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  • Vinyl Releases of the Week: July 19, 2012

    Listen up, jazz aficionados: now is the time to expand your vinyl collections as this week holds a jackpot of jazz reissues and audiophile treats. Other vinyl highlights include a Grateful Dead reissue, a Smashing Pumpkins reissue, a Black Keys tribute album performed by blues and rock icons, and a brand new album from Little Feat. Dig in!

    Al DiMeola, John McLaughlin, and Paco De Lucia Friday Night in San Francisco (Original Recordings Group)
    Experience this iconic album like never before on two 180-gram 45rpm LPs. One of the most acclaimed guitar albums ever made, it was recorded by virtuoso guitarists Al DiMeola, John McLaughlin, and Paco De Lucia at San Francisco’s Warfield Theatre on December 5, 1980. Tailor-made for audiophiles and spread out over two discs, this limited-edition version allows every nuance to come alive.

    The Grateful DeadHistory of the Grateful Dead, Volume One (Bear’s Choice) (Audio Fidelity)
    180-gram virgin vinyl pressing of this 1973 Grateful Dead live album. Dubbed “Bear’s Choice” after the band's legendary soundman Owsley Stanley and dedicated to keyboard player Ron "Pigpen" McKernan who passed away just months before its release (and is a commanding presence throughout), the album features highlights from the Dead’s acclaimed performances at the Fillmore East in New York City on February 13-14, 1970. These include covers of Lightnin’ Hopkins’ “Katie Mae,” Howlin’ Wolf’s “Smokestack Lightning,” and Otis Redding’s “Hard to Handle," as well as the Dead Standard "Black Peter."

    Thelonious Monk Quartet Misterioso (Original Jazz Classics)
    An all-time classic live Thelonious Monk album, Misterioso (like Thelonious in Action) was recorded during the legendary jazz pianist’s residency at New York’s Five Spot Café in 1958. With saxophonist Johnny Griffin, bassist Ahmed Abdul-Malik, and drummer Roy Haynes, Monk explores new dissonances and reveals his tremendous improvisational skills.

    Thelonious Monk and Sonny RollinsThelonious Monk and Sonny Rollins (Original Jazz Classics)
    Vinyl pressing of this 1954 release presenting the incredible pairing of two jazz giants, pianist Thelonious Monk and saxophonist Sonny Rollins. An essential addition to any serious jazz library.

    Ben Webster & Associates Ben Webster & Associates (Original Recordings Group)
    Original Recordings Group has also given the full audiophile treatment to this phenomenal album by tenor heavyweights Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, and Budd Johnson with trumpeter Roy Eldridge, bassist Ray Brown, and more. This 1959 session is presented as a limited-edition 180-gram 45rpm double LP.

    The Modern Jazz QuartetDjango (Original Jazz Classics)
    Vinyl reissue of this classic 1956 album by the Modern Jazz Quartet (pianist John Lewis, vibraphonist Milt Jackson, bassist Percy Heath, and drummer Kenny Clarke – all be-bop stalwarts who had previously worked with Dizzy Gillespie). It takes its name from one of Lewis’ best-known compositions, written in memory of the great gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt.

    Astrud GilbertoThe Shadow of Your Smile (Original Recordings)
    Every facet of Astrud Gilberto’s breathy, delicate voice is captured on this 180-gram 45rpm double LP reissue of her 1965 album. Features an assortment of American and Brazilian songs set to orchestral arrangements by Don Sebesky, João Donato, and Claus Ogerman.

    Sun Ra Holiday for Soul Dance, Interstellar Low Ways (Saturn Vinyl)
    Re-mastered 180-gram vinyl reissues of two albums from the free-jazz great, recorded predominantly in Chicago in 1960: Holiday for Soul Dance, an album of jazz standards, and Interstellar Low Ways, which perfectly summarizes Sun Ra and his Arkestra’s Chicago period.

    Little Feat Rooster Rag (Rounder)
    Vinyl pressing of the new album from veteran blues rockers Little Feat - their first album of all new studio material since 2003's Kickin' It at the Barn. The band’s lone original member, keyboardist Bill Payne, gets some songwriting assistance from former Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, and the album is rife with the group’s signature musical gumbo of funk, blues, country, and rock.

