with "creating rarity". i'm sure plenty of other labels and bands felt the same way.

I think people are talking more about Earache pressing only 1500 copies of Left Hand Path, but offering five different colors in varying quantities, the lowest being 100. That is probably a record where Earache could press 5000 black copies and sell every unit, eventually. That is a completely different circumstance than yours.


It's more than that too, you've got labels saying no repress, ultra limited one time pressing w/o disclosing pressing number, etc... I mean, really the idea of pressing something in a deliberately low quantity and advertising it as such, especially coupled w/ the no repress bullshit, is just downright absurd.


This is a problem too, as isn't the original intention of a label to make available the bands they release in enough quantity so any fan can more or less get a copy of it? If a band can sell only 300 copies, pressing 300 copies isn't unreasonable, but when a band can clearly sell 1,000-2,000 copies i don't get why labels feel the need to kvlt and press 300.

Earache may not want to press 5000 copies of left hand path because they probably don't want to waste the storage space on an album that will take 10 years to sell. However i still think pressing 4-5 colors of their remasters is definitely a lame gimmick, and whats worse is the many people who buy into it, the limited 100 colors sell out in minutes anyway. Guess its nothing but a business decision to them anyway.



As for the argument of the original pressings becoming more expensive. This is another reason to own the inferior repress a lot of times. The good copies are long sold out and too cost prohibitive. Maybe one day, but as it stands right now havingthe reissue is a nice way to hear it on my stereo at all until i can seek out a better copy. I have however noticed that they "don't make them like they used to" in general. Newer records definitely don't have the feel of my used/2nd hand pieces. The jackets are thicker, and some even feel like 12x12'' digipaks more than a record.


The worst is definitely those CD included copies and even the download cards i end up shaking my head at. I'm going to put the thing on my stereo, not waste my time to download mp3's to listen to the same thing on worse speakers because i'm afraid the vinyl will go to VG+ condition from NM- ... actually i leave my records bare on the shelves in their jackets, and any corner bends or defects on the jacket is just an added enjoyable piece of it. I love listening to my records, and still enjoy them even if they're not in perfect shape.
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Piotr Sargnagel



Joined: 25 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With reissues it's definitely become a matter of presentation over sound. I can't for the life of me understand how the fidelity of a lot of these really heavy, thick records isn't as good as many of the flimsy 80's and 90's LPs that I have. Shipping costs are high as well with these ultra-thick gatefold sleeves that really aren't all that great for the most part. On the other hand, with the huge demand and prices paid for some of the very rare items, it is at least good that I can get f. ex. a Black Hole LP that is (a) official and (b) not an MP3. Considering the fact that I will most likely never own (or hear!) an original copy this is a necessary compromise.
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gasskammer



Joined: 17 Dec 2010
Posts: 344

PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Humus wrote:
You're either exagerating or not paying a lot of rent, I don't think I've ever seen a Darkthrone shirt sell for more than 200 euro.


Yes, i had very cheap rent, ca. 150 euro.
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holy ghost



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Knucklehead wrote:
I think people are talking more about Earache pressing only 1500 copies of Left Hand Path, but offering five different colors in varying quantities, the lowest being 100. That is probably a record where Earache could press 5000 black copies and sell every unit, eventually.


I don't want to NK7 this thread all up here, but I can't be the only person who remembers when the norm was if a record went out of print, the label would just repress it. I'm more thinking of hardcore labels like Havoc, Profane Existence, Dischord, etc but that seemed to actually exist, rather than labels which seem to want to dump their stock immediately or else it's not worth their time. It seems the entire model has changed and if a record can't sell like hotcakes it's a failure. Maybe I'm insane? Like I get not everything can stay in print, but it seems now there's this limited window of opportunity because the mentality is you either get it ASAP or get fucked.... Maybe I'm insane? But maybe not? I don't feel insane.....

Like I know the Slap-a-Hams release more that they could keep in print, but for example Sound Pollution kept the Assuck and Hellnation LPs available until he label shit down.....
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Heirophant.326.AV



Joined: 05 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

holy ghost wrote:
Knucklehead wrote:
I think people are talking more about Earache pressing only 1500 copies of Left Hand Path, but offering five different colors in varying quantities, the lowest being 100. That is probably a record where Earache could press 5000 black copies and sell every unit, eventually.


I don't want to NK7 this thread all up here, but I can't be the only person who remembers when the norm was if a record went out of print, the label would just repress it. I'm more thinking of hardcore labels like Havoc, Profane Existence, Dischord, etc but that seemed to actually exist, rather than labels which seem to want to dump their stock immediately or else it's not worth their time. It seems the entire model has changed and if a record can't sell like hotcakes it's a failure. Maybe I'm insane? Like I get not everything can stay in print, but it seems now there's this limited window of opportunity because the mentality is you either get it ASAP or get fucked.... Maybe I'm insane? But maybe not? I don't feel insane.....

