It was ten years ago today that I nervously tiptoed my way into these dangerous waters. My motivation for doing was partly to keep my creative juices flowing after finding myself at a bit of a loose end at work thanks to some unanticipated staffing changes but mainly as it was something that was of an increasing appeal.

A few months earlier, my other half had given me a USB Turntable for my birthday as I was keen to put a lot of songs that I only had on vinyl into a digital format for transferring onto a new I-pod. It was while browsing the internet looking for tips on how to best do this in terms of software programmes etc that I realised there was a small band of folk with similar musical tastes and interests who were populating small corners of cyberspace with their views and opinions, seeking out responses and debate via the comments sections to postings on their blogs. I tentatively offered some of my own views and was pleasantly surprised that nobody mocked me or called me out as a charlatan. I began to make requests for specific songs and was delighted when folk living in Canada, France, the USA and nearer to home in Scotland let me hear something again for the first time in decades.

It is really hard to imagine just how little of the old indie/new wave/ post punk music from the 70s, 80s and 90s was out there back in 2006 given the massive growth in popularity there has been this past decade. You Tube was a little over a year old and folk were to still to really harness its ability in terms of uploading old footage for all to enjoy. Spotify was still just an idea forming in someone’s head. Record companies had little interest in dealing with back catalogues unless it was a dead superstar. CD was still king with the low manufacturing costs keeping the gravy train smoothly on the tracks. All the good stuff however, seemed to be long out of print and so it fell upon this enthusiastic group of like-minded amateurs to keep certain flames burning.

I tried a few layouts, considered a few alternatives for the name of the blog and thought about giving myself a name to hide behind – The Ghost Of Troubled Joe was only ditched at the last second in favour of using my initials. Having decided that what I was going to do was in the main taking songs on 7” and 12” plastic and featuring them in what was a technically illegal digital format, I felt The Vinyl Villain was a clever and astute name for the blog. Besides, it kind of gave me a superhero alter-ego as I styled myself as ‘JC aka The Vinyl Villain.’

My first posting was on James. It was all about a long-deleted b-side called Fire Away that I thought was worth letting folk hear again. Two days later I featured Lloyd Cole with a then rare and hard-to-find remix of Butterfly, a flop single from 1992. Then I went a bit more obscure the next day with some stuff on a long-forgotten band from Edinburgh called Hey! Elastica.

Positive comments and e-mails began to trickle in and so I kept going. I never considered I’d still be doing it ten years on.

Nor did I imagine that I would make so many great friends through blogging, a fair number of whom I’ve been lucky to meet but the vast majority have been the 21st Century equivalent of pen-pals. Being a blogger has enabled me to meet some of my all-time musical heroes (and in certain cases befriend them) and indirectly led me to DJ again after many years away. It also created a situation where I would do things I could only previously daydream about – I’ve promoted gigs, I’ve been a semi-roadie, I’ve sold stuff at merchandise stalls and I’ve been briefly profiled in newspapers and magazines. I’ve been invited to come to a recording studio and be among the first to hear a brand new recording from one of my favourite bands and I’ve had my real name appear in the list of thanks on new releases. I still can’t get over that Laurence Bell of Domino Records contacted me for some thoughts and advice in advance of his label issuing the Orange Juice box set and then as thank you listing me in the credits… that will always remain beyond belief.

I’ve clearly had a whale of a time never once regretting my decision to get involved and I’ve been lucky with so much that has happened. But above all else, I am incredibly proud of the fact that I’ve been able to attract many hundreds of guest contributions over the years and in doing so have greatly expanded my knowledge and musical tastes.

Of course it’s not all been plain sailing. A few initial bumps were smoothed out by some of my oldest blogging comrades which is why it seems so apt that this week, while I’m on holiday in Toronto, that the blog is featuring a series of repeat guest offerings from ctel without whom I’d most likely quit at some point. I owe him so much and again want to publicly say a big thank you.

The Vinyl Villain was hosted by between 29 September 2006 and 24 July 2013 when it was taken down by the host for what was alleged to be continued violations of copyright policy. They had a point but the method used in which so many millions of words were wiped without giving me a chance to do some sort of back-up was upsetting and caused a lot of grief and anger. My indignation was shared by many others and the many messages of support made me determined to bounce back quickly. I ended up doing so did so the same day, using wordpress, and re-naming it The (New) Vinyl Villain. It took a few weeks but the new place soon got up to the standards of the old place and indeed nowadays I feel it is a big improvement, thanks in the main to the quality of the guest postings.

Between the two blogs, there have been something in the region of 3,700 separate posts and what will be something in the region of 15,000 comments. That’s an awful lot of words……thankfully some of them have made some sense.

There’s not too many of the original bloggers from ten years ago still going today which is perfectly understandable given that it is very difficult to find different things to say all the time; besides, all of our personal circumstances have changed while those who were driven by the desire only to share music can point to how much easier it is to do so in 2016 compared to 2006….and much of it is legal.

