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Mmmm…get me some delicious vinyl

Like most hipster/scenesters/wannbe’ers, I went through a vinyl period in college where I poured through the stacks at the local record shop and used bookstores looking to populate my burgeoning collection.

From Radiohead to Zeppelin, White Stripes to Mahavishnu Orchestra, I snatched up copies of my favorite albums new and old alike, and like a child of the 70s (which I’m not), I framed some of the better covers and used those as wall art. Try that with an iTunes album cover jpeg.

Vinyl is hot right now. Mp3 players have pretty much killed the compact disc, yet people still want media they hold in their hand. So they’re reverting to old school, big-ass media — vinyl!

In the past two months I’ve gotten more than 10 vinyl LPs in the mail for review — quite the spark of a trend.

Thus saith the AP, “According to the Recording Industry Association of America, manufacturers’ shipments of LPs jumped more than 36 percent from 2006 to 2007 to more than 1.3 million. Shipments of CDs dropped more than 17 percent during the same period to 511 million, as they lost some ground to digital formats.”

And if you’re looking to acquire/replace those oldies but goodies, I’ve got some good news from Sony BMG today…

From the press release:

In September 2008, the LP marketplace will welcome one dozen new slabs of Columbia, Epic, and RCA Victor polyvinyl chloride, joining their RIAA gold, platinum and multi-platinum CD counterparts as new catalog staples.  The first six LPs will roll out on September 16th:

  • MINGUS AH UM by CHARLES MINGUS (1959), a cornerstone of his discography, his first Columbia LP introducing “Better Get It in Yo’ Soul,” and tributes to Lester Young (“Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”), Ellington (“Open Letter to Duke”), Charlie Parker (“Bird Calls”), “Jelly Roll” (Morton), and more, in a 180 gram audiophile pressing;
  • AGENTS OF FORTUNE by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT (1976), their break­through fourth album, with the first BÖC hit single, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,” ranked #397 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time;
  • BOSTON (1976), the phenomenal 17-million selling biggest debut album in history, with “More Than a Feeling,” “Long Time,” and “Peace of Mind,” , in a 180 gram audiophile pressing;
  • BRITISH STEEL by JUDAS PRIEST (1980), their eighth LP but first RIAA gold album in the U.S., the one that started it all for them, with “Living After Midnight” and “Breaking the Law”;
  • BERLIN by LOU REED (1973), his raw exposé of abuse and addiction, ranked #344 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, revived on-tour last year, filmed by Julian Schnabel for theatrical and DVD release;
  • 16 BIGGEST HITS by JOHNNY CASH, first compiled for CD and released in 1999, comprised entirely of signature tracks recorded on Sun and Columbia vinyl between 1956 and 1979, and now coming back full circle to vinyl again.

Two weeks later on September 30th, Legacy will roll out an additional six titles:

  • ONE NIGHT STAND / SAM COOKE LIVE AT THE HARLEM SQUARE CLUB (1985), 39 minutes of orgasmic soul recorded January 1963, at a North Miami nightclub with King Curtis onboard, in a 180 gram audiophile pressing;
  • GRATITUDE by EARTH, WIND & FIRE (1975), an RIAA double-platinum double-LP #1 R&B/ #1 pop smash, the only live album of their 18 years at Columbia, with “Sing a Song” and “Can’t Hide Love”;
  • BLOWS AGAINST THE EMPIRE by PAUL KANTNER & JEFFERSON STARSHIP (1970), the sci-fi Hugo Award-nominated concept album recorded with members of Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, and Quicksilver, Graham Nash, David Crosby, and more;
  • RED HEADED STRANGER by WILLIE NELSON (1975), his Grammy Hall Of Fame debut on Columbia, ranked #184 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, with the Grammy Award-winning “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” ranked #302 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time;
  • REMIXED & REIMAGINED by NINA SIMONE (2006), 13 well-chosen numbers from her RCA years (1967-1973) as interpreted for a new club generation by the greatest DJs and remixers from around the world;
  • TRIO OF DOOM by JOHN McLAUGHLIN, JACO PASTORIUS, and TONY WILLIAMS (2007), their 25-minute set at 1979’s Havana Jam, and 15 added minutes recorded at a NY studio five days later, archived for nearly three decades until 2007 CD release, now in a 180 gram audiophile pressing.

October 14 releases:

  • RIDDLE BOX by INSANE CLOWN POSSE (1995), a CD making the transition to vinyl as a double-LP, exploring the violent, graphic, dangerous world of Detroit’s Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, on their early third album;
  • ELVIS PRESLEY (1956), his one-and-only 12-song first LP, with “Tryin’ to Get to You” and “Blue Moon,” and those earth-shaking covers of “Blue Suede Shoes,” “I Got a Woman,” “Tutti Frutti,” and “Money Honey”;
  • SURFING WITH THE ALIEN by JOE SATRIANI (1987), a CD making the transition to vinyl, the hard rock guitar virtuoso’s second solo album, with that amazing Silver Surfer cover art and his explosive “Satch Boogie”;
  • LEGALIZE IT by PETER TOSH (1976), his first solo album after a decade with Bob Marley & the Wailers, including the career staples “Burial,” “Ketchy Shuby,” “Brand New Second Hand,” and of course “Legalize It”;
  • HEAVY WEATHER by WEATHER REPORT (1977), with “Birdland,” it was the biggest LP (RIAA platinum, #30 in Billboard) for the band that starred Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter, Jaco Pastorius, Alex Acuña and Manolo Badrena, now on a 180 gram audiophile pressing.

October 28 releases:

  • CHILD IS FATHER TO THE MAN by BLOOD SWEAT & TEARS (1968), Al Kooper’s all-time groundbreaking classic, with “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know,” “I Can’t Quit Her,” “Just One Smile,” “Morning Glory,” and more, on a 180 gram audiophile pressing;
  • LIVE AT BUDOKAN by CHEAP TRICK (1979), the historic concert that lanched the import rock LP revolution, with “I Want You To Want Me” and “Ain’t That a Shame,” on a 180 gram audiophile pressing;
  • HEADHUNTERS by HERBIE HANCOCK (1973), introducing the first Headhunters band lineup, a four-song must-have with “Watermelon Man,” “Chameleon,” “Sly,” and “Vein Melter,” on a 180 gram audiophile pressing;
  • REMIXED & REIMAGINED by BILLIE HOLIDAY (2007), a CD making the transition to vinyl, with 14 songs from her early Columbia and OKeh 78 rpm treasures (1935-41), and 1958’s Lady In Satin LP;
  • SOCIAL DISTORTION (1990), a CD making the transition to vinyl, the Epic debut of the legendary SoCal cowpunk hardcore band led by Mike Ness, with “Story Of My Life” and their cover of Johnny Cash’s “Ring Of Fire”;
  • PASSION & WARFARE by STEVE VAI (1990), a CD making the transition to vinyl, the hard rock guitar virtuoso’s second solo album, an RIAA gold title that is considered his finest career work.

This is pretty rad. I’m anxious to get my hands on more than one of these bad boys.

View CommentsMmmm…get me some delicious vinyl

  • c-natural

    I’ve come across a few of these albums on vinyl in my lifetime- my grandma owns the Elvis Presley you mentioned, and my dad has the Weather Report.

    We actually bought him a copy of Heavy Weather on CD, because he still loves that music, and wanted to have it in his car and at work, but it was so ridiculously protected, he couldn’t even get it to play in his car stereo. He went back to listening to the vinyl.

    It’s better that way anyway.

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