Top of The Pops

It’s been a while but unfortunately we have run out of interesting things to write about. Not really, but I a have been a bit tardy with the blog in 2011 and will update this more often. For this entry I have passed the torch to my placement student Ourania. After a look through the collections we came across our hundreds of LP’s and decided this would be a good theme. Here is what Ourania has to say about it:

I was surprised by the number of records held in the museum. Vinai explained many have been kept because they were bought from local record shops and have a local history link. This wasn’t what caught my attention though. Going back in time, the majority of the records are dated between the 1930s and 1940s from companies that lovers of music will recognize: Parlophone Records, Regal Zonophone Records, EMI, and last but not least HMV (His Master’s Voice). The last two companies are still in existence and do what they know well: make records, but not in the vinyl form any more.

Compact discs stepped to the forefront of recordings in the 1980s because they are not worn by playing, they are more convenient in size, and their sound reproduction quality is better. But, collectors treasure the collectible character of records for their sounds, the kinds of music they preserve, and the artwork and information on record jackets.

Greasing the Wheels of Steel

Play Records… Vinai’s first record was a ‘2 Unlimited’ CD. I happened to have purchased my first vinyl play record around 1988; it was ‘The Best of the Doors’ LP. Since then, together with my brother we managed to enrich our father’s classical LP collection with more rock and/or heavy metal stuff. At the moment, they should be more than 300 LPs and I really don’t want to think of ‘who owns this collection’ me or my brother? Let’s just say there have been many arguments between us about this.

Currently, the Blackburn Museum has a great number of gramophone and other records. Names like Rachmaninoff, Beethoven, Mozart and other great composers have found a place in one of the shelves in store. But the highlight of this particular collection is ‘The best of Barry Manilow’ on which one can find the famous song ‘Copacabana‘ which is an everlasting song for generations to come. Every year in my hometown in Greece a carnival takes place which encompasses a combination of traditional ancient-based customs with a contemporary/commercial feel, similar to the carnival in Rio de Janeiro, but obviously at a smaller scale. Every year, every night in every club or bar during the carnival the ‘Copacabana’ song is played by every DJ. As I moved to England, my last carnival was in 2006 but before that I have listened to this same song so many times playing everywhere I went that I have promised myself: I hope to never listen to it again!

Now it is 2011 and the actual record is here, original and in a very good condition, hooray!!!

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Blackburn Museum can be found in Blackburn, Lancashire. It houses objects documenting Blackburn's industrial past as well as a world class collection of Fine Art, Japanese prints, Icons, Numismatics and Manuscripts. Come and visit us to find out more.

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