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Every Record Tells A Story

Hello!

Thank you for visiting. 

Every Record Tells A Story is the name of an eclectic music blog covering a variety of music including rock, indie, blues, metal and vintage R&B with particular interest in used vinyl and live performances. 

The writer, Steve, (that’s me, writing awkwardly in the third person) has written for Classic Rock Magazine, Team Rock online and Record Collector Magazine. Steve has also appeared on the Radio 4 programme The World Tonight and on TV with BBC4’s Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years of the Pop Charts, which looked at the history of popular music. 

Since 2012 Every Record Tells A Story has looked back at rock and pop’s quirkier stories, myths and legends, re-telling them in a humorous and fun way. 

A unique feature of the blog is Steve’s forays into the world of record collecting, some of which have involved a wager. For example, could you build a collection of original Beatles vinyl for less than the price of the reissues? How much would a complete set of David Bowie’s classic albums cost? Could you make and sell on eBay a deluxe box set of Neil Young albums using the original albums? And if, instead of buying a box set by Oasis, you spent the same money on buying second-hand albums, what records could you end up with?

ERTAS also features live reviews, photography, the occasional interview and general music-related nonsense. 

For those seeking a bit more information, below is an excerpt of an interview I did which explains what Every Record Tells A Story is all about. Click this link for the full interview.

Hi Steve! “Every Record Tells a Story”– excellent name, and very true, what can you tell us about it?

The genesis of the whole thing came in 2001, when I stumbled across the newly released book Fargo Rock City by Chuck Klosterman. Here was a guy who grew up in the middle of nowhere, listened to a derided genre of music – heavy rock – and could still talk about it with enthusiasm and with his critical faculties intact. It was brilliant. Wouldn’t it be good, I thought, if I could do something like that, but talking about life in the UK? There were similarities: Klosterman lived in a part of the world that I pictured as a wilderness, whilst in the UK I grew up in a cultural wilderness, musically speaking, thanks to the national radio stations that played non-stop Stock, Aitken and Waterman.

Of course I did nothing about actually writing a book, but the idea remained. I can’t review new records as well as Pitchfork or Drowned In Sound and I can’t approach an artist and say: “I’m from Rolling Stone and can I have an interview?” But not many people write about heavy rock, and those that do tend to (rightly) take it quite seriously, and tend not to write about other genres. So I had something different, because all I want to do is make jokes and write about other bands as well as Whitesnake. The Blogs-With-Jokes-About-Heavy-Rock-And-Other-Bands-niche is not a large or particularly strongly contested niche in the blogosphere, so I think I have a free run at it. I am trying to make a virtue of a lack of focus.

I like to think that blogging is to writing what punk was to music – a DIY ethic – that whole “here are three chords, now go form a band”, only with words. It isn’t of course – it’s basically me, typing into a computer, which is about as far removed from punk as you can imagine. However, my blog is the culmination of years of just being a fan of music, reading countless music biographies, storing up all these ideas and events – things that happened at gigs for example, and then gobbing them, carefully, onto the page.

I still have doubts about the name, but you have to call it something – and you should have seen the other ideas – they were far worse.

Has your taste changed much over time?

It has widened. In his book 31 Songs, Nick Hornby wrote that Led Zeppelin and loud music generally is something you grow out of. I disagree. I now find something to enjoy in most genres, but there’s still nothing quite like the sound of a Gibson Les Paul plugged into a Marshall Stack.

How do you view the role of the rock writer, and the ‘blogger’ in particular?

If I have a role, it is to entertain people with the writing, make people laugh and hopefully get them to dig out a new or old record. That’s all. Every Record Tells A Story will appeal to gig goers, vinyl lovers, and fans of indie, rock and metal. It’s like a poor man’s Mojo Magazine, only not as well written, but with (hopefully) better jokes.

There are many very good music blogs out there, much better than mine, a lot of which tell you about new music and new bands, and they play a great role in promoting new bands. Well, that’s not the kind of blog I write. Who wants to only listen to new stuff when you haven’t heard all the old stuff? It gets exhausting to keep up with. I start to doubt someone when they recommend their eightieth new band of the year as being something special. So I’ll write about say, six new bands a year, and I’ll really like them all.

Of everything you’ve presented on the site, is there anything of which you’re particularly proud?

I once took on a bet that I could buy all the Beatles albums on vinyl in a limited time and budget – that was a good series and was as much fun to do as it was to write. I had to do a fair bit of research, which I enjoyed. It ended up being part record collecting, part Beatles history and part comedy caper. Well, I thought it was funny anyway. I enjoyed it so much I did a follow-up with Bowie’s records six months later. As a consequence, I now own a lot of Beatles and Bowie vinyl. Which is no bad thing. My most popular post was a joke article I wrote about a university that offered a degree in record collecting, which went modestly viral…

Has the Every Record Tells a Story site led to any other opportunities?

One of the first pieces I wrote for the blog was a jokey thing about my memories of taping the charts off the radio. Somehow a BBC researcher found it and invited me to take part in a BBC documentary called Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years of the Top Forty. They found a boom box and got me to tape a recording of the top forty countdown from the early Eighties. It was a lot of fun.

More recently the editor of Classic Rock magazine got in touch to ask if they could publish one of the ‘Rock on Trial’ articles about sexism in rock. I pulled together a few Pie Charts to illustrate the point, so it had a quirky visual element to it. There are very few Pie Charts in music criticism, I find. It was very flattering to rub shoulders with “proper” writers. It was encouraging. Maybe, I thought, I should carry on doing this blogging thing just a little bit longer …

I had no expectations or ambition that blogging would lead to anything else, so these things are nice to do when they come up.

