Vinyl’s number one on the pecking order

By Kevin Jackson Observer writer

Saturday, January 02, 2016

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THERE is growing demand for vinyl records in the United Kingdom and Europe which is music to the ears of administrators at London-based Peckings Records.

According to proprietor of Peckings Records, Christopher Price, this renewed interest in vinyl has seen steady sales for the reggae 45 rpm.

"For many years, as you know, vinyl had become redundant for mainstream music collectors as the compact disc (CD) became the main player, but for the last two years vinyl sales have gone up all over the UK and Europe with more shops and distributors opening up," he explained.

Peckings Records is located in Shepherds Bush and was founded in 1974 by Price’s father, George ‘Peckings’ Price. It is now operated by Christopher and his brothers Dub Duke and Trevor.

"He [George Price] was the first person in the UK to be selling records from Jamaica. He was a member of the Coxsone Downbeat sound [system] and childhood friends with Clement ‘ Sir Coxsone’ Dodd, Duke Reid, Lee Perry and Prince Buster. When he left Jamaica to come to the UK, Coxsone asked him to distribute Studio One music which he sold to all the music collectors and sound systems from his house until he opened the shop," said Price. "That’s when the Europeans really got to know about Studio One, through Peckings record shop."

Price, 50, is the only member of his family born in the UK. His parents and brothers are originally from West Kingston. He has been running the record store for over 20 years.

The Peckings Records label came into existence in 2004. It has released a number of hit songs including Bitty McLean’s
Walk Away From Love, Heaven in Her Eyes and Put The Stereo On by Gappy Ranks, Never Played a 45 by Macka B, Lucky Man by Courtney John and Young Heart Burning Desire by Tarrus Riley.

All have done well on vinyl.

"Speaking to many music distributors and record shops all over the UK and Europe, what I have gathered from them is that there is a new generation of music collectors who are vinyl-crazy. They are collecting vinyl that they never had the chance to buy back in the day and also they like the whole retro DJ culture from the ‘70s and ‘80s with the turntable, DJ bags and the vinyl mixing. Another thing is they feel much more professional as a DJ spinning vinyl because due to technology, there is software that emulates turntables, so why not use the real thing and play vinyl," he explained.

Price said that even with the CD revolution, his store continued selling vinyl which always had an underground following in the UK.

In 2014, the British Broadcasting Corporation reported that vinyl sales surpassed the million sales mark in the UK for the first time in 20 years.

There is now a national vinyl chart in that country.

Price says Jamaican music from the 1960s to the 1980s remains in great demand. Beres Hammond, Chronixx and Tarrus Riley are the most popular artistes on vinyl.

"Many Jamaican producers are doing vinyl-pressing deals with European distributors to supply the demand for certain tracks. We usually get six boxes of pre-release vinyl from Jamaica each week," he said.

Disc jockeys, sound system operators, music and film producers and magazine owners comprise most of Peckings’ clientele.

The store distributes the vinyl product in the UK for producers and labels including Penthouse Records, Tappa Zukie, Winston ‘Niney’ Holness, Bunny Lee, Hawkeye Records and Studio One.


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