Using the Discography
The discography pages of The Irish Music Review provide a detailed and extensive source of information about Irish traditional and folk albums released over the last fifty or so years.
With the exception of the Gael Linn page, the discography does not cover 78rpm releases, but mainly full album releases, be they 10” or 12” vinyl LPs, cassettes or compact discs. However, a few notable 7” 45rpm singles and EPs (extended play 7” releases, usually 33rpm) have also been included.
Until the advent of the cassette format in the 1970s, all albums were released on vinyl. The first compact discs appeared in the USA around 1983 or 1984, but did not begin to supersede the LP format until later in that decade in Ireland and the rest of Europe.
Every album has a catalogue number. Many of these include the initials ‘LP’, ‘MC’ (for ‘music cassette’) or ‘CD’, making it clear in which format the album was released. However, such a distinction did not apply at the time when vinyl was the only available medium (though some companies did use the addition of the letter ‘S’ to the catalogue number to indicate that a particular release was in stereo, rather than mono – see Topic for examples).
So, as a general rule, assume that anything released prior to 1985 or thereabouts was a vinyl album. Equally, anything released since 1990 will almost certainly be a CD.
Please note that the discography pages are not a list of items for sale nor am I able to track down copies of items listed.