If you are here for the first time, here are some articles that you may enjoy:

The Beatles Stereo Box Set Challenge

Can You Use Spotify And Still Be An Ethical Music Buyer?

(An adapted version of this article later appeared in Classic Rock Magazine)

  

Is Heavy Rock Just a Teeny Weeny Bit Sexist? (This later appeared on Team Rock’s Classic Rock website)

For vinyl lovers: could you pass a degree in record collecting?

The Origins of The Fab Four: Black Sabbath

B.B. King, Hells Angels and the Naked Hippie Girl

The Making of Aretha Franklin’s First Single

The Secret of The Flaming Lips’ Success

The Scandal of Secondary Ticketing – You Are Better off With A Tout

Is it cheaper to buy vinyl online or in record shops?

When Neil Young Headed For The Ditch

The Story of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody

Pulp’s Different Class – Britpop’s Best Album

For Classic Rock Magazine:

Lee Brilleaux: The Forgotten Man of Dr Feelgood

Michael Katon – Interview

For Record Collector Magazine: 

Mercury Rev: Live Review

  

You can follow this music blog on Twitter or Facebook

My facebook page is at www.facebook.com/everyrecordtellsastory

Twitter: @EveryRecord

There is also an Every Record Gallery page on Pinterest if you like that sort of thing…

….and instagramTumblr and Clippings.me too. Got to love that Social Media thing.

You can email me at everyrecordtellsastory@gmail.com

.

Here’s what other people think of Every Record Tells A Story:

Blog is brilliant. I’m reading your blog & having a bit of a man-crush on you” – Pete Paphides

This is why I love your blog. I never know what you will write about next. Another well written article on a great artist that I have never heard of. 

This is hilarious and true. It’s a beautifully sustained joke. The details are perfect.” – Dorian Lynskey

Thanks for dropping  by!

Steve

42 replies

  1. Hey thanks for the like. Feel free to repost and/ or mention and link to Proto-Germanic anytime.

    Like

  2. Hi, thanks for following my blog, its a project for university which i hope to be carrying on afterwards just to share my love for music, and I’ll be following yours for inspiration 🙂 I’m also from Essex too 😀 chelmsford though! 🙂

    Like

  3. Nice blog. I’ll keep an eye on it.
    Thanks

    Like

  4. Thanks for the follow. 🙂

    So I read through your list and even though I was already interested, I definitely clicked with the “I keep concert stubs” part – love that! Have a scrapbook which I actually need to update it because I tend to write down a little descriptor of the gig/anything exciting/random that happened. 🙂

    Looking forward to following you! 🙂

    Like

  5. I’m enjoying your blog very much. Must follow!

    Like

  6. I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! Check it out here:
    http://sayitwithmusic.wordpress.com/pay-it-forward/

    Like

  7. Lessee, identify with # 1, 2, 3, 8 (embarrassed to admit) and 10. Born in 1969, listened to hard rock part of 1980’s then indie thereafter. Play guitar badly. Yep, follow!

    Like

  8. Awesome blog, good to know there are still folks out there who like rock.

    Like

  9. Only went live with my journal of a rookie guitar player blog this week, and in the midst of my recent exploration into this WordPress community have been desperately searching for decent music / rock blogs …finally! -awesome site!

    Like

  10. Hey!
    Thanks for liking my post. I really like your blog. Although I was born at the end of the 80s I love a lot of bands you mention here, e.g. Marillion, Jethro Tull or Bruce Springsteen. And yes, I once thought Bon Jovi were cool and I still like their old stuff 😉 Keep rockin’ 🙂

    Like

  11. Hey thanks for the like! At first glance your blog looks like rock music heaven, so I will definitely be checking it out. 😉

    Like

  12. Hi
    Thanks for checking into the pasta paulie blog and liking the David Bowie posting. Have just been browsing around your site, some great postings – takes me back!
    pp

    Like

  13. Hello – thanks for liking my blog. I’ve just been browsing yours a bit – and am hooked. May have trouble working today… Simon

    Like

  14. thanks so much for visiting my site and deciding to follow. I couldn’t survive without music.

    Like

  15. Love the blog. Another music obsessive! In fact it has inspired me to write my own…http://robincartwright.wordpress.com
    grateful any top tips!

    Like

  16. Great interesting site! Miss some all female or female fronted bands.
    Talented Metal Goddesses from all over the World visit´: http://metalgoddesses.blogg.se

    Like

  17. Hello,
    I’m looking to get a few reviews of my band’s new EP “Lost in Translation.” If you would give it a listen and maybe give us a few words I’d much appreciate it! We are available for interviews.

    http://bastardfriendly1.bandcamp.com/

    https://www.facebook.com/BastardFriendly

    Thanks a lot,

    Zack Baer
    http://tomsin83.wordpress.com/

    Like

  18. When my mom passed away in 2014, amongst other things, I was left with a medium sized collection of albums, and a walking ton of cd’s. Ranging from Stevie Nick’s to Bob Dylan. I have been wanting to do some type of blog, to showcase them, so to speak, but other than knowing I love music, lol, I know very little about the artist! But I have found some really good ideas off your blog! As far as, layout how to describe what I have etc… just need to dig deep! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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