January 12, 2015

Maritime music enthusiast emerges onto the vinyl culture spotlight with over 40 000 records in his collection

We know we have spoken about the largest known collections of vinyl records in the world before, but this particular case really touched our hearts. The story of Gerry Taylor and his collection of over 40 000 records, most of which are Maritime folk music collections with many priceless vinyl records included!

Gerry is not your average 20-something music lover. He is 80 years old and hangs onto his priceless vinyl record collection as if each record is a beloved family member. He got his first record player and records 60 years ago and simply hasn’t stopped since. Gerry describes himself as a “collector of fine vinyl records”. He maintains that there is a difference between collecting and obsessing and he is on the “right side” of that equation! With a love for Maritime legend, Wilf Carter, it is no surprise that Gerry says that is the first thing (record) he would grab if there was a fire outbreak – much to his wife’s protests of course.

In an interview with Global News, Gerry stated that there is something romantic about records that today’s music just doesn’t grasp, and we couldn’t agree more. Where did his passion for music start? It all began in the 1950’s when he was a writer and music critic for the Telegraph Journal in the USA.

It is quite a sight to see all of the records neatly stacked in Gerry’s basement and to hear him passionately state, “…it’s like building a life, I guess each one of them adds something to what I know about things”. It certainly makes us feel that Gerry should be an honorary member of our vinyl culture society! We extend great congratulations to Gerry for his many years of loyal and dedicated vinyl record loving and collecting – and to his wife for her patience over the years too!

Check out this video interview with Gerry and Global News: http://globalnews.ca/video/embed/1624854

How big is your vinyl collection? Are you focused on a specific genre or do you have another record collecting strategy? Let us know.
October 31, 2014

What is the Perfect Gift for a Vinyl Record Lover / Vinyl Culture Junkie?

Your friend, girlfriend / boyfriend, mother, sister or brother simply loves vinyl records and the culture that goes along with it.... No doubt then you will have noticed that vinyl culture isn’t a hobby – it’s a lifestyle and those who get involved seem to find themselves lost in all things vinyl records. It can be tough to find new and interesting ways to treat these people in your life, but fear not! There are some great gift ideas out there.

We all know that buying a vinyl record for your friend, loved one, family member or similar is considered a thoughtful gift if the recipient is deeply ensconced in a life of vinyl culture, but what if you want to make it a little more special? A gift company operating in the UK has certainly gone all out to make vinyl culture birthday gifts unique, with their signature product the “Recard”. This is a record-playing gift / birthday card and it is certain to put a smile on the birthday girl or boys face, and keep it there!

What exactly is the Recard? It is a birthday card that includes a 7” vinyl record. Once opened, you can convert the actual card into a record player that works on traditional gramophone technology. All of the instructions on how to convert the card are included in the gift, which means that anyone will be able to set it up and play the vinyl record included.
What’s on the included record? Take a listen here:

It’s obvious that the Recard is created to be a fun, quirky and special gift for vinyl culture addicts and is certainly doing well in the vinyl world. While you would expect such a novelty to cost quite a bit, those in the UK are lucky enough to pay just short of 3 pounds.

At Vinyl Café, we simply love the idea of the Recard! Do you? Let us know! If you have any other unusual or quirky vinyl culture gifts ideal for birthdays and Christmas, we would love to hear about them – let us know.

October 09, 2014

Vinyl Records in South Africa

The vinyl revolution has certainly made its way to South Africa and it has taken the music market by storm. It was thought that the era of vinyl records had seen its day – had come and gone – but just last year Gallo Music South Africa announced its plans to release Arno Carstens’ album, Atari Gala, on vinyl as well as on CD! This certainly saw a stir in local vinyl culture groups as we all became a little more excited about what was to come. Neil Greenberg of Gallo Music attested to the warm sounds of vinyl records and how it just cannot be beaten – and we feel the same!

