COMMENT: The world suffers from a shortage of vinyl records and massive price shocks – National

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A few weeks ago, someone sent me a photo of a tragically hip album that was displayed in a record store. It seems to be a standard vinyl edition of the band’s 2006 album, Music @ Work, happened at 71.99 US dollars. There was no typo. To put this in perspective, a copy of the Deluxe 2-CD edition of the band Very full can be purchased for $ 13.99. And that is more than 10 Mol the cost of a digital copy available on iTunes.

I quickly started getting emails and texts from other shoppers who were angry that the prices for regular vinyl albums had broken the $ 50 mark. What’s going on? Different things, as it may be.

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First, public demand for vinyl records is growing. In Canada, new vinyl sales rose to 44 percent from that time last year. Revenue from vinyl in the US has almost doubled by 2020. Things are also going crazy in the UK as customers climb old age records.

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This has created a massive backlog of orders at vinyl presses. Each new album comes in a vinyl version. Return catalog items-think perennial bestsellers like Abbey Street of the Beatles, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors, in the Back to black by Amy Winehouse – are on perpetual reorder. And with Christmas coming in, there are a lot of solid box sets in the pipeline. Add and drop boxes of Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, and a dozen or so others, and you’ll see the problem. There is a lot of material that needs to be printed and shipped.

Yes, it is true that many new press releases have come online in recent years to offset the public’s craving for vinyl, but they have supply chain problems that started a few years ago.


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The vinyl records are making a comeback


Vinyl records plan a comeback – September 29, 2019

Just before the pandemic hit, there was a fire at Apollo / Transco, a California plant that was just one of two paint manufacturers on the planet. As a supplier of about 80 percent of all the lacquer sheets needed to print records, the whole industry was thrown into chaos. MDC, a smaller plant in Japan, was already running at capacity, which led to a struggle to find other solutions, including what was a nascent way to create the same disks but made of metal.

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Orders supported. A batch of vinyl that would have been shipped to the label or distributor in three to six months has fallen to nine months.

Then came COVID-19. Losses hit hardy plants hard. That did not help. Some order successes have been reduced to 12 months or even longer. In the meantime, we just bought more records.

This created a shortage of polyvinyl chloride, the petrochemical by-product used to make vinyl. And if there is a shortage of goods used in any production, the prices of the finished goods will inevitably rise.

Some of these box sets require a lot of raw material. For example, if you are hoping to buy the most strenuous version of the 30th anniversary edition of Nirvana Never mind – a milestone date that ends on September 24th – you have to wait until the end of May 2022. Meanwhile, all the other editions will be released on November 12th.

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Why the delay for the biggest set? Because the box contains eight 180 grams of LPs and there is just not enough rough polyvinyl chloride to go around. Maybe it’s because Brilliant adventure, a David Bowie collection that (among many other things) contains an amazing 18,180 grams of LP. That is more than seven Pounds of vinyl per box.

And things can only get worse. With forecasts of oil prices rising $ 100 per barrel due to a combination of OPEC Strengthens in the a strong need for energy as the world emerges from the worst of COVID-19, the price of petroleum by-products will also rise. It contains polyvinyl chloride.

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We heard exactly the same story. In 1974, OPEC issued an oil embargo on all nations they saw helping Israel during the Yom Kippur War. The price of a barrel of oil has gone up to US $ 12 from US $ 3, a 300 percent increase that has hurt many in the western world. Then, in 1979, there was a second oil shock. In both cases, the price of polyvinyl chloride has also risen dramatically.

This forces record labels to record on presses. The lovely thick, heavy, heavy-duty albums from the 1960s and early 1970s have become thin, flippy discs made of plastic. Forget 180 gram records today; some of these releases were 100 grams or even 80.

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Because the grooves could not be cut as deep as before, the audio quality sounded bad, especially when it came to deep bass. They scratched more easily and were more susceptible to bending so that they no longer lay flat on the lathe. If you are of a certain age, remember that you took a freshly bought record out of the shrink to find out that it practically had a twist. If it was reasonably flat, it was not uncommon for it to skip the first time you played it.

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Then came recycled vinyl, which was often full of toxins that cause noise such as dripping, clicking and pops. No wonder, we were ready to give up vinyl altogether, first for pre-recorded cassettes (powered by the introduction of Sony Walkman and its imitators after 1979) and then for the compact disc in 1983. Outside of the comic audiophile release, vinyl remained commonplace. very terrible for the next 30 years. Can we finally see this kind of reduction in quality? Let us not hope.

Meanwhile, many artists want to get their stuff outdoors in some physical form. I’ve already seen stories about fresh orders for CDs and cassettes from those who can not afford to wait on (or can afford, periodic) vinyl.

Digital Music News has this quote by Jeremy Pafford, Head of Market Development at North America for Independent Commodity Intelligence Services: “There’s nothing wrong. It’s sometime something goes wrong, it’s sorted, then something else happens. And it’s been the case ever since. Pandemic has begun.

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Alan Cross is a broadcaster with Q107 and 102.1 the Edge and a commentator for Global News.

Subscribe to Alan’s Ongoing History of New Music Podcast now Apple Podcast or Google Play

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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