Record Collector Nostalgia #1

12-1-10

Record Collector Nostalgia #1 (12” Singles)

For some reason, I always get into a Record Collector Nostalgia mode around the beginning of December.

I started working at Licorice Pizza Records in July, 1976 – approx. 2 days before the USA Bi-centennial.  Disco / dance music was popular, but it interested neither myself or my friends much.  12” were a real curiosity.  I think the first one I kept was John Miles “Slow Down” on London.  There was always the question:  “Where do we put these?”, as it was too early for there to be enough of them to fill a bin.  By 1978 they were a bit more common – and the 12” single fully arrive by 1980 or so.

There was a time when if I got a 12” single of something, I did not necessarily try to find a 7” of it.  These days, I am happy to have one or the other, or both – particularly with groups like Simple Minds.  There are even instances where the 7” has tracks not on the 12”, and certainly vice-versa.

After “Saturday Night Fever” got to be so big, even a rock-n-roll record store had to have disco 12” singles.  I also remember 12” single stores in Hollywood – Prime Cuts, for instance.  I always liked 12” stores – they never knew what to do with the material I liked – Kraftwerk, anything from England etc.  I found my Damned “Eddie & The Hot Rods” cover at a disco store, for $1.  I still have my promo-only US Kraftwerk 12” singles.

The most preferable ones were British 12” singles that had covers, inner sleeves and spines.  It took a few years for Japanese 12” singles to show up, but they eventually did – I treasure my Sade 12” singles from Japan – they sound good, too.

The poor cousin of the 12” single is, of course, the 10” single.  They just get lost, when you put them in the A-Z bin.  There are some great ones – notably The Method Actors “Rhythms Of You” (it finally made it to CD recently).  I love to collect these, and I have eBay’d some nice Kirsty MacColl ones.

Much later, I came to value 12” singles because I understood that until much more recently, not many 12” mixes of things ever made it to LP or CD – with artists like Grace Jones.  It’s fun to try and guess how many BPM something is – I saw a watch in a store recently that determines this arcane fact.  Is this 45 or 33 1/3?  A fade or cold ending?

When re-buying my vinyl collection, I always had good luck in San Francisco finding Scritti Politti 12” singles – and other similar material.  Yet there are some that you just never see at all – like any Rupert Hine ones (Damn it, I’ve got Thinkman 12” singles, but I cannot lay my hands on any Rupert Hine solo ones).

So, an old memory:  “Where do we put these 12” singles?”  Who will buy them?  By “Saturday Night Fever”, the answer was obvious: lots of people. Denizens of the dancefloor, Gangsters of the Groove, Boogie Oogie Oogie!

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2 Responses to Record Collector Nostalgia #1

  1. postpunkmonk says:

    The only Rupert Hine 12″ I can verify is “Living In Sin” AMX 111.
    Living In Sin + I Hang On To My Vertigo + The Sniper. No word on if the A-side differs. All of the other great A+M singles seem to be non-existent. It’s for sale here:
    http://www.discogs.com/sell/list?release_id=1169871&ev=rb

    12″ singles are a lot of fun. A great format to give the hard core fans a little more than a 7″ was capable of, and with much better sound. I still buy a lot of 12″ singles.

  2. ronkanefiles says:

    “Living In Sin” is the one I could never find – and it’s also the only one I know of, for the UK. Island US did a promo 12″ for Blue / Yellow Flame etc., but…”Living In Sin” was what I was always after. Warren got a copy of it, on a visit to Europe, so i can cfm that it’s merely an extended (Robert Palmer) A-Side.

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