Tonight, April 30 at 10pm Eastern time (US) RadioMaxMusic will be presenting the first, (hastily assembled) episode of “The LP Lounge”. A spin-off of my regular show The Vinyl Resting Place. Our plan is to play complete LPs, one side at a time – interrupting the music only as needed to turn the record over.
These will be the actual vinyl LPs, purchased over the counter, at the time of their release. In most cases – the only way to hear the particular versions we offer, is to have those original LPs. You see, while the songs, and even the specific recordings you’ll hear have been re-issued in some digital format – the LPs we are spinning are of the original quadraphonic releases of these albums.
Tonight we serve up The Isley Brothers 3+3 and Billy Joel’s Piano Man. – I think we’ll have time for a bonus track from Mr. Joel as well.
Don’t let that term “Quadraphonic” Put you off – they sound just fine in Stereo, and, if you listen through headphones, you’ll even get some semblance of the surround field.
You can hear us through the pop-up player on the website http://www.radiomaxmusic.com, or via the TuneIn app. There are rumors we are available through Itunes as well.
So why dedicate a show to the LP, especially after discovering that some of my younger associates were unclear as to what the term LP meant? Well, perhaps a bit of a history lesson;
Record companies produced collections of 78 rpm records by one performer or of one type of music in specially assembled albums as early as 1908. Odeon is often said to have pioneered the “album” in 1909 when it released the “Nutcracker Suite” by Tchaikovsky on 4 double-sided discs in a specially-designed package. However, Deutsche Grammophon had produced an album for its complete recording of the opera Carmen in the previous year. By the time the second world war came around these record sets featured their own colorful paper covers and were in both 10-inch and 12-inch sizes, and could include either a collection of related popular songs, either by performer or style, or extended length classical music, including complete operas and symphonies. The result; when the LP came along and included multiple tracks, the name “album” came along too.
Both the microgroove LP 33 1/3 rpm record and the 45 rpm single records are made from vinyl plastic that is flexible and “unbreakable” (in normal use).
In 1930, RCA Victor launched the first commercially available vinyl long-playing record, marketed as “Program Transcription” discs. These revolutionary discs were designed for playback at 33 1/3 rpm and were pressed on a 16″ diameter plastic disc. These were primarily used for Radio – programs of 30 min duration could be stored or distributed for rebroadcast.
Vinyl’s had a lower surface noise level than the commonly used shellac and was not nearly as fragile. Of course some 78 rpm records were pressed in vinyl instead of shellac, particularly the six-minute 12-inch records produced by V-Disc for distribution to US troops in World War II.
Beginning in 1939 Dr. Peter Goldmark and his staff undertook exhaustive efforts to address problems of recording and playing back narrow grooves and developing an inexpensive, reliable consumer playback system. In 1948, the 12-inch Long Play (LP) 33 1/3 rpm microgroove record album was introduced by the Columbia Record Company at a dramatic New York press conference on June 21, 1948. In February 1949, RCA Victor released the first 45 rpm single, 7 inches in diameter, with a large center hole to accommodate an automatic play mechanism on the changer, so a stack of singles would drop down one record at a time automatically after each play.