TIME.com Dubs “Lost & Found: Volume 2” the “Most Retro Release Ever!”

Forget Vinyl: New Recording Is Most Retro Ever

By Lily Rothman

A “new” track from from ’60s singer Tiny Tim uses a  100-year-old technology

Even as sales of vinyl LPs continue to rise (with projected  sales for 2013 approaching the 6-million mark), along comes a musical  selection put out on another vintage recording format. In fact, the new  release—available Sept. 10—just might be the most retro album in music  history.

Tiny Tim And Friends

American singer and musician Tiny Tim (1932 –  1996) visits the Stars Hall of Fame in Orlando, 1976.

The format, which predates vinyl by several decades, is called an Edison,  or phonograph, cylinder.

“When Edison first recorded sound he did it on tin foil. Ten years later was  when he finally perfected the cylinder record, so this is literally what came  after Edison first recorded sound,” says Justin Martell, the man behind this  backward-looking project. “There’s an appeal to releasing something on a medium  that hasn’t seen a wide release in close to 100 years by a major recording  star.”

The “major recording star,” in this case, is Tiny Tim. (Martell knows of one  indie band that experimented with cylinders in recent history.) Martell is a  long-time fan of the ukulele-playing “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” singer, who  died in 1996, and says he decided to do something productive with the obsession.  He began getting involved with releasing Tiny Tim’s unreleased and rare tracks,  with the blessing of the artist’s estate.

The track he chose for this particular release—a song called “Nobody Else Can  Love Me (Like My Old Tomato Can)”—was recorded in Australia in 1974. The new  cylinders (in a limited run of 50) were crafted by Benjamin Canaday, “the  Victrola Guy.” (Videos  of Canaday at work are available here.)

(MOREThe  Surprising Story Behind the World’s Rarest VHS Tape)

And yes, Martell knows his buyers probably won’t be able to play them. Except  for among gramophone collectors, the technology to listen to a cylinder is a  thing of the past. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

“In today’s market it’s special edition and collectors’ items that really  sell,” says Martell. “This is what people are interested in, I think. It’s the  extreme version of vinyl. We’ve gone the extra mile and thought to replicate the  original packaging, so it’s a neat collectors item that no one else is going to  have.”

Ironically, getting further from the cylinder’s heyday has made  it easier to go back in time. It’s not just the collecting  angle, or the fact that Martell found Canaday via a Google alert. Today’s  technology allows Martell to provide a digital version along with the cylinder,  so that people can actually hear the music they purchase. The download card will  allow buyers to hear the song straight, as well as the way it would sound played  through three different types of horns contemporary to the cylinder era. (One  such example can be heard in the video below.)

Plus, it’s what Tiny Tim would have wanted, says Martell, who was partly  motivated by the chance to make the singer’s dream come true, even if  posthumously. Tiny Tim had often said he wanted to record a cylinder, sang songs  from the cylinder era and even used his vibrato to replicate the cylinder  sound—and, to a true fan, that’s what really counts.

“Being in tune with Tiny Tim as an artist is the biggest part of it,” says  Martell. “It’s not that I wanted to release a cylinder record to be  contrary.”

Read more: http://entertainment.time.com/2013/09/09/forget-vinyl-new-recording-is-most-retro-ever/#ixzz2eRqtZDcI


One thought on “TIME.com Dubs “Lost & Found: Volume 2” the “Most Retro Release Ever!”

  1. Pingback: And Now, the News | Mrs. City Boy

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