In their places have come some very talented and skilled new bloggers, a small number of whom I very heartily recommend with a listing to the right hand side of my own place. Sometimes I find it difficult to read what these folk are writing, partly because so many of them do it in a way that makes me think they should be getting paid for it, but also because I sometimes read their word and realise that my own emerging thoughts for a future post just been blown out the water!!

I know that I won’t be doing this forever. To be honest, five years ago I didn’t imagine seeing out another half-decade, so I’ll make no predictions about what the future holds. But as long as I wake up of a morning and see that someone out there is getting a degree of enjoyment out of what appears here, and as long as I’m able to crochet a few clichés together in a way that makes some sort of sense, well you can bet that some sort of tune and some sort of opinion or information will appear on a daily basis.

For now, here’s some tunes:-

mp3 : Kingmaker – 10 Years Asleep
mp3 : Wild Billy Childish & The Musicians Of The British Empire – Birthday Boy
mp3 : James – Fire Away (12″ vinyl)
mp3 : Lloyd Cole – Butterfly (the Planet Ann Charlotte Mix)
mp3 : The Fall – Lost In Music


27 thoughts on “BONUS POSTING : 10

  1. The pleasure’s all ours. Where would we all be without your ramblings? You’ve made us laugh, you’ve made us cry. We’ve marvelled at your musical taste – more often than not in a good way! Hopefully you’ve been indirectly responsible for a few more pennies in various musicians’ pockets. You’ve even encouraged and then introduced us to some great writing from others. Ain’t no stopping you now.

    Type on, sir, type on.

  2. As blogs go, this one is alright I suppose.
    Four words to describe it inspiring entertaining educational and essential.
    Much love
    SWC and Badger

  3. I honestly can’t imagine a world without TVV. A pleasure to read and an honor to contribute to. The music is essential and everyone that checks in feels like an old friend. Ten more years, at the very least!

  4. JC you have provided so many of us with a comfortable, secure place on the interweb to interact and celebrate our musical commonality. I will have to second SA is saying that TVV and T(n)VV have kept me engaged in my own blog over the passed 7 years. Every day when I get home from work for lunch and again in the evening, I open my browser here to see where you will take us. As well, through TVV and T(n)VV, you have exposed me to many other great places in this corner of the blogosphere where ideas and feelings can be shared. Thank you for all of this and more!

  5. You are the Godfather of us merry band of amateur bloggers. Ten years is one hell of an achievement. If I had a cap, I’d doff it. If I drank booze, I’d raise a glass to you. Instead I’ll just say well done and thank you in the most sincere way I can.

  6. I don’t know how you do it, day in and day out, but I’m so happy you do it. As a certain hopeless presidential candidate would say, “STAMINA!” I’m sure you’re everyone’s first stop when they wake up in the morning, but here in Seattle I’m proud to be your first reader when I’m settling in for the night at 10PM. Nobody does it like the Vinyl Villain,and we are all in awe. Congratulations on 10 years.

  7. Congratulations from a regular reader, even if I rarely comment. I always look for your posts and really enjoy them. Here’s to many more!

  8. I’m inspired and awestruck on a daily basis by what you do here. In fact I feel a chant coming on. (All together now……) ‘Ten more years! Ten more years! Ten more years!’

  9. Congrats on ten years, read every day, always something of interest. In fact we have same interests except I’m a Red Sox fan. sorry!! Butcher Boy fan because of the Vinyl Villain.

  10. thank you for all you do ,always a great read even if i don’t always agree with the music choice ,
    not a Smiths fan but you did sway me to the glories of Orange Juice and the fantastic legacy for Scottish music , i thank you for Ballboy, Aidan Moffat , Honeyblood and so much more
    Glasgow born , living in Toronto so I apologize for our current weather and the horrendous Blue Jays !

  11. I had an aggregator/music blog many years ago “Retro Music Snob”, and I could always direct my readers to great music on “The Vinyl Villain”. Blogger also blew up my blog…so I know the pain of losing your musical diary. There was even a time when RMS was on the illustrious Blogroll! I never could gain traction after Blogger erased many quality music websites. I was very happy that “The New Vinyl Villain” rose from the ashes…Congrats for ten years of consistently putting out quality posts, and outstanding music. TNVV is the only music blog that I still check in on daily! Long May You Run Sir, and Thank You!

    The Snob (all the way from California)

  12. JC congratulations

    Your blog is the only music blog i check daily – more for the writing and the sense of community than the music – even though i love most of what you post and am always discovering new things to listen to

    Anyway, here’s to another 10 years!

  13. I am late but I also want to say some words. You were the main influence to start a blog on my own. Thank you for the inspiration you gave to me during the last years. Have a great time over in Toronto and keep on keeping on.

  14. Naturally I read that too late (enjoying the long weekend too much probably), so also from my side a very happy birthday, my friend: if it weren’t for you, sexyloser wouldn’t exist!

  15. Only getting time to visit once a week and do a catch-up at the moment, but the fact that I do so is proof that this is a blog worth making some time for in my hectic schedule. Thanks for taking the time and trouble to post so regularly and interestingly. Long may you continue!

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