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Arts & Culture

Rock Hall Collectibles? Looking at Vinyl From The 2018 Inductees

photo of Nina Simone box set
Many of this year's inductees released their most popular albums on vinyl, but in many cases the best-sounding, easiest to find versions may be recent reissues such as this Nina Simone box set of her hard-to-find Philips label albums.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018 includes many acts that have been eligible for decades. Here’s what record collectors should be looking for from this year’s inductees.

All of the acts being inducted this year debuted when vinyl was king, and released most of their big hits before CDs and cassettes became the dominant music formats.

Michael Fremer is editor of AnalogPlanet.com, a website dedicated to vinyl and audio equipment. He says Dire Straits has always been well-regarded for the fidelity of their albums, which may actually sound better on vinyl today.

“Many of them were digital recordings to begin with. So what happens over time is, the digital converters get better and better, ironically, so those sound better on the reissues than the originals did.”

Fremer adds that other inductees such as The Moody Blues, Bon Jovi and The Cars sold so many records in America that their releases are sought after but not very valuable.

The exception is singer-songwriter Nina Simone.

“There’s no bad Nina Simone records. Her first record, it was reissued – in stereo – by Analogue Productions a couple years ago. And it’s a spectacular record, her very first record. Any of the ones on Philips are really good, too. They’re collectible, though, and they’re all expensive now. Because Nina Simone is timeless.”

Fremer adds that a recent boxed set collects all of Simone’s key 1960s work together, and several of this year’s other inductees may be easier to collect through modern reissues of their work.

Simone made her first recordings in the 1950s.  The Cars and Dire Straits debuted in the late 1970s, and Bon Jovi in 1984.  The Moody Blues have been eligible for the Rock Hall since 1989.  The British prog-rockers participated in a Q&A session this week, with leader Justin Hayward saying one of his major influences was another of this year’s inductees.

“It’s a privilege to be even celebrated in the same streets as Nina Simone.  A great influence – a musician’s musician.”

Simone passed away in 2003.