With the dawn of the USB turntable making it to local music stores across South Africa, the demand and desire for vinyl records simply grew. We see so many music lovers nowadays seeking out a turntable and working towards growing their own vinyl record collections. There is something just so enveloping about listening to your favourite record. The absolute process of selecting the right record, putting it on and feeling the depth and warmth of the music that is produced, that personifies vinyl culture at its best.

A great trend has been seen amongst young people who have a passion for music and want to purchase their albums in a more physical form. This way you can truly connect with your music and listening and enjoying becomes a process. Of course a lot depends on the quality of the record that you purchase and the quality of the turntable you make use of. When shopping around for a record that has a clear sound and isn’t scratched, you will need to look into the grading attached to it. At Vinyl Café, we grade all of our records realistically. We know that you want to receive a record in mint condition, and we will make sure we do everything possible to make that happen.

We encourage you to be in touch with us for more information and advice on the type of records and turntables available to you. If you are new to vinyl culture, we would love to assist – if you have been loving vinyl records for years, we value your input and support too! Let’s hope to see even bigger things for vinyl records in South Africa this year and next!

September 17, 2014

Counterfeit Vinyl Record Plant – BUSTED!

As a part of vinyl culture you are probably always looking for an original record. The crackle and pop of the sound and the dog-eared edges of the record sleeve all add to the charm of vinyl record collecting. Of course there are those who do buy and have an appreciation for new records, but in most cases, originals are still the best.

It might come as a surprise that there are counterfeit records on the market. A bootleg counterfeit vinyl record plant has been discovered and shut down in Germany! While no figures have been released on just how many records were being produced illegally by the plant, officials have stated that it is of a “significant quantity”.

Of course while hunting around for your favourite old vinyl records you might stumble across something rare. Knowing if the record you are interested in is an original or not can be quite tricky, so it’s best to have something to compare it to. There are hundreds of bootleg companies out there recreating records on the cheap, and it’s been going on for a number of years. Any vinyl record enthusiast will tell you that the original will have certain details printed on the record and its cover, that the duplicate will not – you just have to know what to look for. Price also plays an important role – don’t assume that a record is definitely an original because of its price tag.

At Vinyl Café we are passionate about music and vinyl record collecting too. We will ensure that you are provided with up to date information on the records that interest you and will make sure that you are given access to records that are graded honestly and with your music enjoyment in mind.

Take some time out of your day to browse through our online listing. We also have a warehouse stocked with a huge selection of vinyl records which might not be listed on our website, so feel free to let us know what you are after so that we can locate it for you. We can’t wait for you to grow your record collection with us, at Vinyl Café!
September 08, 2014

Vinyl Record Hoarder or Collector? You Decide!

We know just how much you love your vinyl records, but how far would you take your passion for vinyl culture? If you thought your collection was big, think again! Zero Freitas, a man living and working in Brazil is said to have the largest vinyl record collection in the world. Just how big this collection is, is still not confirmed, but it’s in the millions. In fact, the collector or hoarder as some are calling him has 1793 copies of “Roberto Carlos Sings to the Children” album alone. Freitas is currently 62 years old and says that he hasn’t been able to curb his desire to buy vinyl records, since he was a child. Any music lover and vinyl culture enthusiast will know just how this urge feels!

Now we all know what it feels like to covet that record you just have to have, but at what point does your desire to create a collection turn into a hoarding problem? Zero Freitas has his collection stored in a 25 000 square foot warehouse. What’s more, he employs a team of international scouts to find and negotiate the best deals on records that are for sale. Between June and November 2013, Zero is said to have had a dozen 40-foot long containers arrive at his premises, each containing over 100 000 records!

Many have tried to decide if Freitas is a collector or hoarder by questioning his reasoning behind collecting and whether he actually listens to his vast collection. We think it’s safe to say that it’s more about the chase for Freitas – the thrill of a new collection of records arriving and knowing that your collection is potentially the biggest in the world!