    The Smashing PumpkinsPisces Iscariot (EMI)
    Following last year’s deluxe reissues of Gish and Siamese Dream comes this re-mastered 180-gram vinyl reissue of the iconic alt-rockers’ 1994 collection of B-sides, Pisces Iscariot. Described by the band's prolific songwriter Billy Corgan as “a collection of odds and orphans from the dusky realms of Pumpkinland,” this unlikely smash was a fan’s delight and yielded a hit single with the Pumpkins’ striking cover of Fleetwood Mac's “Landslide.”

    The Chemical BrothersExit Planet Dust (EMI Import)
    Double LP vinyl reissue of the acclaimed 1995 debut album from the British big-beat duo.

    Otis RushCold Day in Hell (Delmark)
    Vinyl reissue of this cooking 1975 blues album from Otis Rush.

    Various ArtistsBlack on Blues: A Tribute to the Black Keys (Cleopatra)
    Now here’s a concept: blues and rock icons cover songs by blues revivalists the Black Keys! Performers include Albert Lee, Walter Trout, Jackie Lomax, Tab Benoit, Pat Travers, and Iggy Pop, as well as members of the Kinks, Cream, the Allman Brothers, Canned Heat, and more.

    Sam PhillipsMartinis and Bikinis (Omnivore Recordings)
    Expanded double vinyl reissue of this 1994 Sam Phillips album includes four bonus tracks, among them a brand new recording of her Beatles re-write “Strawberry Road.” First 1500 copies on white vinyl.

    Marilyn MansonBorn Villain (Cooking Vinyl/Downtown Records)
    Vinyl pressing of the veteran shock-rocker’s 2012 comeback album, his first release since ending his 15-year deal with Interscope Records.

    Aesop RockSkelethon (Rhymesayers)
    Vinyl pressing of the new album from hip-hop’s most abstract rapper. The follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2007 LP, None Shall Pass, Skelethon marks Aesop Rock’s first self-produced effort and is being called his darkest yet most accessible solo album to date. Features appearances from Kimya Dawson, Rob Sonic, DJ Big Wiz, Allyson Baker, and Hanni El Khatib.

    Old Crow Medicine ShowCarry Me Back (ATO)
    Vinyl pressing of the brand new album from Nashville’s acclaimed old-time string band.

    Soul AsylumDelayed Reaction (429 Records)
    Veteran ‘90s grunge-pop band Soul Asylum (you remember their 1993 mega-hit “Runaway Train”) is back with its first album in six years. The band’s current line-up consists of original members Dave Pirner and Dan Murphy alongside bassist Tommy Stinson (ex-Replacements and Guns N’ Roses) and former Prince drummer Michael Bland.

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    Vinyl Releases of the Week: July 12, 2012

    From Elvis' triumphant mid-career return to Memphis to '60s pop icon Scott Walker's more recent voyage into the obscure, there are vinyl releases to suit just about any taste this week.

    The Jimi Hendrix ExperienceLive at Berkeley (Sony Legacy)
    In tandem with the Blu-Ray and DVD release of the newly expanded Jimi Plays Berkeley (a documentary film chronicling the two concerts Jimi Hendrix performed with bassist Billy Cox and drummer Mitch Mitchell at the Berkeley Community Theatre on May 30, 1970), Sony Legacy is releasing this 200-gram double vinyl LP featuring the evening’s second set in its entirety and original sequence. In addition to the more intimate setting of the venue and the rare early takes of “Straight Ahead” and “Hey Baby (New Rising Sun),” what makes this album so unique is that Hendrix didn’t tune his guitar down his usual half step, so classics like “Hey Joe,” “Foxy Lady,” and “Purple Haze” are all performed in standard tuning.

    Guns N’ Roses Use Your Illusion I and II (Universal)
    Guns N’ Roses' twin 1991 albums, Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II, are presented as double 180-gram LPs in exact replica packaging with digital download coupons. Regarded as the more hard-rocking of the two, Use Your Illusion I features the hits “November Rain,” “Don’t Cry,” and the Wings cover “Live and Let Die,” as well as vocals from guests Shannon Hoon (Blind Melon) and Alice Cooper. Use Your Illusion II features the popular tracks “Civil War,” “You Could Be Mine,” “Estranged,” and G N’R’s hit cover of Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.”

