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Articles — collector guides

Record Awards As Art: From Mild To Wild

Posted by James Duncan on

Record awards in their earliest days were pretty plain, starting with simple dark-stained wood framed affairs with white matte boards in the 60s and early 70s. The period of 1975 thru the mid-80s brought silver and gold painted frames and charcoal-colored mattes. This was followed by a graduation to some pretty pedestrian black plastic-covered frame/black matte awards from the mid-80s through late 90s.   Just before the millennium, however, the RIAA loosened up its' previously strict design standards. This opened up the creative floodgates for award designers, who responded with an explosion of new designs. The companies that designed these new award...

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Concert Tickets and Passes: Small Pieces Of Music History

Posted by James Duncan on

Concert tickets and backstage passes have become excellent collectibles. Most are not overly expensive and they make a great scrap book project or, even better, make for a great art piece when designed into a collage to enjoy on a wall. Like most music collectibles, the artist matters (although also always a matter of personal taste), but older dated shows from an artist's early career or particularly famous shows can be the most highly sought after. Like with most collectibles, condition matters as well. Concert tickets and backstage passes make great collectibles Sometimes it's not about the artist, but rather...

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History of The Beatles Book: Fab 4 Time Capsules From 1963 On

Posted by James Duncan on

The Beatles Book was a series of magazines about the Beatles that was published from 1963 through 2003, which some interruptions along the way. The magazines contained photos and stories of the group from its earliest days and helped drive the mania that surrounded the Beatles as their popularity grew. The publication was founded in 1963 by Sean O'Mahony (1932-2020), who had worked in the music business since the 1950s after first running a coffee bar. By the early 1960s he had become the advertising manager at Pop Weekly, which was a magazine published by Robert Stigwood (who later went on to sign the...

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Immortal Album Covers: The Story of Hipgnosis

Posted by James Duncan on

Album art helped define the arrival of new music during its heyday, which ran roughly from the later 60s to the 80s when vinyl albums ruled music sales worldwide. While smaller formats such as cassettes, CDs and later streaming imposed size and format limitations on artwork since then, the contributions of visual artists to herald the arrival of new music is still fondly remembered by many. One of the most prolific groups of artists worked under the name Hipgnosis. The main partners behind Hipgnosis were Peter Christopherson, Aubrey Powell and Storm Thorgerson. Freelance designers Richard Evans, George Hardie and Richard Manning...

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Exploring International Record Awards: BPI, CRIA, ARIA and More

Posted by James Duncan on

While RIAA awards (those made by the official U.S. record industry trade association, the Recording Industry Association of America) are arguably the best-selling record awards among collectors, there are other choices in the marketplace which can bring similar joy, memories and value to one's collection. These awards are produced under the authorization of similar recording industry trade organizations in various other countries whose industries have created such an organization and who issue sales awards to certify sales in those countries. There are a couple of ways these awards can add depth to a collection. One is that some artists have only done...

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