Vinyl Freak: Love Letters to a Dying Medium

Duke University Press Books: Vinyl Freak: Love Letters to a Dying Medium: 0822363666: epub

Product details


  • Full Title: Vinyl Freak: Love Letters to a Dying Medium
  • Autor: John Corbett
  • Print Length: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books
  • Publication Date: June 2, 2017
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822363666
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822363668
  • Download File Format | Size: epub | 6,81 Mb


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From scouring flea markets and eBay to maxing out their credit cards, record collectors will do just about anything to score a long-sought-after album. In Vinyl Freak, music writer, curator, and collector John Corbett burrows deep inside the record fiend’s mind, documenting and reflecting on his decades-long love affair with vinyl. Discussing more than 200 rare and out-of-print LPs, Vinyl Freak is composed in part of Corbett's long-running DownBeat magazine column of the same name, which was devoted to records that had not appeared on CD. In other essays where he combines memoir and criticism, Corbett considers the current vinyl boom, explains why vinyl is his preferred medium, profiles collector subcultures, and recounts his adventures assembling the Alton Abraham Sun Ra Archive, an event so all-consuming that he claims it cured his record-collecting addiction. Perfect for vinyl newbies and veteran crate diggers alike, Vinyl Freak plumbs the motivations that drive Corbett and collectors everywhere.

Editorial Reviews


Vinyl Freak could have easily been a stale trip down memory lane by a record collector. Yet Corbett takes an almost philosophical look at how music passes through listening mediums and what that means for listeners. As a result, the text will appeal to both vinyl freaks and non-freaks as it speaks to the transience of pop culture and its intersection with everyday lives.” (Amanda McCorquodale ForeWord Reviews 2017-05-01)

“… since the discussion is at least as much about the music being collected as the vinyl package, there is also a lot of intriguing music in the book. Much (but not all) of it jazz, and all of it worth seeking out: it comes with Corbett’s highest recommendation.”
  (Mark Sullivan All About Jazz 2017-04-29)

“[A] fascinating look at a subculture og hard-core collectors and a gold mine of information about various kinds of music and recording esoterica…. The illustrations of the record covers under review are fascinating and the author’s musical savvy is daunting. This lively book could appeal to a wide range of readers.” (David Keymer Library Journal 2017-05-15)

“… one of the most readable books about the arcane magic of hunting down and listening to rare and unusual albums, or even rediscovering them from your own collection.” (Jon Newey Jazzwise 2017-06-01)

“As a person who is not quite an over-the-top Sun Ra aficionado but is certainly more than a casual fan, I am forever grateful for Corbett’s obsession. As a person who is always interested in discovering new and obscure music, I am also forever grateful for Corbett and his publisher compiling this collection of reviews. Although I read several of them in their original incarnation in Downbeat, this little book is now my reference guide for music I need to check out. Thanks again, John Corbett.” (Ron Jacobs Counterpunch 2017-06-02)

“[Corbett’s] new book digs deep into the culture of the vinyl lover and digs even deeper into his personal record collection. In the process, he exposes a beautiful and dusty world largely forgotten but kept alive by that dead medium known as the vinyl record.” (Christopher Laird PopMatters 2017-06-06)

“Corbett really is an ‘equal opportunity ear filler’ and is willing to acquire the music he really enjoys in any format. With Vinyl Freak John Corbett invites us to join him in the pleasure of discovering new sounds to indulge our ears. So what are you waiting for? You’ve been invited. Highly Recommended!” (Chris De Chiara Avant Music News 2017-06-16)

“Corbett still has an obscene record collection, but he’s realized that his greatest mission is to share and educate—to arrange things so that others can experience the joy that he does. As much as anything I’ve read by him, Vinyl Freak does precisely that.” (Peter Margasak Chicago Reader 2017-06-19)

“John Corbett is one of my favourite music writers. This book gathers up his elegaic and highly informative columns for Vinyl Freak magazine along with a series of mediations or essays on his love of music, an engaging mix of autobiography, reflection and storytelling. There are lots of colour pictures of record sleeves too.” (Rupert Loydell International Times 2017-06-26)

“Corbett’s deep knowledge in his chosen fields yields many valuable insights about records you may never have even heard of, let alone heard. Sure, he appreciates the classics, but he favours outliers. Admirably, he wants to broaden the canon (it would behoove readers to keep a notebook handy to tabulate all the records for which they should search)…. And that is the motor of Vinyl Freak: an insatiable desire for the next revelatory recording, offering a thrilling portal to discover a hidden facet of your identity through a work of art. And if it impresses your mates or seduces a potential lover, so much the better.” (Dave Segal The Wire 2017-09-01)


“John Corbett has the too-rare ability to combine academic rigor with very readable prose, and he tells good stories. As an avid record collector and close listener to a broad array of music, Corbett really knows his subject. You can practically smell the musty cardboard.” (Kevin Whitehead, jazz critic for NPR’s Fresh Air)

“People who are just getting into vinyl—or who are returning to it after a long time away—will value John Corbett’s enthusiasm, personal approach, and vast knowledge. Even the most diehard jazz enthusiasts, collectors, and crate diggers can learn from Corbett’s insights.” (Mac McCaughan, member of Superchunk and cofounder of Merge Records)

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