Now, I was certain I’d already posted about this seminal soundtrack, but a quick site search conflicts with my shady memory. Originally released in accompaniment with the film in 2000, this 2015 colored vinyl version was a Record Store Day Black Friday, 15th Anniversary release from November 2015. There also appears to be a red vinyl version, limited to 500 copies “pressed exclusively for Red Bull Sound Select’s 30 Days in L.A.” (Thanks, Discogs.com). The only prior vinyl version came from Germany or the UK, and were extremely limited (not to mention fetch a hefty price online). 2016 black vinyl versions fetch for around $20, so options a-plenty.
Finally, a reasonably priced vinyl version of the Original Soundtrack to High Fidelity. It only took 15 years, but this Record Store Day Black Friday exclusive was well worth the wait. The Kinks, The Velvet Underground, The Beta Band, and The Thirteenth Floor Elevators to name only a few rampant cuts covering four sides of wax make for a damn good compilation album. This album is best enjoyed while accompanied by Johnny Cash’s autobiography, Cash By Johnny Cash.
Today’s haul from the 2015 Record Store Day sponsored Black Friday event. Only four of these were actual RSD exclusives, but we certainly couldn’t turn down $0.33.3 clearance lounge records. The Sun Records picture disc was an impulse buy, and certainly justified. We hope you’re enjoying your holiday, if in fact you actually get a holiday, and we hope said holiday involves many a spun record.
This whole writing every day thing is a big bunch of hokum. So instead, for a one-day only special lazy day treat, I’m going to transcribe Golden Tone Records’ explanation of High Fidelity. No, it’s not a time traveling review of the 2000 film starring John Cusack, but instead a rather lengthy selling point of an audiophile’s wet dream. The Prudent Groove suggests you read the following, to yourself, but with a Morgan Freeman voice. Take it away, Red:
These high fidelity albums offer you an unexcelled value in high fidelity recordings. They are the result of a combination of skilled modern engineering techniques and the very finest recording equipment. These albums are recorded on 3-track Ampex tape recorders, using RCA, Altec and Electro-Voice microphones and, as a result, produce the truest possible tonal quality. In order to give you the most outstanding reproduction from the tape to the record, the tapes – mastered by the Westrex Feedback Cutter – are pressed from a high-quality vinyl formula under very precise manufacturing conditions. These records are recorded with the RIAA characteristic. Frequency response is from 20 to 20,000 cycles per second. For true enjoyment and top quality, no finer records can be purchased at any price!
Listening in Depth, as apposed to listening in width, I suppose, is Columbia’s new (at the time) marketing gimmick to sell their “360 High Fidelity” phonographs. “Choose from more than 35 new Columbia phonographs in a wide price range and variety of cabinet designs and colors.” The phonograph featured here, Model 532, is available in mahogany, blonde mahogany, dirty-blonde mahogany, sandy-blonde mahogany, unnatural-blonde mahogany, ditsy-blonde mahogany, or walnut.
Announced in this ad-sert is Columbia sound laboratory’s own Directed Electromotive Power, or D.E.P. for short. This new feature “seals the sound chamber for tonal balance throughout the entire listening range.” (Seals it with a kiss, I suppose.)
Considering a phonograph upgrade to your own private domicile? “We invite you to inspect these portables, consoles and combinations at your Columbia Phonograph showroom today.” Update: All former Columbia Phonograph showrooms have, rather unfortunately, been converted into Jo-Ann Fabrics stores, with the exception of Wisconsin. Those have been transformed into Ben Franklin discount stores.
I am a sucker for antique record paraphernalia. Be it cheesy “as seen on bad 70’s TV” record cleaners, random manuals to record players I’ve never owned, or in this case my 1966 Philco High-Fidelity All-Transistor Stereophonic Radio-Phonograph.
Nearly a decade ago back in film school I was prop shopping for a 1960’s period short film I was involved with. Now, thanks to my mother I’ve always been a frugal shopper, so when digging around one of Ventura, CA’s many antique shops I immediately perused the booths near the back of the store that featured items at 50% off. While on this hunt for cheap, yet relevant 60’s era props I came across this pristine phonograph. At first glance of this beautiful cabinet record player, and without even seeing the price tag, I was instantly fixated on becoming its ultimate and inevitable owner. When I saw the price tag of $80 I nearly wet myself. $40 + tax later she was mine. I called my buddy Omar, who had a flat bed and we hauled it off to set. It didn’t have a dominant presence in the final short film, but when the shoot was over I found myself the proud owner of an amazing piece of stereophonic machinery.
The LP on the platter is Johnny Cash’s 1957 debut Johnny Cash with His Hot and Blue Guitar, which would have been just 9 years old when this High-Fidelity All-Transistor Stereophonic Radio-Phonograph was manufactured and sold.
For nearly 10 years ol’ Philco has moved with me a total of five times. She’s always dominated every living room she’s inhabited and still sounds as good today as she did the day I brought her home. Not bad for being 47 years old.
I enjoy imagining what the manufacturers at the Philco Corporation back in 1966 would think of the music I play on this phonograph now. I doubt they’d be as much into N.E.R.D., The Revolting Cocks or Drive Like Jehu as I am.