While 45 rpm records aren't exactly news, and even 45 rpm LP records aren't news, most pop and indie fans will be surprised when they see these as new releases. Over at CNET, it's an interesting read. What's the frequency, Kenneth? R.E.M. released their latest studio recording, ACCELERATE on CD, but it's also on two long-playing 45 rpm 180gm records. No longer reserved for the jazz crowd, R.E.M. is embracing this technology. Why 45 rpm? It's the same reasoning that higher tape recorder speeds produce better signal-to-noise ratios and better sound. You can record more information if you take up more space, and since the disc is moving faster, you get more signal per second. (Really. Try to fit your signature on a 1-inch space. Now sign in a 2-inch space. Which is clearer and easier to read?) Of course, this means you're flipping the LP every 8-10 minutes or so, but for better sound quality, who's going to argue? How much will you pay for quality?
The LP of Accelerate is more expensive than the CD, but the two-platter package includes the CD (much easier to play in your car) for about $28-$30. It's also available as a CD and DVD. Is it worth the extra price and hassle? If you already have an LP collection and functioning turntable, how can it be bad?—Leslie Shapiro
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