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    Vinyl Releases of the Week: November 30, 2011

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    It's a '90s alternative-rock celebration this week: the Smashing Pumpkins are reissuing their first two albums on vinyl, and the brand new album from Jane's Addiction is now available on vinyl! (Coincidentally, these make me more nostalgic than Christmas.)

    The Smashing Pumpkins - Gish, Siamese Dream (Virgin)
    The Smashing Pumpkins' groundbreaking Butch Vig-produced 1991 debut, Gish, and its seminal 1993 follow-up, Siamese Dream, re-mastered and reissued on vinyl for the first time. 180-gram, double gatefold vinyl. Angst has never sounded so beautiful.

    Jane's Addiction - The Great Escape Artist (Capitol)
    Though Jane's Addiction practically defined the alternative-rock genre with their groundbreaking albums Nothing's Shocking (1988) and Ritual de lo Habitual (1990), they had only released three studio albums when The Great Escape Artist came out this past October. Along with original members Perry Farrell (vocals), Dave Navarro (guitar), and Stephen Perkins (drums), TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek played a big role on the album, and along with producer Rich Costey (Interpol, Muse) brings out the band's post-punk influence.

    Gorillaz - The Singles Collection 2001-2011 (Virgin)
    So it's not entirely a '90s celebration; the virtual hip-hop group created by Blur's Damon Albarn and comic book artist Jamie Hewlett has just released a singles collection that looks back at the aughts, a decade when their cunning, crossover singles topped the charts around the world and earned numerous awards for both audio and visual innovation. Not only a greatest hits compilation, this singles collection captures the complexity of the band. As integral as Gorillaz' videos are to their songs (they are a cartoon band, afterall!), I have to say I can't wait to hear "Clint Eastwood" on vinyl. Double 140-gram vinyl, that is.

    Joe Jackson - Night & Day (Music on Vinyl Import)
    It may be hard to track down this import from the Netherlands' Music on Vinyl reissue label, but well worth it. Originally released in 1982, Night & Day is the English artist's tribute to his Tin Pan Alley heroes Cole Porter and George Gershwin, and it marks Jackson's transition from New Wave rocker to more sophisticated songwriter. Full of Latin rhythms, jazzy horns, and shiny keys, the album transports the listener to early-'80s New York City and features the Grammy-nominated single "Steppin' Out."  180-gram audiophile vinyl in a gatefold sleeve.

    Tony Bennett - I Left My Heart in San Francisco (Music on Vinyl Import)
    Also from Music on Vinyl comes a 180-gram reissue of Tony Bennett's landmark 1962 vocal pop album. Its title track has become the legendary crooner's signature song, and the album helped established his career.

    Nathan Davis - If (Soul Jazz/Universal Sound)
    Limited vinyl LP edition of this highly collectible 1976 funk-jazz release from saxophonist Nathan Davis.

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