In the Groove Hardcover, Which Celebrates 75 Years of the LP, The Rise of Vinyl Culture, and the Ongoing Turntable Revolution, Is Set to Be Published October 17

Has it really been 75 years since Columbia Records released what’s generally agreed to as being the first commercially available 12-inch long-playing record — or LP — in June 1948? Indeed it has! (And, for the literal Masterworks record, said very first “long playing microgroove” LP, which boasts the infamous Columbia ML 4001 catalog number, is Mendelssohn Concerto in E Minor for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 64, featuring 24 minutes and 47 seconds of violinist Nathan Milstein playing with the Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York, as conducted by Bruno Walter.)

To help both celebrate and chronicle such a momentous diamond anniversary in our analog-centric culture, In the Groove: The Vinyl Record and Turntable Revolution, a 192-page hardcover (ISBN 9780760383315), is set to be published October 17 by Motorbooks, an imprint of The Quarto Group. The SRP for In the Groove is $40 U.S. ($53 Canadian; or £28), and it can be pre-ordered here.


According to a press statement given to us by Quarto senior marketing manager Steve Roth, “In the Groove: The Vinyl Record and Turntable Revolution is an authoritative and visual celebration of the history and culture of vinyl record collecting and turntables, from the first 78 to the resurgence and explosive growth of LPs the last decade.”

To that end, In the Groove has been written by a “roster of well-known music journalists, vinyl junkies, and stereophiles, presenting a gorgeous tribute to the vinyl LP and the culture its spawned” (again, their words).

Roth also graciously sent us more than a few cool PDFs from In the Groove to share with the AP readership at large, to give you all a better taste of what’s in the book, and you’ll see these single pages and spreads interspersed all throughout this story.


Amongst the notable In the Groove writers happens to be our very own Ken Micallef, who does his part to explain (per the press release) “turntables from portables to audiophile-quality units, the workings and parts of a turntable from motors and tonearms to plinths and cartridges, and the components of a system.”

I personally recommended Ken to the In the Groove publishers to write about this particular subject matter, and I asked Ken to expound upon his work for the book exclusively here for the AP audience. “For In the Groove, I wrote about the history of the turntable — which is a mighty long timeline,” Micallef told me. “Also, I wrote about how to fit a turntable into a contemporary system, what constitutes said system, and how it works as a whole consisting of integrated parts. Finally, I supplied a buyer’s guide of sorts, addressing turntables at every price point.”

Concludes Micallef, “This is a perfect time to buy a turntable, there are nearly thousands of choices, from college-dorm entry-level ’tables to price levels befitting King Charles III.” (Well put, brother Ken!)


In addition to our man Ken, the following authors contributed to In the Groove. The descriptions of their respective contributions appear here essentially as they were worded in the supplied Quarto press statement.

Richie Unterberger explores the history of the 33 1/3rpm LP — as well as its predecessor, the 78rpm record — the first commercial LPs, the pressing process, stereo vs. mono, and formats like the 7-inch 45rpm record.


Gillian Gaar tackles those vinyl temples — record stores — and examines the history of LP merchandising, everywhere from department stores to headshops. Garr also covers Record Store Day, the rise of the artist in-store appearance, swap meets, and record shows.

Martin Popoff pens a paean to the physical vinyl object itself, discussing the advent of the record sleeve, great LP covers, famous sleeve designers, liner notes, packaging, color vinyl, and more.

Lastly, Matt Anniss looks at the collecting hobby and obsessive collectors, what makes a great listening space, playing and caring for vinyl, vinyl as it’s used in DJ and hip-hop cultures, and the mixtape phenomenon.


Besides all of the above, In the Groove is illustrated all throughout with 250 color and B&W images alike of gear, listening spaces, record stores, sleeve art, and classic advertising. Sidebar text covers famous record labels from Stax to Sub Pop, well-known record stores, and milestone LP covers.

Finally, In the Groove includes a beginner’s guide to grading, as well a look at the formats that have challenged the supremacy of the LP including 8-tracks, reel-to-reel tapes, and cassettes.


Anton D's picture


Mike Mettler's picture
cement_head's picture


JACK L's picture


You wish !

Who is going to pay for the cost of producing the book ??


Anton D's picture

Do you think I was being serious, Jack?

Didn't you quit the Stereophile family of sites because they weren't up to your impeccable sonic standards?

JACK L's picture


Haha. You miss the humour!

Now you are getting "serious" by mentioning "the Stereophile" here !

I just followed what Mikey Fremer did a year ago - quitted "the Stereophile". I am posting at Mikey's" which is now celebrating its anniversary today !

Also check up my posts at PMA Magazine, Positive, Part-Time Audiophile, etc etc. The "Stereophile" is a mickey mouse compared to all those audio journals, pal.


Anton D's picture

Aesop wrote about you.

JACK L's picture


Tom L's picture

the Edison cylinder book.

Chemguy's picture

...the misplaced tonearms lately?

Anton D's picture

The new Coriolis Turntable and arm are perfect examples.