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    Vinyl Releases of the Week: February 1, 2012

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    It’s a sad day in music today as we mourn the loss of Soul Train creator and host Don Cornelius. The man’s contribution to music, media, and culture is immeasurable as Soul Train, the longest-running syndicated program in television, introduced Americans to legendary artists like Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, and Barry White, along with all kinds of great soul music. Just as Cornelius wished us all “love, peace, and soul,” here’s wishing you happy listening to this week’s new vinyl releases.

    Leonard Cohen Old Ideas (Columbia)
    The new album from the old master and a self-described “manual for living with defeat,” Old Ideas not only features Cohen’s gravelly baritone and poetic storytelling but his artwork. 180-gram vinyl.

    Ringo StarrRingo 2012 (Hip-O Records)
    Another old master returns with a brand new album. On Ringo 2012, the celebrated Beatle’s 17th solo studio album, listeners are treated to nine songs, all produced by Ringo, that celebrate the old and the new. Included are new versions of “Step Lightly” from his 1973 album Ringo and of “Wings” from 1978’s Ringo the 4th, as well as covers of Buddy Holly’s “Think It Over” and Leadbelly’s “Rock Island Line,” and a Latin-tinged collaboration with Van Dyke Parks titled “Samba.” 180-gram vinyl.

    Boz ScaggsCome On Home (Friday Music)
    180-gram audiophile vinyl reissue of Boz Scagg’s 1997 ode to the blues and R&B that informed his early career. Mastered from the original Virgin Records tapes and presented as a limited edition double LP in a gatefold cover, Come On Home presents Scaggs’ originals alongside songs from Jimmy Reed, T-Bone Walker, Earl King Johnson, Sonny Boy Williamson, Willie Mitchell, and other great bluesmen.

    Dusty SpringfieldGirl Called Dusty (Simply Vinyl UK Import)
    Dusty’s first solo LP has been re-issued on 180-gram audiophile vinyl. A mix of soul/R&B covers (“Mama Said,” “Mockingbird,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?”) and ‘60s pop/rock (“Wishin’ and Hopin’”), this album was originally a UK-only release in 1964 and remains a Dusty classic. It also marks the first of many collaborations with songwriters like Burt Bacharach and Carole King for Dusty.

    Tom Morello the NightwatchmanUnion Town EP, The Fabled City, One Man Revolution (New West Records)
    New West Records has reissued Tom Morello’s entire solo discography as the Nightwatchman – the Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave guitarist’s solo acoustic politically-charged side project – on vinyl. In addition to his 2007 solo debut, One Man Revolution, and 2008’s The Fabled City, this includes his 2011 EP Union Town that benefits the America Votes Labor Unity Fund and features eight pro-union songs including a cover of Woodie Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land.” (And don’t forget the Nightwatchman’s most recent studio album, World Wide Rebel Songs, which saw a vinyl release on New West Records last year.)

    John Hiatt The Open Road (New West Records)
    New West Records has also pressed up John Hiatt’s 2010 album, The Open Road, as a double vinyl LP. On this blues-driven rock album, Hiatt looks at life through the rear view mirror, and while many of his songs have been about coming home, home is never the destination here.

    Various ArtistsBeat Fräuleins: Female Pop in Germany 1964-1968 (Grosse Freiheit)
    The latest in the Fräuleins compilations from Grosse Freiheit is Beat Fräuleins, which takes listeners back to the ‘60s when “the beat forced its way into the innocent world of German schlager” and presents 19 highlights of the era. Features Caterina Valente, Wencke Myhre, Conny Froboess, Chris Doerk, Marion (Maerz), Inga (Rumpf), and lots of other Fräuleins.

    Various ArtistsMatador: Intended Play 2012 (Matador)
    Another exciting compilation is this “budget-priced vinyl sampler” from Matador, which showcases the best of 2011 from such roster artists as Girls, Kurt Vile, Esben & The Witch, and Cold Cave, and previews what is to come in 2012 from The Young, Ceremony, Lee Ranaldo, Perfume Genius, and Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks.

    GotyeMaking Mirrors (Republic)
    Double vinyl pressing of the new studio album from the Belgian-born Australian musician. Features the international hit “Somebody That I Used to Know” and explores the pop architecture of the ‘80s (think the Police, George Michael, and Peter Gabriel) through a more modern lens. The result is a fantastic art-pop album.

    SOJAStrength to Survive (ATO Records)
    The new album from the D.C.-area reggae group Soldiers of Jah Army (SOJA) is being released on vinyl courtesy of Dave Matthews’ ATO Records. Produced by John Alagia (O.A.R., John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band), Strength to Survive draws inspiration not so much from Matthews’ jam-band circuit as from Bob Marley’s 1979 album, Survival.

    The Magnetic Fields – “Andrew in Drag”/”When Next in Love I Fall” 7-inch single (Merge)
    The first single from the Magnetic Fields’ forthcoming album, Love at the Bottom of the Sea, due for release March 6, 2012 on Merge Records. The ukulele-based B-side is an exclusive non-album track.

    LadytronWitching Hour (Nettwerk)
    Vinyl reissue of the British electro-pop band’s acclaimed third album, originally released in 2005. Features the single “Destroy Everything You Touch.”

    Imperial TeenFeel the Sound (Merge)
    Sixteen years in, this power-pop band is still going strong; and on its fifth studio album, Imperial Teen really does make you Feel the Sound. For fans of ELO and the Beach Boys.

    Sunn O)))ØØ Void (Southern Lord)
    Double vinyl reissue of the second album from the doom-metal band who takes its name from the Sunn amplifier logo. Originally released in 2000, ØØ Void features Petra Haden’s melodic evocations on violin and plenty of thick sonic goodness.

    Lymbyc SystymShutter Release (Hobbledehoy)
    “A tiny independent label in Adelaide, Australia” has reissued this post-rock band’s 2009 album on vinyl. Full of majestic arrangements and focused melodies.

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