‘Vinyl’ Is a New HBO Series About the 1970s Record Industry

  • Save


Set in 1970s America, Vinyl follows the fictional American Century Records, a label struggling to reinvent itself and capture a new sound.  Boardwalk Empire’s Bobby Cannavale plays the record executive, with both Martin Scorcese and Mick Jagger conceptualizing and directing.

As part of the ‘set,’ Scorcese transformed Brooklyn’s Rough Trade record shop into a 1970-era Sam Goody. Perhaps resurrecting a more complicated Tower Records was too tall a task, though Colin Hanks has just released a documentary chronicling the rise-and-fall of the recording industry’s biggest retail outlet.

Here’s the Vinyl trailer…

39 Responses

  1. Rick Shaw

    There’s nothing that can re-create what went on during those times.

  2. Jester Bangs

    the days of limos, blow, and hookers ended eons ago…never-ever to return. unless of course you run a tech company

    • Paul Resnikoff

      But culture and society have fundamentally changed in Amerida, so even the high-fliers in tech oftentimes assume a more measured public persona, instead of the more outlandish, coke-blasted personas you might see in the 70s.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      But culture and society have fundamentally changed in America, so even the high-fliers in tech oftentimes assume a more measured public persona, instead of the more outlandish, coke-blasted personas you might see in the 70s.

  3. Versus

    This looks like an awful portrayal of the music world. Where is the actual music?

    • Johnny Thunders

      What do you mean where is the music, dumdum? It was all through the trailer! Personality Crisis by the New York Dolls. It’s the song that literally jumpstarted punk rock.

  4. indie dude

    I think it looks great…i’d take those times over these any day..especially the music..

  5. Ritch Esra

    I really hope that they get it right. This was a seminal era when music lead the culture and made more money than movies did. Films have never gotten “Music” right on screen. Hopefully Mick Jagger will help it be authentic. Martin Scorcese directing also gives me hope.

  6. DJ ERV

    Looks interesting, they better get the music right. If they don’t the critics will have a field day with this.

  7. Toe

    Even the fictional band in the trailer looked like dudes in drag. New York Dolls anyone?

    • Name2

      And they were miming to a recording of the Dolls’ “Personality Crisis”. Think there could be a connection?

  8. TomBob

    Some of these comments are very stupid. Watch it for Bobby Cannavale alone. He’s amazing.

  9. Tower

    Tower records wasn’t a part of the New York record store scene in the 1970s — Tower’s megastore at Broadway and 4th opened in 1983. Not sure if they had some small place somewhere before that, but it wasn’t really important in the 70s, there was Sam Goody’s and a whole host of local cooler stores.

  10. Mick Jagger

    Was already irrelevant in the 1970s, at least by the end of the decade.

    • Name2

      Don’t be so hard on yourself, Mick. 1978’s “Some Girls” remains the band’s biggest-selling non-compilation album in the US.

      But of course, you knew that.

        • Name2

          It’s the reason we’ve bothered to pay the bills to record a new album exactly once since 1997, Keith. Why do you ask?

    • Jeff

      Yeah, and that’s why people still shell out big bucks to watch him perform in 2015. WTF is this “irrelevance”?

      • Lady Gaga

        People shell out money to see me too, but doesn’t mean I’m not irrelevant.

  11. Dick Fitzwell

    Scorcese’s involved? Forgetaboutit. Especially after his dismal failure with the George Harrison documentary. Now, if he’d start back on the Coke, we might have a show.

  12. Anonymous

    I hope I like it but I’m sensing a flop. Looks like Goodfellas meets Velvet Goldmine and that can’t be a good thing. Plus. I don’t think the kids (or adults) of today will have much interest in a world in which people in rock bands were idolized and got paid a lot of money.

  13. Fat Cuckhold

    I think its sad music itself is over, the real magic has been sucked dry, so now all we have are retro obsessed films and ideas, no value on real music anymore. The good times are gone all thats left are memories.

  14. Mark

    Can’t wait to watch this series! I’m glad to have been a part of the business back then. It was a really exciting time.

  15. RigaTone

    I would rather this have been produced as a documentary by Ken Burns. Seeing fake labels and fake bands and fake whatever won’t turn my table. I want real vinyl dirt. Nobody hits the needle on the head like Burns.

  16. Ricardotron

    stupid name. Probably meant to appeal to millennials, since that’s the word they use for records, as in ‘a vinyl’, or ‘I’m going to play a vinyl on my table’.

  17. Steve Meyer

    Having been fortunate enough to be in “the biz” in the 70’s (national promotion at Capitol Records), no one series could ever portray ALL that went on in that decade. The New York labels and scene was completely different than what was going on in L.A…and how major labels got record played varied based on the strength of their rosters, dollars spent, and the changes that went on in each market with radio, etc.
    Hopefully, Scorcese’s VINYL will shine a spotlight on one segment of the industry…and of course there will be some characters based on a composite of many who worked back then.
    In any case, it should be entertaining.

  18. fred

    Interesting. VINYL was filming outside the UMG office on Broadway today.

  19. Darren Stevens

    There was in fact a record label named Century Records which merged with Keysor to form Keysor-Century Corporation, perhaps better know as K-Disc.

  20. O. Kuusava

    No there was not. There was “records”. The term vinyl is nowadays stuff…