Like I know the Slap-a-Hams release more that they could keep in print, but for example Sound Pollution kept the Assuck and Hellnation LPs available until he label shit down.....


I think you have to look at this in the light of technological/social developments since those days. If you compare it, the idea of "running a label" used to be a case of playing the long game. All those concepts that have died out - artist development, good A&R practices, networking etc etc. Because it was a damn sight harder and more expensive to record an album, labels were more invested in the idea that it might take 4 or 5 years to see a return, if at all on a first album. But they would be willing to invest that time and energy into their roster. That's not to say that they wouldn't be savage if the artist didn't sell after what they thought was a reasonable time. But ultimately their pockets were deep enough to be prepared to pres in decent quantities and repress if a record was selling well.

If you contrast this to today, obviously a lot has changed. In a lot of ways the technology has democratized the process. You can record a band much more cheaply than you could before. You can press a record more cheaply, and reach out to a potential audience through forums like this in a way that was unimaginable. However, that comes at a price - if you "lower the barriers to entry" (to borrow an economics term) so dramatically, you end up with a lot of players in the market who don't really have the funds to play the long game.

Small labels do not have the funds to press and distribute larger runs, nor do they have the space to warehouse the stock, and I think that's a bigger issue than people let on. If you run the label out of your spare room, your wife will be on your back about even having 300 copies sitting around. So it's impossible to play that "long game" of planning to sell a print run over 5 years or longer. Too much money and space is tied up in the initial investment when we are talking about such tiny operations. Hence all the emails a lot of us have seen with label operators saying "I cant do the next release until the last one sells so I can get my money back".

It pisses me off no end - this "buy it NOW NOW NOW" mentality, pre-orders etc etc. It creates a "flash in the pan" hype mentality that's at odds with my ideas about how to really build a following for a band. But I can understand the logistics of why it works that way, much as I don't like it.
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outlaw-recordings



Joined: 20 Mar 2010
Posts: 841

PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some more valid points raised here, and they are interesting to consider. I too remember when things just "stayed in print" as long as there was demand, and that is a cool idea. As was mentioned though, that was by labels who were more of actual 'businesses' and thought long term, not somebody running a label out of their house where storing 1000's of records at a time is difficult. Although Dischord started out of a house so maybe I'm going the wrong direction with this.... but I don't think so.

When those early Dischord Records first 4 singles sold out (after having gone through multiple pressings each) and they didn't feel like repressing them as 7"s they put them all on an LP (which was how I first heard them back in the mid-80s). So for those who want to hear the music, there was always (and is still always) a way to get them on the ever so precious "vinyl", and for those who want to collect and have all the variations there is that option too! Like this guy:

http://seekingthesimple.wordpress.com/vinyl/dischord-records/

However, it was cool when it was like "OK, yes- the first 1000 copies sold out, and then there's a second pressing, clearly identifiable as such but still the same music" so that if people wanted to hear it, they could buy the second (or third or fourth or etc etc pressing). And if there were 'collectors' who wanted different variations they could pick up the new ones as they came out if they chose. It wasn't think "make 7 versions of a release right off the bat" bullshit that goes on now.

I've tried to do that with Outlaw Recordings when the bands have been OK with it, like with the THOR album I did we did:

1st pressing: 200 copies black vinyl, that sold out
2nd pressing: 300 copies purple vinyl, and when that sold out
3rd edition: 500 copies on CD in an LP cover, which eventually sold out too

And then I let it go out of print.

We also did that with the Place of Skulls CD, there were 1000 copies made which sold out over time, and eventually we repressed it (with a different sleeve and bonus tracks) to keep the music available.

Same with the recent Deceased and Barbatos live LPs, I did 200 and when those sold out I did 200 more with different sleeves but same music- which still haven't sold out in the last couple years since they were repressed (the second pressings I mean). So I agree that it is cool to keep things in print when it seems necessary/possible and when it's something the label can do.
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Pestkrieg



Joined: 21 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reaper's Grave wrote:

The worst is definitely those CD included copies and even the download cards i end up shaking my head at. I'm going to put the thing on my stereo, not waste my time to download mp3's to listen to the same thing on worse speakers because i'm afraid the vinyl will go to VG+ condition from NM- ... actually i leave my records bare on the shelves in their jackets, and any corner bends or defects on the jacket is just an added enjoyable piece of it. I love listening to my records, and still enjoy them even if they're not in perfect shape.


I think the download codes are a fantastic idea. I can listen to the record at home, and have a download copy for my mp3 player, so I can listen when out running, commuting, etc. Saves the hassle of ripping the record.
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GoldenBull



Joined: 10 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Labels like Dischord, SST, etc., STILL keep all their stuff in print and at insanely low prices. Sure, they've become a lot bigger than they were in the 80s, but it is also very much a product of their ethics. This thread brings to mind an interesting thought - how many of these people who lose their mind at the slightest hint of something that seems "leftist" would rejoice if just a little bit of the ethics behind Dischord got injected into the metal scene?