Just how big is your vinyl record collection? What is next on your collectors list of records? At Vinyl Café we list most of our records on our website, but we also have a warehouse – not as big as Freitas’ of course - fully stocked with vinyl records that we don’t have readily listed. We encourage you to send us a list of the records you are looking for, or chat to us about growing your vinyl record collection. At Vinyl Cafe we are as passionate about your collection as you are!

August 31, 2014

World’s most valuable records

If you like to browse through garage sales and second hand stores for valuable records and often come up short, then you are in for a surprise. The world’s most valuable record is not considered valuable in terms of music, but more in terms of actual rarity. What makes this chart topping record so valuable? The fact that it was the last monaural recording found in music stores when stereo began to take over the music lovers market. What record was this? Elvis Presley’s 1962 single called “Good Luck Charm”. This is a 33 rpm single and is currently valued at $24 000! It’s said that Good Luck Charm remained top of the billboard charts for 2 weeks.

Of course there are other vinyl records that are considered to be the most valuable in the world – you might have heard of some of these:

  • The Five Sharps’ 1952 single called “Stormy Weather”. This is a 78 rpm single with only 4 recorded copies being found between 1961 and 2008. This particular vinyl record is currently valued at $25 000.
  • Sex Pistols’ 1977 single called “God Save the Queen”. This single was produced for the Queen’s silver jubilee that year, but was never properly released as the Sex Pistols were fired from A&M Records for outrageous behaviour. Never-released records were given to executives at A&M Records in 1998 when the London office closed. If you want one of these, you could be looking at paying around $20 000.
  • Bob Dylan’s 1963 album called “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan”. Bob Dylan is said to have made some changes to this album shortly after the first few were released. The original released vinyl records, that came out before the changes were made, can now fetch around $35 000.

These are just a few of the world’s most valuable records. Of course there are plenty more to consider and some that have even sold for a great deal more! At Vinyl Cafe you will certainly find a fair pick of the best for music lovers and we welcome you to browse through our online store to find just what you are looking for. If you are looking for a vinyl record that isn’t listed, drop us an email and we will have a look through our warehouse for you. 


August 18, 2014

Signs that you are a vinyl addict...

At Vinyl Café we welcome all vinyl addicts. Whether you are new to vinyl culture or have been for years, we have what you need and when you need it. If you aren’t quite sure if the vinyl bug has bitten, these are some great signs that you are well on your way!

  • Music sounds best to you when a little surface noise precedes it. In fact, this is the moment you feel yourself relax and prepare to take in the music.
  • You have a shelf or area in your home that is dedicated to your vinyl collection.
  • You make yourself immediately available for garage sales and flea markets just in case you find some good record deals.
  • When you find a collection of records for sale you have to browse through each and every record on offer because there could be something that you love right there.
  • Seeing records lying out of their protective jackets makes you cringe.
  • You spend a great deal of time hoping that your favourite bands will release something on vinyl.
  • There always seems to be a record that you just cannot find, no matter where you look and it is somewhat of a driving force behind your searches.
If you are developing a strong opinion of vinyl vs digital music then chances are that your transformation is complete. If you love the sound of the needle touching the vinyl and simply cannot get enough, then we want to get to know you better at Vinyl Café. Sign up for an account, browse through our record listings and simply enjoy digging around for something that tickles your fancy. We could always have something that you are looking for stored at our premises so don’t be shy to ask if we have something – we are available via email and telephone!
August 11, 2014

Why You Should Reconsider Your Music Format – Buy Vinyl – Connect With Your Music

If you are an arts and music enthusiast then you have certainly heard terms like “vinyl is making a comeback” being thrown around. And it is! Vinyl is a culture all on its own with a following of more muso’s and art enthusiasts than you could possibly imagine. What exactly is it about vinyl records that is causing such a stir in the music world? It’s all really about sound. Records are known to produce warmer sounds than the average CD or MP3 can, plus it’s quite trendy to have a collection of records and a gorgeous record player in your home – isn’t it!

