Vinyl Records Making a Comeback?

Having grown up with vinyl records and record players, I can definitely appreciate the evolution of the music listening experience. With the convenience of the multitude of listening options these days, I have been a bit perplexed at the resurgence of vinyl records.

My first instincts were to ask “Why would we wish to go backwards”? Let’s face it, records would get scratched and skip. You’d have to constantly get up and move the needle to one place or the other to fast forward or rewind. They’d get broken from time to time, lost, or never returned when borrowed. Why would we ever choose to go back to vinyl records?

Well, after doing a bit of looking around on the internet, I found some interesting articles that attempt to answer this very question. The one that I have attached below gives some very good insight to the “why”, and after reading it, I feel that I do better understand it. And while it may not be my preference, there is something to be said concerning the listening experience of it all. This unique perspective is summed up quite well by Charlie Randall, CEO of McIntosh Labs, when he states: “There is something romantic about records, something satisfying about opening the album jacket, seeing the fantastic artwork and studying the liner notes while listening to the album. That’s something that today’s digital files just can’t replace.”

So how about you? Do you prefer vinyl records? Are you surprised with the resurgence of vinyl records? Do you own any vinyl records?

For a detailed article containing the quote above, read it here:

Lionel Richie Claims “I Didn’t Want to Leave the Commodores”

From my earliest childhood memories, I was a fan of the Commodores. In fact, I’m pretty sure that the first concert I ever attended was when the Commodores came to the Macon Coliseum in 1980. Dressed in white jumpsuits with sequins, the concert lighting caused them to dazzle and sparkle as they moved on stage. There was something magical not only about how they looked, but their music, as well. They certainly left an impression on me that has lasted until this day.

Throughout the 70s, the Commodores were one of the most sought after bands in the world. Their brand of pop-infused funk proved to be a successful formula, and their continuous airplay over the radio was the proof. Sold out stadiums and venues everywhere was further evidence. With such hits as Brick House, Easy, Sail On, 3 Times a Lady, Still, and Just to be Close To You, they were well on their way to becoming the “Black Beatles”, as founding member, Thomas McClary, would go on to say.

Sadly; however, like the Beatles, the magic wouldn’t last as the group would eventually lose one of their lead vocalists, Lionel Richie, to a solo career (and a quite successful one at that). I, for one, was devastated and held this against Lionel Richie for years. Not knowing the full story, I did my best not to like his music, and I tried to overlook the success he found away from the group. Quite frankly, I did everything I could to prevent myself from hearing anything about him or his success. I felt like he was a traitor!

While speculations have long run rampant as to why the breakup really occurred, Richie gives an interesting perspective on what happened in the video below titled “The Stab in the Heart” that broke up the Commodores. Though his commentary is gut-wrenching at times, the passion in his voice will lead you to believe that he never wanted to leave the band in the first place. And for me personally, it also clarifies it in a way that makes me sorry for blaming him for all of these years. I can now certainly appreciate his music accomplishments since leaving the Commodores in a more sincere way.

In all, the Commodores have scored seven #1 hits on the R&B charts, while Three Times a Lady, and Still are the only records to make #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100. They have gone on to sell over 75 million records worldwide, while Richie, himself, has sold over 100 million records worldwide. He has also reached #1 five times with such great songs as Endless Love (duet with Diana Ross), All Night Long, Hello, Say You Say Me, and Truly. Richie has received five Grammy Awards, as well.

Finally, I am one of the longtime fans that still holds out hope for a reunion. And while it appears that longtime pals Richie and McClary are open to the possibility, there is apparently some work to do in convincing all of the others.

Were you a fan of the Commodores? What was your favorite song? Did you have a chance to see them in concert with Lionel Richie? Be sure to comment and let me know.

You may also like Thomas McClary’s interview below.

Boy Band Mania!

The Beatles may have been first, but during the 80s and certainly through the 90s, Boy Band Mania took over. Perhaps it started with the New Kids on the Block, or maybe New Edition, but the 90s saw rise to such powerhouses as the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, Boyz ll Men and All-4-One. Their popularity, no doubt, has paved the way for other very successful boy bands such as the Jonas Brothers, One Direction, and 98 Degrees to follow.

From a worldwide album sales, the Backstreet Boys run away with total album sales eclipsing 100 million. New Kids on the Block and NSYNC both have over 70 million. Boyz ll Men checks in with over 34 million and and All-4-One closes out the group with 22 million sales worldwide.

If we’re talking about Grammy Awards; however, that’s not close either. Boyz ll Men far outpaces this group with 4 Grammy Awards, while All-4-One garnered one in 1995 for their hit single “I Swear.” And though nominated, neither the Backstreet Boys, NYSNC, or New Kids on the Block have ever won a Grammy.

If we’re counting #1 hits, according to Billboard’s Hot 100, the Backstreet Boys closest sniff is a #2 with “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart) on 9.6.1997. They have gone on to have six top 10 hits overall. All-4-One has scored one #1 with their smash hit “I Swear” on 5.21.1994 to go along with three top 10s. NSYNC has barely fared better, but they did reach #1 on 7.29.2000 with “It’s Gonna Be Me”. Overall, they’ve also had six top 10 hits. The elder statesmen of the group, New Kids on the Block, have hit #1 on three occasions with I’ll Be Loving You (Forever) on 6.17.1989, Hangin’ Tough on 9.9.1989, and Step By Step on 6.30.1990. They have nine top 10 hits in all.

Boyz ll Men also outpace the other bands reaching #1 five different times. Their first #1 was “End of the Road (from Boomerang) on 8.15.1992, followed by “I’ll Make Love to You” on 8.27.1994. They also reached the pinnacle on 12.3.1994 with “On Bended Knee”, and again with “One Sweet Day” on 12.2.1995. Their last #1 came on 10.4.1997 with “4 Seasons of Lonliness. Overall, these Boyz have scored 10 top 10 hits.

So what’s your take on the boy bands? Which one is your favorite, and what is your favorite song? Be sure to comment below and let me know.