    Elvis Presley From Elvis in Memphis (Friday Music)
    Next up in Friday Music’s Elvis Presley 180-gram audiophile vinyl series is this 1969 soul and country classic presented in a first-time gatefold cover. The album finds the King returning to Memphis - at this point a soul mecca - after a 14-year absence and features some of the most captivating performances of his career including the chart smash “In the Ghetto.”

    Scott Walker The Drift (4AD)
    Double vinyl reissue of the 2006 avant-garde release from the former Walker Brother, Scott Walker. Raw, terrifying, and beautiful, this is a cult favorite and its creation (which involved the beating of raw meat as percussion) is superbly captured in the 2006 documentary film 30 Century Man.

    Yes Open Your Eyes (Sireena Records)
    First-time 180-gram vinyl pressing of this 1997 album from the prog-rock band featuring classic members Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, and Alan White, plus new keyboardist Billy Sherwood. Open Your Eyes fuses Yes’s prog-rock legacy with a strong pop songcraft, resulting in one of the group's catchiest albums to date. Double LP in gatefold cover.

    Thin Lizzy Thin Lizzy (Light in the Attic)
    Deluxe vinyl-only reissue of the Irish rock band’s tragically overlooked self-titled 1971 debut. Thin Lizzy captures the band as a street-tough power trio - before its signature twin-guitar sound was established and songs like “The Boys Are Back in Town” became international hits - and fuses folk, hard-rock, and Celtic lore. This 180-gram vinyl pressing is presented in a gatefold jacket featuring the original album art (both the UK and US versions) and including rare archival photos, extensive liner notes, and an over-sized poster.

    Jeff Beck There and Back (Friday Music)
    First-time 180-gram vinyl pressing of this 1980 career highlight from the renowned English guitarist who Rolling Stone called “one of the most influential lead guitarists in rock.” There and Back is the final pure fusion outing from Beck’s instrumental jazz-rock fusion era.

    Blackmore’s NightA Knight in York (EMI Import)
    Limited triple vinyl import of this 2012 live album from the Renaissance-inspired folk-rock band led by legendary rock guitarist Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple, Rainbow). The album was recorded on September 30, 2011 at the Opera House in York, England.

    Tangerine DreamRicochet, Stratosfear (EMI Import)
    180-gram vinyl reissues of two phenomenal albums from the influential German electronic music group Tangerine Dream: the 1975 ambient live album Ricochet, whose use of pulsing rhythms foreshadowed the trance genre, and 1976’s Stratosfear, which found the band moving away from its synthesizer experiments in favor of a more melodic sound.

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    Vinyl Releases of the Week: July 5, 2012

    When was the last time you got to buy a brand new Beach Boys 7-inch? It’s been 20 years since the iconic California band's last album of new material, and the reunited crew is back with a 50th anniversary album. This week marks the release of its first single on vinyl!

    The Beach Boys – “That’s Why God Made the Radio” 7-inch (Capitol)
    You’ll have to wait until August 14 to get the full album on vinyl, but in the meantime you can enjoy this 7-inch of the album's title track. The single is quintessential Beach Boys and features the soaring harmonies of all the surviving members – Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and David Marks – in an ode to their radio heroes. Said Brian Wilson: “Radio was my whole education. Chuck Berry, Rosemary Clooney, the Four Freshmen, Phil Spector, Little Richard…” Side B features the instrumental version of the single.

    Animal Collective – “Honeycomb”/”Gotham” 7-inch (Domino)
    Animal Collective, an experimental psych-pop group that's often compared to the Beach Boys, has also released a new 7-inch single. Produced with Ben Allen (Gnarls Barkley, Deerhunter), it features two brand new songs that showcase the two sides of Animal Collective's sound.

    Joy Division – “Love Will Tear Us Apart” 12-inch (Cleopatra)
    12-inch vinyl picture disc featuring a newly re-mastered “Love Will Tear Us Apart” on Side A, and the track “Leaders of Men” plus a remix of “Love Will Tear Us Apart” on Side B.

    New York DollsTrashed in Paris ’73 (Cleopatra)
    And as if one gorgeous picture disc wasn’t enough, Cleopatra has also released a New York Dolls 12-inch picture disc on vinyl. Trashed in Paris '73 features a 1973 concert performance by the glam-punk legends in Paris, and it includes killer live takes of classics like "Looking for a Kiss," "Personality Crisis," "Stranded in the Jungle," "Pills," "Trash," and "Jet Boy."

