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Obstinate Record Formats

Obstinate Record Formats
October 01, 2020 02:31PM
I was doing some used vinyl shopping last weekend for my birthday and got Joe Jackson's Big World, which was released in what has to be an obstinate 3-sided LP format — the b-side of the second LP has a large warning, "There is no music on this side."

I was thinking of other purposely pigheaded formats that have been released; one of my bugaboos is 12'' or 7'' singles in which one side is recorded at 45 rpm and the other recorded at 33 rpm. I have at least a few of these, and it seems like a way for the musician to get a giggle out of idea of the confused listener listening to an absurdly sped-up or slowed-down song on the flip side. Other examples?
Re: Obstinate Record Formats
October 01, 2020 03:28PM
Vinyl LPs pressed in color so that it's impossible to tell where the tracks stop and start?
Re: Obstinate Record Formats
October 01, 2020 05:02PM
When I was in college I kept seeing the Cocteau Twins name pop up in all of the alternative magazine I read at the time. I bought the EP Love's Easy Tears without ever hearing the band. So I get home throw it on 33 rpm and sit back and wait to see what I have been missing. I could not believe what I was hearing, I mean it was not terrible but definitely not good. For the life of me I could not figure out how the writers described her voice as angelic and ethereal. It sounded like the devil was singing the lead off tune but a very composed devil. Luckily one of my house mates figured it out or I would have taken it back for a trade in. It looked like a normal album to me.
Re: Obstinate Record Formats
October 01, 2020 06:08PM
I have a few vinyls where sides A and B are not labeled, or in a way that's really hard to tell. Pretty grating for no reason. I usually end up marking one of the sides in a more obvious manner.
Re: Obstinate Record Formats
October 01, 2020 06:12PM
Oh yeah, and there's some of that with cd's as well. A couple of "winners" are including a full-sized bonus disc containing just one track and nothing else, or making a cardboard sleeve an inch or two larger than the standard, just so you that can't shelve it properly.
Re: Obstinate Record Formats
October 01, 2020 09:14PM
Upper90, thank you for admitting the ‘wrong speed scenario’. I’ve fallen prey to this one more than once in my vinyl listening career.

A blank side on a record like the joe Jackson is just ludicrous.... joe could’ve come up with SOMETHING for that last side.

Is anyone out there familiar with a certain music magazine who gave away awesome flexi-discs to their subscribers... but on one of the flexi’s, one side actually said simply “DO NOT PLAY THIS SIDE!” even though there was clearly grooves and a song on that side!!?

I dared to play this side, and liked the song... but poor Bip had no Shazam or google to search the lyrics with. So the artist was a mystery to me until I (really surprisingly) heard it on MTV well after the fact.
Re: Obstinate Record Formats
October 02, 2020 03:03PM
Oh yeah, that was the TP flexi with the comedian on Side A, and the unidentifed, "Do Not Play" artist on Side B. I remember really disliking the comedy routine, particularly since it was a white comedian performing like a very, very poor man's Richard Pryor.

Yeah, it was disappointing. In fact, TP printed my letter in a subsequent issue. Thanks to the full collection on this site, I was able to find my complaint ... and holy crap, my 21-year-old self was a harsh, self-righteous, obnoxious guy! No kidding, I really took that flexi way more personally than any reasonable human should have.

Ira, I doubt if you or anyone else on the staff lost sleep over my letter ... but all the same, please accept my 37-years-late apology.

(Curiously, Zwirn, I bought a secondhand copy of Big World last weekend as well.)
Re: Obstinate Record Formats
October 02, 2020 12:15PM
Although this isn't technically along the lines of what zwirnm is talking about, I'll add the following...cardboard digisleeves. I HATE these and have torn more than one trying to remove the CD. I recently did it to my copy of The Church's Further Deeper, and previously to Steven Wilson's Hand Cannot Erase. The problem with these is that if you pull the disc straight out, it can get scratched as it drags across the case. So I try to squeeze the case a bit to widen the opening...but twice that just tore the cardboard.
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Re: Obstinate Record Formats
October 02, 2020 12:54PM
That's interesting - I love cardboard digisleeves and wish they'd replace plastic cases. (I think CDs will no longer be manufactured before that happens.) I don't have a problem with either tearing the sleeve or scratching the disk. (CDs can actually take a lot of punishment anyway before they trash out.)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/02/2020 03:27PM by Michael Toland.
Re: Obstinate Record Formats
October 02, 2020 02:22PM
This really only applies to CDs and digital downloads/streaming, but bonus tracks separated by 10 minutes of silence annoy the hell out of me.
Re: Obstinate Record Formats
October 03, 2020 05:30PM
zwirnm Wrote:
> an obstinate 3-sided LP format

Cue Mandy Patinkin in The Princess Bride - "You keep using that word..."

"What's going on in there, Myra?"
Re: Obstinate Record Formats
October 03, 2020 06:15PM
Jackets/sleeves that are oversized relative to the format. For example a 7” record in an 8” sleeve that therefore doesn’t fit on the shelf with the rest of the 7”s. It’s a little more acceptable for 12” records as they can be filed with the box sets, and for CDs to a certain extent, since packaging is all over the place, but those odd-sized 7-inches have always stuck in my craw. (A pain in the ass to stock at retail, back in the day, too.)
And call it a quirk if you wish, but re: CDs, I will add to the annoyance list discs that are packaged in LP or 7” sleeves. While I appreciate the larger format of packaging And lack of plastic, I don’t want to go to the LP or 7” shelves to pull out a CD.
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