American Fingerstyle Guitarist

The Return Of Vinyl

Duck Baker’s last solo LP was released in Germany in 1985, but within months of each other two new Duck Baker LP’s have hit the market and a third is almost here. For a musician who grew up in the LP era and whose first releases were all on vinyl, this is a lot of fun. Many people remain attached to the LP format, and for reasons that go far beyond nostalgia. They not only look better than CD’s, they sound better, and feel better. They probably even taste better!
But there’s a big difference between most vinyl LP’s being pressed today and most of those issued in the 1970s, which is that contemporary LP’s are superior products. The emphasis is on high production values at every step of the way, from the mastering to pressing to the vinyl itself, which is usually heavier and purer. A very high % of what is released on vinyl nowadays would be classified as “audiophile,” and one never encounters the sort of awful, noisy pressings that were an all-too-common feature of the market in the 1970s and ‘80s, nor the faddish audio “enhancements” that always made things sound worse. Duck’s last LP,  Under Your Heart, was made during the brief period when direct-to-digital was hailed as a great innovation (it was, rather, a great mistake). The reason for all of this is that vinyl as a material became more expensive to use in the 1970s, and through the ‘80s LP’s faced stiff competition first from cassette tapes and then CD’s. By the end of the decade the latter dominated the market, and the days of cheaply produced LP’s were over. Today’s product is more of a luxury item, aimed at audiophiles and collectors. Some companies decline to issue their records in any digital format, while others issue both LP’s and CD’s and/or digital downloads. Certainly the shrinking market for CD’s factors into all of this. 
In any case, it is rewarding to see Duck Baker’s music be treated to the sort of high-end production values that is represented with these new releases. As of January, 2018, the two new Duck Baker LP’s are Pareto Sketches and Duck Baker Plays Monk. Le Blues Du Richmond is scheduled to be released in April, 2018. 
As long as vinyl is being offered, we thought we may as well include a few remaining copies of The Kid On The Mountain, which have survived all these years (mostly in the closet of Gill Cooke, who used to run the folk section at Collett’s in London – long story!). This 1980 title was Duck’s fifth and last solo record for Kicking Mule. These copies are still sealed, but no longer pristine, as some of the corners of the covers are slightly bent. New copies of this records are practically non-existent, but owing to less-than-perfect condition they are offered in the same sort of price range as new CD’s.
ALL VINYL PURCHASES WILL INCLUDE, FREE OF CHARGE, A COPY OF THE ORIGINAL TAB BOOK THAT WAS INCLUDED WITH DUCK’S FIRST LP, THERE’S SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE IN AMERICA. Quite a lot of these have survived, and have not been offered for sale on their own, since shipping would in many cases cost more than they are worth!