    JellyfishLive at Bogart’s 1991 (Omnivore Recordings)
    Following the limited-edition reissues of Jellyfish’s two studio albums, Bellybutton and Spilt Milk, Omnivore has reissued the influential San Francisco power-pop band's first live album on vinyl. The album takes you back to Jellyfish's 1991 concert at Bogart's in Long Beach, California, and is presented here as a double LP on translucent blue vinyl with five previously unissued performances and a laser etching on the fourth side.

    Lita Ford Living Like a Runaway (Steamhammer/SPV)
    Vinyl pressing of the new studio album from the former Runaways guitarist Lita Ford, which finds her, as she put it, “going back to what punk, metal, and the Runaways was for me.”

    The 5 AmericansI See the Light (Sundazed Music, Inc.)
    180-gram vinyl-only reissue of the jangle/garage-rock quintet’s 1966 debut album, whose title track features one heck of a held organ note. Sourced from the original mono master tapes, this marks the first time the album has been re-released in “bone-crunching” mono.

    Jan & DeanSave for a Rainy Day (Sundazed Music, Inc.)
    The ultimate rarity in the Jan & Dean catalog, Save for a Rainy Day is a concept album featuring all rain-themed songs. It was recorded by Dean Torrence (with some help from Phil Spector’s infamous Wrecking Crew) while the hit surf-rock duo’s lead vocalist, Jan Berry, was rehabilitating from a near-fatal car accident. The album was released in very limited quantities on Torrence’s own J&D label, but it is now available on 180-gram vinyl, re-mastered from the original mono reels!

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    10 All-American Classics for the Fourth

    From humbling patriotic standards to rebellious heartland rockers, there is a bounty of music out there that evokes the Red, White, and Blue. In honor of Independence Day, we’ve put together this list of all-American classics that capture the American spirit in all of its glory and struggles. So get out your sparklers, fire up that grill, and enjoy the great wealth of music this country has to offer!

    Bruce Springsteen Born in the USA album coverBruce Springsteen “Born in the U.S.A.”
    Representing the blue-collar everyman, the title song of the Boss’s 1984 blockbuster still holds cultural and social relevance today. Though by no means a patriotic anthem, as it is often misconstrued, it does address national identity, while the album brims with a rowdy, indomitable spirit that very much embodies the essence of Independence Day.

    Neil Diamond“America”
    In contrast, this 1980 song from Neil Diamond’s The Jazz Singer soundtrack is purely patriotic and the ultimate melting-pot anthem, celebrating America’s many different stripes and its history of immigration.

    Woody Guthrie“This Land Is Your Land”
    One of the country's most famous folk songs, this 1940 tune has been passed down from generation to generation and appears on Woody’s Greatest Hits: My Dusty Road vinyl compilation from Rounder Records. But if you’d prefer an alternative to the dust-bowl original, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings have released a funky update of the song on 7-inch vinyl.

    James Brown“Living in America”
    Speaking of funk, this 1985 song from the Rocky IV soundtrack is a funky celebration of all that is America, from the not-so-glamorous superhighways, smokestacks, and all-night diners, to accidentally finding the Promised Land in one of its cities. "Living in America, I feel good!”

    Creedence Clearwater Revival“Fortunate Son”
    A classic all-American band, Creedence Clearwater Revival tapped into Southern roots music while voicing the concerns of the working class and the social issues of the day. From 1969’s “Fortunate Son” – a protest song off their album Willy and the Poor Boys that still has political relevance today (it’s about a military draft that favored the wealthy) – to “Born on the Bayou,” “Proud Mary,” “Down on the Corner,” “Lookin’ Out My Back Door,” and “Bad Moon Rising,” CCR evokes Americana to a T. You can now enjoy John Fogerty’s gritty voice on 180-gram vinyl courtesy of Analogue Productions, who have reissued all of CCR’s classic titles.

    Don McClean American Pie album coverDon McLean“American Pie”
    “American Pie,” from the 1971 album of the same name, not only coined the phrase “The Day the Music Died,” it represented the evolution of music and politics in America during the ‘50s and ‘60s, from the death of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper on February 3, 1959, to the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963. It mourns the death of the feel-good ‘50s – an era of happiness, simplicity, affluence, and optimism displaced by the volatile ‘60s – and remains a cultural touchstone.

