Looking to expand your horizons with some of the best books on records and the record-making process?
Then step right up as we explore 5 of my favorite books about music available today.
1. How Music Works by David Byrne
Though not specifically written to deal with record collecting or record stores, this book by the frontman of Talking Heads is jam-packed with invaluable information about how the music industry works and how records are made in the first place. This is a great gift for any music lover!
2. Are We Still Rolling? by Phill Brown
Again, though this book does not deal specifically with vinyl records, it is written by a producer and engineer who has garnered a wealth of information on how to make a vinyl record or two over the years.
3. Ten Thousand Apologies: Fat White Family and the Miracle of Failure by Adelle Stripe & Lias Saoudi
If you are looking for a kaleidoscopic portrait of contemporary music and what it means to be a record collector in an age of few independent record shops, then look no further.
4. Ghosts of My Life by Mark Fisher
Again, though this is not entirely focused on record collectors and their record collections, there is plenty for the vinyl enthusiast to get stuck into here, analyzing what it means to have vinyl collections and to be a listener of music in the present day.
5. More Brilliant Than The Sun by Kodwo Eshun
As music criticism goes, this is decidedly abstract, though never to its detriment. Rather, Eshun can be talking about album art in one moment and then a record store in the next, all while providing a vinyl manual and the ultimate listening party guide to soundtrack the end of times.
Vinyl adventures were never embarked upon so powerfully, and vinyl junkies never sated so dearly as when Eshun was at the wheel.
So, there you have it! Hopefully, you are now feeling ready and able to get out there and find out more about the music-making process thanks to any of these books.
FAQs Books on Records
Are really old records worth anything?
This depends on what the records are, when they were made, and what pressing they are. There are records like, say, Michael Jackson’s Thriller that, though critically revered now and at the time of release, were so popular at the time that they were mass-produced to a point of concern. Thus, even if you have a first edition of this album or others like it, you are not likely to fetch very much for it if you put it up for sale. So goes the story of the Michael Jackson Thriller album value.
What’s the difference between 78 and 33 records?
The difference has to do with the speed at which they are played. A 78 record is produced with the intention of being played at 78 rpm, a speed that is altogether rather antiquated these days. A 33 record on the other hand is produced with the intention of being played at 33 1/3. Bonus points if you can guess what 45 records are and what speed they are played at. Confusingly, these speeds do not necessarily correspond to single sizes, though you can often be safe to bet that a 33 record is also 12 inches in size.
What are 7-inch records called?
7-inch records are called 7-inch records. For many a record collector, this is about as far as the etymology will go. If you use this phrase amongst members of this community, you will be understood. However, some might instead opt to use the phrase ‘singles’ to refer to records of this variety as this is what they are commercially intended to contain.