Maximum Rock N Roll#23
The Following is the column from Maximum Rock N Roll #23
March 1985 as submitted by Pushead.
There are subjects that are very sensitive. Sometimes you can't avoid them,
while others are pursued to find the answer or at least some kind of response.
Is this instigation or seeking the truth? Over the last year or so, I have noticed
the decline of the 7-inch record, yet only in the USA. The UK and other
European contries continue to pump out some great 7-inchers, So what's happening,
There are four factors to look at here; the band, the distributor, the store,
and the buyer. The stores(not all) will either not carry the 7" at all, or else
leave it in a deep dark part of the shop, so sales are weak and only the true
believers search them out. With a poor selection, the buyer doesn't buy the 7".
So when the store buys from the distributor, they don't order 7"s, since sales are
so low. With that in mind, the distributor will order less, since the stores take
so few. So, when the band solicits the distributor with their 7", they are told they
are hard to sell. This leaves the market open for the 12" single. The word had been that
the 12" single will eliminate the 7" in the future. What does this mean to you? Higher
prices, and for the poor young artists, no choice for vinyl since a 12" costs more to
produce than a 7".
With all this in mind, why is it all going 12"? First, a 12" can be easily fit in
with the LPS and displayed properly which means bigger sales. Secondly, more profit
for less music. When you can put out a 7" with 2 songs and a 12" with the same two
songs plus one more with a higher price. The gimmick is to attract you with the extra
track. A 12" costs the same as an LP to be made. The only difference is in the recording
costs. As a 12", it makes a better investment for the band. But what about the people
who can't afford the 12"? The can afford the 7", but if it becomes obsolete, these people
will rely on home taping whick is killing the business-remember? Since they want more
profit, they have also designed a device to put sound out which can't be reproduced to
stop home taping. Real nice of them right?! But dubbing decks are sold in massive
quantities. So what's happeneing? Can underground music survive if they stop the 7"
and turn it into a compact disc? Can you afford this change?
In order for the 7" to survive, you must demand it, so it will remain available! When
making a 7", make sure that there is some music on it, not just a minute a side. Same
for 12" records. Put music on it, not just 4 minutes a side-bogus, daddy-o! Hats off to
bands like THE APOSTLES who really give you your money's worth. How fair is it when DRI
puts out a 22 song 7" and represses it as a 12" at triple the price, but still 22 songs?
Wow, what's going on? Does anyone think about how much their record will cost in foreign
countries? Whould you pay the price they have to? It is much cheaper to send a 7" to
foreign countries than a 12". In Japan, and the UK, prices are so high that there is a
new invasion of flexi discs and 8" records. I'm glad someone wants to put music out cheap.
If the 7" dies, what will music cost you. Do you pay for MTV?
Music comes in all shapes and sizes. SOme people wish to control it and make all the
profit, but underground music will always survive. Let's just hope they don't stop our
means of producing it. I hope when you make a record, you remember yourself as a buyer.
And for you buying records, I hope you use your judgement in what you are buying. Produce
and purchase a quality/quantity product. Stop the ripoffs before their profit stops you!
Bye for now.