    Grand Funk Railroad “We’re an American Band”
    This isn’t just a great American rock song, it’s a declaration! Written in 1973 by Grand Funk’s drummer, Don Brewer, after an argument with British tourmates Humble Pie over the merits of British vs. American rock, this song is a proclamation of pride in America’s musical legacy. You can find it on their album by the same name, which was reissued last year on 180-gram gold vinyl by Friday Music.

    Chuck Berry“Back in the U.S.A.”
    On the topic of British vs. American rock, this classic 1959 Chuck Berry single was famously parodied by the Beatles with their 1969 song “Back in the U.S.S.R.” But nothing can diminish the delight and relief of a homesick Berry, happy as ever to be back in the USA after a tour Down Under. The Fourth of July is the perfect time to groove along to his roll call of beloved cities and join in his celebration of everyday American pleasures like the drive-in, juke-box, and of course, the hamburger.

    John Mellencamp “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.”
    An ode to '60s rock music, “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.” off of John Mellencamp's 1985 album Scarecrow is the obvious choice here, but Mellencamp has always told the stories of small-town America in his music (perhaps most strikingly in “Pink Houses” off 1983's Uh-Huh), and he continues to address what it means to be an American in his 2007 album Freedom's Road.

    Ray Charles“America the Beautiful”
    The most pure ode to our great country is Ray Charles’ “America the Beautiful,” a gorgeous, deeply moving, gospel-infused reading that makes one take pause and just appreciate the country’s beauty. The song first appeared on Charles' 1972 album A Message from the People, and it is now ingrained in America’s musical fabric.

    Honorable Mentions:

    Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - "American Girl" (off their 1976 eponymous debut)

    Lynyrd Skynyrd - "Sweet Home Alabama" (off their 1974 album Second Helping)

    Chicago - "Saturday in the Park" (off 1972's Chicago V)

    The Beach Boys - "Surfin' USA" (because what's more American than the Beach Boys and surfing?)

    David Bowie - "Young Americans" (off the 1975 album of the same name; because what's more American than Bowie!)

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    Vinyl Releases of the Week: June 29, 2012

    So this week's vinyl offerings are headed up by Michael Jackson, Miles Davis, and the Band. Need I say more?

    Michael Jackson – “I Just Can't Stop Loving You” / “Baby Be Mine” (Epic)
    To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s classic album Bad, Epic has released this limited 7-inch vinyl reissue of the beloved pop king's 1987 single “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.” Features the original single edit and B-side “Baby Be Mine.”

    Miles Davis Bopping the Blues (Black Lion UK/Original Recording Group)
    180-gram audiophile reissue of this landmark 1946 release documenting one of Miles Davis’ earliest recording sessions and first-known instance of open-voiced trumpet playing. Joining Davis on this historically significant album is legendary tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons, drummer Art Blakey, and singers Earl Coleman and Ann Baker.

    The BandMusic from Big Pink (Mobile Fidelity)
    At long last, this watershed roots-rock album receives the sublime-sounding reissue it deserves. The 1968 debut album from the Band, Music from Big Pink stems from the same pink farmhouse in upstate New York as Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes and features two songs co-written by Dylan (“This Wheel’s on Fire” and “Tears of Rage”), as well as a definitive cover of Dylan's “I Shall Be Released" and the Band’s signature tune “The Weight.” 180-gram audiophile vinyl pressing.

    Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges Side by Side (Wax Time Import)
    Direct metal mastered 180-gram vinyl reissue of this 1959 combo swing album. The follow-up to Back to Back, Side by Side places Duke Ellington’s alto saxophonist of many years, Johnny Hodges, at the forefront, and features accompaniment by Ellington and Billy Strayhorn on piano as well as jazz luminaries like Ben Webster, Roy Eldridge, Harry “Sweets” Edison, and Jo Jones. Features one bonus track!

    Alejandro Escovedo Big Station (Fantasy)
    Following his recent collaborations with Bruce Springsteen, the Texas-based fringe rock icon Alejandro Escovedo is back with a new album, his 11th in two decades. Big Station finds Escovedo working once again with producer Tony Visconti (T. Rex, David Bowie), who lends the album its wide-screen spaciousness, and songwriting collaborator Chuck Prophet.

    Paul Weller – "When Your Garden’s Overgrown" 7-inch (Yep Roc Records)
    The second single from the Modfather (and former member of the Jam and the Style Council) Paul Weller’s latest album, Sonik Kicks, features the album track “When Your Garden’s Overgrown” on Side A, and a new song, “Lay Down Your Weary Burden,” on Side B.

