Album Chart of the Decade: 1930s

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Album Chart of the Decade: 1930s
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THE STILL BIRTH OF THE 33⅓ LONG-PLAYER

“Albums” of recorded music were developed in the early 20th century, although the original pioneers, a London-based company called Neophone, didn't use that term. From 1904, they manufactured discs ranging from 9 inches to 20 inches in size that could play up to 10 minutes per side, including classical music, miltary bands as well as music hall style variety such as banjoists and comic singers. The term “Album” arrived a few years later, when individual 78-rpm records were collected in a bound book resembling a photograph album, hence the adopted term. The first such set was made in England; “Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite”, performed by Palace Theatre Orchestra and conducted by Herman Finck. It was released in April, 1909, as four double-sided discs, set in a specially designed package by Odeon Records. It was very expensive, retailing for 16 shillings, approximately £80 in 2019 currency. In these early days, the “Album” was the preserve of the affluent music fan.

As Wikipedia tells, the practice of issuing albums does not seem to have been widely taken up by other record companies for many years, although, by about 1910, bound collections of empty sleeves with a paperboard or leather cover, similar to a photograph album, were sold as record albums that customers could use to store their records (the term "record album" was printed on some covers). These albums came in both 10-inch and 12-inch sizes. The covers of these bound books were wider and taller than the records inside, allowing the record album to be placed on a shelf upright, like a book, suspending the fragile records above the shelf and protecting them.

In 1931, RCA Victor debuted the first commercially available vinyl long-player designed for playback at 33⅓ RPM (Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra performing the Beethoven Symphony no 5 was released on Victor L-7001, a two sided 12 inch) 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.

It was during this decade that record companies began issuing more regular collections of 78 rpm records by one performer or of one type of music in specially assembled albums, typically with artwork on the front cover and liner notes on the back or inside cover. Most albums included three or four records, with two sides each, making six or eight compositions per album.

My own album journey begins in 1939 with a digital reconstruction of the first Lead Belly album, using his later compilation albums as my source. It's not ideal from a collector's point of view, but it makes for a brilliant starting point all the same.

Whilst it may seem a bit daft to have a chart for just one album, there is, at least, room for future developments!

The Jukebox Rebel
25-Apr-2019

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NEGRO SINFUL SONGS
Lead Belly
Musicraft 31 (1939)
the USA
7.77 “Brilliant” Folk; Blues / Rhythm n Blues

Jukebox picks: “The Bourgeois Blues [1939 version]” (9.5) • “Frankie And Albert [1939 version, part 2]” (9.2) • “Frankie And Albert [1939 version, part 1]” (9.0)
TJR saysWhat a year it was for Mr Ledbetter, good, bad and ugly. He stabbed a man in a violent altercation, apprehended a bank r...more →



Album Charts by year

“A-list”

1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

“B-list”

1943 1945 1946 1950 1951 1952 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

Album Charts by decade

“A-list”

1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s

“B-list”

1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s




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