Album Chart of 1948

<1947 1949>

  • This chart features albums released in 1948 and is limited to all of the albums in my collection which have “A-list” status.
  • Elsewhere, the Albums released in 1948 page shows the full range of albums in this sites' database, including the “B-list” records.


For the first time ever, the United States were not represented at the top of my album chart. But there was a much bigger story than THAT going on…

Back in 1931, RCA Victor had debuted the first commercially available vinyl long-player designed for playback at 33⅓ RPM, but the venture was beset with technical problems and customers were not happy; by 1933 the format had disappeared from trace in the home music market. Much like the space race, the battle was on, although there was no big hurry what with the depression and the war. It was the boffins employed by Columbia who finally solved the problems various, and they duly launched the world’s first “microgroove long players” in the summer of ‘48 - the time was right.

“COLUMBIA'S DISK MARVEL” proclaimed Billboard excitedly on 29 May 1948. In New York, Columbia president Goddard Lieberson introduced the LP at a press conference in the Waldorf Astoria on June 18, 1948. On show were two formats: a 10” record in diameter, matching that of existing 78 rpm singles, and a 12” record initially earmarked for longer classical works. At hand, were 2 albums being re-issued from their pre-existing 78 formats: there was “The Voice of Frank Sinatra” (CL-6001) to represent the 10” Pop market and the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E Minor with soloist Nathan Milstein, and Bruno Walter conducting the Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of New York (CL-4001) in 12” format for fans of the classical. CL-4001 was the first to be released on June 28, 1948.

The bulky record albums with 3, 4 or 5 big discs in the book were on a loser almost overnight. The new LP was the bomb - it sounded great and was a lot less hassle to deal with. But we still called it an album. For the sake o’ auld lang syne.

Goodbye noisy old shellac, hello sophisticated vinyl…

The Jukebox Rebel

p.s. Allez les bleus!

TJR says:

5.30 “Below average”

Following her highly successful 1947 American tour, Édith Piaf’s stock was high, and she was all set for the worldwide acclaim and stardom that would last until her untimely demise early in the 1960s. That she could return strong retail sales in English speaking countries with albums sung entirely in French speaks volumes for the strength of character and drama that she, and her chosen orchestras, were able to convey. “Les Cloches Sonnent” (the ringing bells), which featured her own lyrics, provides a stirring start – quintessentially French, and a very uniquely Édith experience. Alas, they don’t all grip me as much as that. “Monsieur Ernest A Reussi” (from 1945 and the only selection not to have been recorded in 47/48) is the only other tune of the six to take my fancy – it evokes the appealing image of the jovial Parisian Taverne. Très jolie.

The Jukebox Rebel

TJR says:

4.31 “Lame”

The 49-year-old bandleader’s first album on Columbia, a moody 10" LP record issued in 1948. The album consisted of CBS sessions recorded in L.A. (14th August 1947) and NYC (pooled from 5 sessions 1st September to 30th December 1947). Opens up enjoyably enough off with “On A Turquoise Cloud”, interesting for, what sounds like, its wordless female vocal – though you never quite know with some of these exotic players. “Hy’a Sue” is the highlight – and that’s definitely the trumpet doing the talking! These two aside, there’s nothing here that moves or excites me…

The Jukebox Rebel

chart first published 24 Sep 2015; last edited 6 Dec 2015

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