    Cat PowerMoon Pix; You Are Free; The Greatest (Matador)
    While you eagerly await Chan Marshall’s next studio album, Sun (due out September 4, 2012), you can enjoy these three Cat Power classics, all reissued on 120-gram vinyl: 1998’s soulful and reflective Moon Pix, 2003’s masterful You Are Free, and 2006’s life-affirming The Greatest. Each include an mp3 coupon.

    Beachwood SparksThe Tarnished Gold (Sub Pop)
    The harmony-rich band once described as “country through a kaleidoscope” is back with its first album in 11 years! The Tarnished Gold features the classic Beachwood Sparks lineup plus a stable of guests including Ariel Pink and producer Thom Monahan. Double LP in a gatefold jacket with gold foil and mp3 coupon.

    El-PCancer for Cure (Fat Possum/Ryko)
    Double vinyl pressing of the new album from the Brooklyn indie-rap icon. El-P’s first solo hip-hop album in five years, Cancer for Cure raises the bar for both hip-hop production and El-P's own vocal flow.

    Elmore James The Best of Elmore James (Great American Music)
    Best-of collection from the most influential slide guitarist of the post-war period, Elmore James. Features songs appearing on vinyl for the first time in decades including “Shake Your Moneymaker,” “The Sky Is Crying,” and “Dust My Broom.”

    The New PornographersMass Romantic (Matador)
    120-gram vinyl reissue of the power-pop debut from the Canadian indie rockers. Originally released in 2000, Mass Romantic features the lovely alt-country singer Neko Case. Includes mp3 coupon.

    Paul BanksJulian Plenti Lives… (Matador)
    New 10-inch EP from Interpol’s baritone frontman. An introduction to Banks’ upcoming full-length, the EP centers around a new song called “Summertime Is Coming" and features an original instrumental as well as covers of songs by J Dilla, Frank Sinatra, and Harold Faltermeyer.

    Yo La TengoElectr-O-Pura; I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass (Matador)
    In addition to the three Cat Power titles, two albums from the Hoboken, New Jersey indie rockers Yo La Tengo get the 120-gram vinyl treatment courtesy of Matador: 1995’s Electr-O-Pura and 2006’s I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass.

    Uriah HeepLogical Revelations (101 Distribution Import)
    Limited-edition vinyl import collection of ‘90s recordings by the British hard-rock band. Features songs from 1995’s Sea of Light and 1998's Sonic Origami, plus live tracks from a 1994 show in Germany including the band's early hits “The Wizard," "Look at Yourself," and "Easy Living."

    Various ArtistsThe Inner Flame: A Rainer Ptacek Tribute (Fire Records)
    Another beloved slide guitarist is honored this week with this double vinyl reissue. Originally released in 1997 as a tribute/benefit album, The Inner Flame features a diverse array of guests including Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Emmylou Harris, PJ Harvey, Evan Dando, Vic Chesnutt, Jonathan Richman, and Madeleine Peyroux. It is presented here with extra tracks by Lucinda Williams, Grandaddy, Chuck Prophet, John Wesley Harding, and Calexico’s Joey Burns and John Convertino.

    Donnie & Joe EmersonDreamin’ Wild (Light in the Attic)
    180-gram re-mastered edition of this 1979 album–“one of the most talked-about privately-pressed albums of the '70s.” Haunting, soul-laced psych folk.

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    Vinyl Releases of the Week: June 21, 2012

    This week: ‘90s icons Fiona Apple and Smashing Pumpkins release new music, the latest album from Technicolor rapper Nicki Minaj makes its vinyl debut, and classic titles from Cyndi Lauper, Chicago, Al Green, Thin Lizzy, and the Ventures get a vinyl update.

    Fiona Apple The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do (Epic)
    180-gram vinyl pressing of the acclaimed new album from the Grammy-winning songstress, her first in seven years. Recorded under the radar of her record label, it sheds the ornate production of her past work yet remains rich in musical inspiration (from Tin Pan Alley to barrelhouse jazz) and all the wonderfully jarring drama and boiling turns of phrase we’ve come to expect from Ms. Apple. And rest assured, despite its extended title, The Idler Wheel… is Apple’s most refined album to date.