We already hail NWN for its $5 CDs. And we should.
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I actually had Emperor in mind for some reason, but yeah the same logic would apply to a shredded goat man with his dick flapping in the wind.
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Brooklyn Bastard 666



Joined: 08 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For "our genres" vinyl never stopped.
Death, Black, HC and Punk labels still did vinyl, even in the early through late 90's when vinyl was really dead.

It is pretty amazing that in 2013 if you want a pop record like say, the new Justin Timberlake, there is a vinyl of it...and I'd bet a nice looking version of it to boot!

Is now the time to "sell sell sell" your collection? No.
Unless you really need the money of course.
But no, the bubble has yet to burst IMO.

I have a table at a record show in NYC next Saturday, my first since 2011.
My thoughts are that it will be very well attended...more so than the ones I did in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
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glwdrk



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well apart from that fact that dischord has a somewhat ethical business model, and SST never had...
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GoldenBull



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

glwdrk wrote:
well apart from that fact that dischord has a somewhat ethical business model, and SST never had...


True, but you can still get a brand new gimmick free press of any Black Flag, Descendents, etc., LP for about $11.
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I actually had Emperor in mind for some reason, but yeah the same logic would apply to a shredded goat man with his dick flapping in the wind.
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satanic ritual abuse



Joined: 09 May 2011
Posts: 2196

PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

holy ghost wrote:
Knucklehead wrote:
I think people are talking more about Earache pressing only 1500 copies of Left Hand Path, but offering five different colors in varying quantities, the lowest being 100. That is probably a record where Earache could press 5000 black copies and sell every unit, eventually.


I don't want to NK7 this thread all up here, but I can't be the only person who remembers when the norm was if a record went out of print, the label would just repress it. I'm more thinking of hardcore labels like Havoc, Profane Existence, Dischord, etc but that seemed to actually exist, rather than labels which seem to want to dump their stock immediately or else it's not worth their time. It seems the entire model has changed and if a record can't sell like hotcakes it's a failure. Maybe I'm insane? Like I get not everything can stay in print, but it seems now there's this limited window of opportunity because the mentality is you either get it ASAP or get fucked.... Maybe I'm insane? But maybe not? I don't feel insane.....

Like I know the Slap-a-Hams release more that they could keep in print, but for example Sound Pollution kept the Assuck and Hellnation LPs available until he label shit down.....


haha, Hellnation was exactly the band I had in mind when I read your pamphlet.
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glwdrk



Joined: 03 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GoldenBull wrote:
glwdrk wrote:
well apart from that fact that dischord has a somewhat ethical business model, and SST never had...


True, but you can still get a brand new gimmick free press of any Black Flag, Descendents, etc., LP for about $11.


not in europe, but yes . Wink
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Reaper's Grave



Joined: 28 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing with labels like Dischord is their back catalog as well. Its about what 30 years since Minor Threat broke up and they're still considered "hot." I'm sure as long as vinyl records are being bought, minor threat and the dischord roster in general is all stuff that won't go out of style. Represses of a record would initially cost less anyway because you eliminate the set up costs from the pressing plant. Also those labels aren't doing new releases as far as i know, just repress of back catalog so general overhead is cheaper than labels who are focusing on new release.

Also yes, with DIY mentality as well, its easier for labels like Havoc, Prank, Six Weeks, etcto just keep their albums in print almost indefinitely. I know Felix/Havoc Rex has maintained the efforts best he can to keep his records extremely cheap, and at least in the past decade would press 2,000-3,000 copies of an album with the idea he wants to have it available 5 years down the road even if the initial investment is large and may take that much time to see a return.

Also when a lot of these labels were active, the internet instant gratification wasn't around, most of them operated by mailorder and catalogs, so the new release window was months instead of weeks. People move on to the next thing about a month or less after a new release, so a smaller press will still linger for a while unless the band is insanely popular. Though i do agree keeping things in print with a larger 2nd press if necessary is usually good enough to keep the album available.

And to comment on the color, yeah it was more useful in a time when you could differentiate press runs that way. Now with 7 colors at time of release its almost redundant. I guess labels do this because it means more records sold. There's still the stamp collector crowds who will buy every color. In the case of stuff like earache, relapse, southern lord, it works incredibly well because they have either a strong back catalog, or in the case of southern lord have a big enough and devoted following who would probably buy every color of their new releases just because of the label brand recognition.

Even still, i do agree a $15-16 bare bones record trumps all the deluxe stuff thats unnecessary, and i support labels who keep their releases simple. I don't mind a deluxe edition, diehard editions, etc to be made for that crowd who really wants them, but nothing beats a basic record.
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