We routinely talk about the sound of bones records being pretty poor. It is clear from testimony from the 1940s and 1950s that they could often sound terrible - even when new. The quality would mainly be affected by the skill of the bootlegger and the lathe they were using.  As the practice spread and the opportunity to make money from bone business grew, more unscrupulous dealers got involved and the quality dropped - particularly when deals were conducted anonymously rather than between people who knew each other.

So I was very surprised recently when I met collector Victor Dubiler in Moscow and we played some of his bone records.  Check out this film to see why.

The sound quality is amazing - Bill Haley and Elvis are really kicking - and that is when they are just coming out of Victor's small speaker. I don't think you could tell much difference between this bootleg and the original records.  This a double sided bone too - and that is very rare - I have only come across one other before. The plastic that this is cut on may in fact not be an undeveloped X-ray at all but another type of film.  Victor thought it may be the film that was used for aerial photography. We have heard about this but have not come across it before - and assumed it hadn't been used much because of the difficulty of getting hold of it or the risk of getting caught with it - or perhaps because it didn't sound very good.

The last is definitely NOT the case if this is such film - even if this is a record that has miraculously survived unplayed for all these years.