'Six-Five Special!', long-playing record, 1957.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Music recording based on the successful BBC television series distributed by Parlophone (EMI), first issue (PMC1047). Album cover artwork and printing sold many long-playing (LP) recordings. Peter Goldmark of Columbia launched the first successful microgroove vinyl LPs in 1948. Ten years later true stereo recordings were available. Earlier LPs were made of other plastics such as Bakelite and shellac. The advantages of vinyl records over those made from these earlier materials were that they were lighter, less brittle, and were cheap and easy to produce, making mass production possible. Problems of sound quality, ease of damage by scratching, and warping of records when exposed to heat were prominent factors in the decline of vinyl from the 1980s, and its replacement by polycarbonate compact discs (CDs).