CD sales sink; vinyl rises.

With CD sales declining at a steady pace (down 18.5% for 2017), Billboard reports that two major retailers are looking at making changes in marketing of the format. Best Buy is pulling CDs from the shelves by July 1 this year. Target, on the other hand, is pushing for consignment sales–in other words, the Target will still stock the CDs, but will not pay for them until they are scanned at the register (which, of course, the labels don’t like). The CD situation at both stores is quite dismal these days compared to the past but still, they are capable of selling very large quantities of the top selling titles. Target is already pushing to do this with DVDs, giving studios until Feb. 1 to decide if they are on board with the program or not.

In related news, the Warner Music Group extended buyout offers to 130 employees who manage “physical media” at the company, due to declining CD sales.

On the other hand, 2017 vinyl sales were up 9% over 2016. LPs accounted for 14% of all physical album sales, up from 11% in 2016, and accounted for 8.5% of all album sales, up from 6.5% in 2016. (All album sales include vinyl, CD, cassette and downloads.)

Join our discussion here in the forum.

Forum members pick their Top 5 albums of 2017

What were our forum members listening to in 2017?  What made the biggest impression?  Find out in our forum thread!  If you have some of your own, you’re welcome to join up and post your own Top 5.  And if you have a couple of honorable mentions, include those as well.

Happy New Year from A&M Corner!

“¡Something Festive!” for the Holidays!

A perennial favorite of A&M Records fans and collectors, ¡Something Festive! drew upon the 60s A&M catalog for ten unique takes on Christmas and winter holiday classics.  For our followers, fans,  forum members and friends around the world, we are offering the full album here for your holiday streaming pleasure!  This is our “expanded edition” which features twelve additional A&M tracks pulled from numerous sources.  Our “extras” include tracks by Shawn Phillips, Wes Montgomery, Miguel Rios, J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding, and Carpenters, along with a bonus single-only release by Claudine Longet. Tracks are captioned with song and artist information. Enjoy, and have a happy holiday season…whichever way you celebrate it!

 

It May Be Winter Outside…

Granted it’s a bit of a stretch, but let’s run with a Winter-themed tune today.  It’s cold, it’s snowing…so why not? This is a track originally recorded by Felice Taylor in 1967 called “It May Be Winter Outside (But In My Heart, It’s Spring).”  The group Love Unlimited redid the tune in 1973.  From the long song title, you may have guessed the tune’s composer–Barry White.  White had recorded a handful of albums for A&M back in the day, and Love Unlimited was his “girl group” that he also produced for, backed by the Love Unlimited Orchestra (which would have a Billboard #1 instrumental hit with “Love’s Theme”). White of course had plenty of hits on his own.

Captain Sensible’s “One Christmas Catalogue”

Formerly of IRS Records’ The Damned, here is Captain Sensible’s “One Christmas Catalogue” as today’s holiday feature.

Rare Amy Grant “Let The Season Take Wing” cassette single

Offered as a bonus cassette through Target stores with her A&M Home For Christmas album, “Let The Season Take Wing” is today’s A&M rarity. Thanks to our good pal Harry for the digital transfer!