    Smashing PumpkinsOceania (Martha’s Music)
    Smashing Pumpkins’ new studio album is an installment in their 44-song art-rock epic Teargarden By Kaleidyscope. Unlike their 2007 comeback album, the heavy, metallic Zeitgeist, Oceania is full of that dynamic splendor that distinguishes the band’s best '90s work.

    Cyndi Lauper - She's So Unusual (Mobile Fidelity)
    Limited-edition vinyl reissue of Cyndi Lauper’s breakthrough 1983 debut, a landmark ‘80s pop album featuring the hits "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," "Time After Time," "She Bop,” and “All Through the Night.” Back on vinyl for the first time in decades, it has been re-mastered to eliminate any harshness or brittleness in sound.

    Nicki Minaj Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (Cash Money)
    Double vinyl pressing of Nicki Minaj’s sophomore album. Part rap, part dance-pop, Roman Reloaded features the single “Starships” as well as guests Lil Wayne, Drake, Chris Brown, and of course Minaj’s alter-ego Roman Zolanski. (Dare I call her the hip-hop Cyndi Lauper?)

    Chicago Chicago V (Friday Music)
    The first-time audiophile pressing of this revered entry in Chicago’s catalog. Originally released in 1972, Chicago V features the band’s original lineup (Robert Lamm, Peter Cetera, Terry Kath, Danny Seraphine and the horn section of Lee Loughnane, Walter Parazaider, and James Pankow) and the hit singles “Saturday in the Park” and “Dialogue.”

    Thin LizzyBlack Rose: A Rock Legend (Friday Music)
    180-gram vinyl pressing of this hugely successful 1979 album from the Irish rockers – their first studio album to feature blues-rock guitarist Gary Moore. Includes the hits "Do Anything You Want To," "My Sarah," and "Waiting for an Alibi."

    The VenturesOn Stage (1965), Wild Things! (1966), Super Psychedelics (1967), Hawaii Five-O (1969) (Sundazed Music, Inc.)
    More vinyl reissues from “the band that launched a thousand bands,” the masters of tone and technique, the Ventures. These four titles from the highly influential instrumental surf-rock band have been sourced from the original Dolton and Liberty Records reels and painstakingly re-mastered.

    Al Green Gets Next to You (Fat Possum/Ryko)
    Limited-edition vinyl pressing of this seductive 1971 album from the legendary soul singer. Includes his reinterpretations of the Temptations’ "I Can't Get Next to You,” the Doors’ “Light My Fire,” and Green’s own classic hit “Tired of Being Alone.”

    Harry Nilsson - The Point! (Get on Down)
    Harry Nilsson's endearing 1971 album The Point! is back on vinyl with fully re-mastered audio sourced from the original recordings. A fable about the round-headed Oblio who grew up in the Pointed Village, the album was adapted into a short animated film and is packaged here with a fully restored eight-page comic storyboard, the same that was included with the original vinyl release.

    Ten Years AfterA Space in Time (Audio Fidelity)
    180-gram vinyl reissue of the UK blues-rockers’ more pop and acoustic-oriented 1971 album, featuring their biggest hit "I'd Love to Change the World."

    CodeineWhen I See the Sun Box Set (Numero)
    Limited-edition box set from the ‘90s slow-core band contains vinyl pressings of its three releases (1990’s Frigid Stars, 1992’s Barely Real EP, and 1994’s The White Birch), each restored from the original masters and accompanied by singles, demos, live recordings, and Peel Sessions. Each of these titles is also available individually as a deluxe double LP plus CD set including bonus material.

    The FuzztonesHallucination Generation (Lilith)
    180-gram double LP from the original ‘60s garage-psych revivalists. Features 25 of the Fuzztones’ best tracks from the past three decades and includes guest appearances by the likes of Mark Lindsay (Paul Revere & the Raiders), Arthur Lee (Love), James Lowe (the Electric Prunes), Sky Saxon (the Seeds), and more!

    Various Artists - The Sound of Jazz (Pure Pleasure Records)
    The best hour of jazz ever aired on national TV is now available as a 180-gram mono vinyl LP! This soundtrack from the 1957 CBS television special brings together leading jazz musicians from the era including Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Henry “Red” Allen, Jimmy Giuffre, Pee Wee Russell, Jimmy Rushing, Mal Waldron, and many more.

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    Topics: Music, Record Collecting, Vinyl Releases | No Comments »

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