There are many reasons why people like to buy vinyl and it’s not just all about sound. Enthusiasts like to connect with their art and somehow a CD or digital download just doesn’t feel like something to connect with. If you have a passion for records then you undoubtedly want to be able to see the record in its cardboard jacket on your shelf, touch the vinyl and feel that your collection is something of physical and emotional worth.

Those who like to collect vintage records and record players surely have a lot to do and the whole hobby of it all can take up a very special place in a person’s heart and life. Thus the culture of vinyl moves forward and converts music lovers one at a time with it.

At Vinyl Café we get it. We understand the love of records and the exhilaration that you get from feeling the vinyl on your fingers and listening to warm tones that the disc presents. We have a vast collection of records for you to choose from at our Cape Town outlet, but we also cater to those who live further away by means of listing our stock on our website. If you are looking for something that isn’t listed, chances are that we have it – so don’t waste any time in dropping us an email or giving us a call and we will do what we can to assist you. 

August 04, 2014

How are Your Vinyl Records Made?

It is almost unbelievable that vinyl records were feared to be facing extinction just 6 years ago. Top bands such as Arctic Monkeys, David Bowie and various others have been the driving force behind the growth and re-establishment of vinyl culture in recent years. We took a closer look at how our cherished records are made and have discovered that very little has changed in terms of manufacturing over the past few years. The following process is followed:

  • A master recording is typically created in a studio where the sound can be perfected.
  • The next step involves a lacquer being placed on a machine that cuts records. The machine rotates while electric signals are sent from the master recording to the cutting head, which is where the stylus or “needle” is held.
  • A groove is etched into the lacquer by the needle and it is this imprinted lacquer that is sent to the production company.
  • The production company creates a metal master by coating the lacquer in a metal such as silver or nickel.
  • The metal master is then separated from the lacquer and the disc that remains is used to create a stamper, which is a “negative” of the recording that is used to create the actual vinyl’s that you buy and collect.
  • Vinyl is placed between the stamper and a hydraulic press where steam is used to soften the plastic allowing for an impression of the master recording to be captured.
  • Cool water is used to stiffen the disc and voila! You have a record!
The process is not completely complicated and is a more romantic version of bringing music to our ears than digital music is. If you are interested in learning more about how to keep your records in good condition, then be in touch with us – we have a wealth of advice and products that can help you along the way
July 28, 2014

Vinyl Culture News: Vinyl Sales Soar!

Just the other day, in 2013, vinyl sales were said to be the highest that they have ever been since 1997. The best selling vinyl record of 2013 was Arctic Monkey’s AM and with 2014 flying by, we only have a short time to wait until we know what this year’s bestseller is.

Vinyl collecting is more than just a passion...it’s an art, a culture, something that you feel. Nothing can quite compare to the process of playing your favourite record, lying back and listening to music for the soul. Regardless of what your taste is, whether it is Rock, Folk or Electronic music, with a bit of digging through our vast collection at Vinyl Café you will find just what you need to expand on your collection.

It’s definitely news that vinyl sales are soaring even though we live in a digital world. More and more people are joining our vinyl culture and for good reason. It was reported this year that a well-known record manufacturer in the California, Rainbo Records, has made a shift from producing around 5 000 vinyl’s a day in 2010 to now producing approximately 25 000 vinyl’s per day in 2014. This great leap in production shows us exactly what direction vinyl culture is moving, and of course this pleases us all.

With so much growth over the past 4 years in record sales we can only feel great about what we are a part of at Vinyl Café. We welcome all music enthusiasts to take a browse through our online record listings. Keep in mind that we have spans of records not listed on our website so drop us an email or give us a call if you want to find something specific – chances are that we have it, and it’s waiting just for you. Genres that we focus on include Jazz, Soul, Classic Rock, Indy-Rock, Folk and Electronic music – come and explore these genres with us!