Are 45 RPM Vinyl Records Really Worth Buying?
Hey guys, it’s Michael from Devoted to Vinyl, and in this video, we’re going to be talking about why you might want to consider buying 45 RPM records.
Now if you’re relatively new to the vinyl scene, then you might be wondering what “45s” are. Why would somebody in their right mind buy a 7” record that only has one song on each side, when they could buy an LP record, that’s a full album and contains multiple songs on each side?
Well, to understand 45s and 7” records, let’s take a quick look back.
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Now the term “RPM” stands for Revolutions Per Minute. So that means that 45s spin at 45 Revolutions Per Minute. By contrast, a 12” record or an LP will spin at 33 1/3rd Revolutions Per Minute.
And although there are some instances where a 12” record or an LP will spin at 45 Revolutions Per Minute—Ed Sheeran for example does that all the time with his albums—when we talk about 45 RPM, that is usually synonymous with 7” records.
Now 7-inch records date all the way back to 1949, when they were introduced by the label RCA Victor. Up until then, most people were still enjoying their music on noisy and fragile shellac records, which spun at 78 RPM.
And although Columbia unveiled the 33 1/3 LP in 1948, it was the release of the 45 a year later that really caught on in the 1950s, especially with young people.
Because now, kids could buy colored 45’s released by RCA Victor, and they were based on music genre. And because the price was cheaper, kids were able to grow their collection a lot faster.
But despite all this history and information, you might still be wondering why you’d want to collect a 45 RPM record today. Well, I’m going to give you two big reasons why you might want to at least consider buying a 45 RPM record.
Alright, so number one is Music History.
Now, with vinyl being a hobby, I think that novelty and nostalgia are two things that keep people interested in spinning records consistently. And as I mentioned before, what’s interesting about 45s released back in 1949 by RCA Victor, is that they were released on colored vinyl. And the colors of the vinyl were based on the music genre of the record.
So what that meant was, if you got a translucent green 45, on each side were country songs. Rhythm and Blues would be on orange vinyl, and children’s entertainment would be on yellow.
In total, there were seven vinyl colors and and matching genres.
So if you come across any 45s in colored vinyl, released by the label RCA Victor, you know you’re getting a pretty special piece of history.
Alright, now number two on my list is that you should buy 45 RPM records because sometimes…you just can’t find the songs anywhere else.
So nowadays, if an artist that you really like releases a song on the radio or on the Internet, you can feel pretty confident knowing that song is going to be on a forthcoming album that that artist is planning on releasing.
But, what if a song was released on a 7” record back in the 1950s or the 1960s—and was never released again?
In any format.
What if the artist at the time, for whatever reason, never really found any mainstream success, and the only way to be able to listen to their music today is to buy a handful of their 45s from back in the day?
The truth is, that’s the case with many, many, many, many, many talented artists.
For example, within the past few years, I came across a 1960s artist by the name of Yvonne Carroll. She released a handful of songs at the time like “Gee What a Guy,” “A Little Bit of Soap,” and “Laugh or Cry.”
But despite contributing some great songs, there’s almost nothing about her online.
There’s no Wikipedia entry.
Nothing at all!
There doesn’t seem to be a full length album that she ever recorded or released, and even streaming services like Spotify or Tidal or Deezer only really have a limited availability of the music that she made on hand.
And even though her music might be there now, we all know that a streaming service will get rid of a song you like at any given moment.
So, if I like Yvonne Carroll’s music, and I wanted to own some of her songs in a physical format, my only good option would be to buy one of her originally released 45s.
So that’s about it, guys. If you enjoyed this video and you found it to be helpful, I would love it if you could hit the “like” button down below. I always appreciate it when you do that.
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And as always, before we go, I want to leave you with a question. Do you buy 45s, and if so, what is your reasoning behind it? Do you like the great sound quality that 7” records provide?
Sound off in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear what you guys have to say.
As always, I’ll be back next week with a brand new video. Thank you for watching!
Just think about all the great artists that we would’ve never heard of…if there were no 45s!
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