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    Vinyl Releases of the Week: April 11, 2012

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    So all those Madonna reissues last week were a prelude to this week’s release of her new album, MDNA, on vinyl. And it's not just Madge who is returning to the fold - we've also got surprising new releases from Van Halen and Bonnie Raitt alongside some noteworthy reissues.

    Madonna MDNA (Interscope)
    The most anticipated album of 2012 (according to a Billboard readers’ poll) is now available on vinyl as a double LP! Madonna’s 12th studio album and long-awaited follow-up to Hard Candy (2008), MDNA features production from Italian electro-house maestro Benny Benassi, Ray of Light’s William Orbit, and Parisian electro DJ Martin Solveig, among others. Dark, cold, and thrilling, it is also Madge’s most explicit and naked album in years as she addresses her divorce to Guy Ritchie and asserts her dominion over the dance floor. Includes the pop diva’s 38th Top-10 single “Give Me All Your Luvin’” featuring Nicki Minaj and M.I.A.

    Van HalenDifferent Kind of Truth (Interscope)
    Meanwhile over in hard rock land we see one of the most anticipated reunions come to fruition as Van Halen releases its first album with David Lee Roth in 28 years. (Coincidentally, this is Van Halen’s 12th album as well.) In addition to new compositions, Different Kind of Truth features a handful of songs based on 1970s demos that predate the band’s debut. It also finds Eddie dropping the synths and reuniting with his guitar.

    Bonnie RaittSlipstream (Redwing Records)
    A reignited Bonnie Raitt returns with her first new album in seven years and celebrates the launch of her label, Redwing Records. Described as “daring, bluesy, and steeped with the inimitable slide guitar and soulful vocals that could only be hers,” Slipstream finds Raitt performing songs by the likes of Bob Dylan (“Million Miles” and “Standing in the Doorway”), Gerry Rafferty (“Right Down the Line”), and Joe Henry (“You Can’t Fail Me Now” and “God Only Knows”), and exchanging guitar riffs with Bill Frisell and Greg Leisz. Henry also produces four of the album’s tracks.

    Iron MaidenEn Vivo! (Universal)
    This week we see the domestic release of En Vivo!, Iron Maiden’s new live double LP, recorded in Santiago, Chile during the British heavy metal band’s 2011 Final Frontier World Tour.

    The Byrds Mr. Tambourine Man (Music on Vinyl Import)
    Music on Vinyl has reissued the folk-rock band’s momentous 1965 debut, Mr. Tambourine Man, on 180-gram vinyl.

    Gene Clark No Other (4 Men with Beards)
    And speaking of the Byrds, 4 Men with Beards bring us this 180-gram vinyl reissue of the 1974 solo album from the Byrds' founding member, considered by Clark himself to be his masterpiece.

    Faces First Step (4 Men with Beards)
    Also from 4 Men with Beards is this 180-gram reissue of the 1970 debut from British band Faces - another album that failed both critically and commercially at the time of its release but is now considered a classic. Features a post-Jeff Beck Group Rod Stewart along with Ronnie Lane, Ronnie Wood, Ian McLagan, and Kenny Jones, and the songs “Three Button Hand Me Down” and “Flying.”

    Talk TalkThe Colour of Spring, Spirit of Eden (EMI Import)
    Heavyweight 180-gram double vinyl pressings of two critically acclaimed albums by the British new wave band. The Colour of Spring (1986) found Talk Talk beginning to mature beyond its early synth-pop sound and features the hit single "Life's What You Make It.” Spirit of Eden (1988) found them taking a more experimental approach and spearheading post-rock in the process.

    B.B. King King of the Blues (Cleopatra)
    Limited-edition 12-inch picture disc celebrating the King of the Blues. Features 12 classics including “The Thrill Is Gone,” “Every Day I Have the Blues,” and “You’ve Done Lost Your Good Thing Now.”

    Marlene DietrichLili Marlene (Cleopatra)
    Gorgeous 12-inch picture disc collects classic cabaret performances by the legendary Marlene Dietrich.

    Marilyn Monroe - Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend 50th Anniversary Edition (Cleopatra)
    Cleopatra remembers Marilyn Monroe on the 50th anniversary of her death with this stunning, limited-edition 12-inch picture disc of digitally re-mastered favorites including “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” “Kiss,” and “I’m Through with Love.”

    Al Stewart Year of the Cat (Friday Music)
    180-gram vinyl reissue of the progressive folk-rock artist’s 1976 masterpiece, re-mastered from the original Janus Records tapes and presented here in a gatefold cover with the original album artwork by Hipgnosis. Produced and recorded at Abbey Road by Alan Parsons, Year of the Cat features the jazz-influenced hit title track and “On the Border.”

    Meat PuppetsII (MVD Audio)
    If you’re not familiar with the Meat Puppets’ 1984 sophomore album, you are probably familiar with three songs on it. Nirvana famously covered “Plateau,” “Lake of Fire,” and “Oh, Me” during their MTV Unplugged in New York performance. The original classic has been re-mastered and pressed on 180-gram vinyl with a playing speed of 45RPM. Includes a digital download card with the full album and seven bonus tracks.

    Roy BuchananLive from Austin, TX (New West Records)
    This live recording captures the guitar legend during his prime, performing at the 1976 Austin City Limits Music Festival. His set features the definitive live versions of “Roy’s Bluz,” “Hey Joe,” “Soul Dressing,” and “The Messiah.”

    Allen ToussaintLife, Love and Faith (4 Men with Beards)
    Vinyl reissue of this 1972 soul album from the New Orleans R&B legend. His first album for Warner/Reprise, Life, Love and Faith shares the singer-songwriter vibe of his labelmates like Joni Mitchell and Randy Newman.

    Percy Sledge  - The Best of Percy Sledge (Friday Music)
    Greatest hits compilation from the crossover soul legend that brought us classics like “When a Man Loves a Woman” and “Cover Me” is now available for the first time on 180-gram vinyl!

    Elvis Presley Elvis (Friday Music)
    Elvis’ second No. 1 smash is available on 180-gram vinyl for the first time. Features his cover of Little Richard’s “Rip It Up” as well as the songs “Love Me,” “Long Tall Sally,” and “Blueberry Hill.” Presented in a gatefold cover.

    M. Ward A Wasteland Companion (Merge Records)
    M. Ward is known for his deft, beguiling songwriting, finger-picking, and singing, and his new album features some of his best.  A Wasteland Companion also features the talents of John Parish, Bright Eyes’ Mike Mogis, She & Him's Zooey Deschanel, Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley, Dr. Dog's Tobey Leaman, and Devotchka's Tom Hagerman, among many others.

    SparklehorseDreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain, It’s a Wonderful Life (Plain)
    The late singer-songwriter genius Mark Linkous is remembered with these two 180-gram vinyl reissues from his band Sparklehorse. The beautiful and fragile It’s a Wonderful Life (2001) features guests Tom Waits, the Cardigans’ Nina Persson, Vic Chesnutt, and PJ Harvey, and its follow-up, the fourth and final Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain (2006), was recorded over a span of five years and produced by Danger Mouse.

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