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    Vinyl Releases of the Week: October 19, 2011

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    I love compiling these lists because it reminds me of flipping through record crates at a yard sale—where Red Hot Chili Peppers pop up between ABBA and Merle Haggard, and it totally makes sense. The cherry on top is that most of these new releases and reissues come in deluxe packaging and heavyweight pressings as opposed to warped vinyl and disintegrating gatefolds.

    ABBARing Ring (1973), Waterloo (1974), ABBA (1975), Arrival (1976), The Album (1977), Voulez-Vous (1979), Super Trouper (1980), The Visitors (1981) (Universal Music Enterprises)
    In August we saw all eight of the Swedish pop stars’ studio albums reissued on vinyl in the UK; this month we see them storming the States courtesy of UMe.

    Red Hot Chili PeppersI’m With You (Warner)
    2xLP vinyl pressing of the L.A. alt-funk icons’ 10th studio album. The Peppers’ first record in five years and first since the departure of longtime guitarist John Frusciante, I’m With You finds the band recharged with new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer and longtime producer Rick Rubin in tow. One of RHCP’s most accomplished albums, it kicks off with a chugging disco groove (“Monarchy of Roses”), confronts life and death with a new sense of maturity (“Brendan’s Death Song”), and retains plenty of the Peppers’ love for Southern California (“Happiness Loves Company”), striking an ideal balance of sensitivity and perpetual playfulness.

    Merle HaggardWorking in Tennessee (Vanguard)
    The new album from the 74-year-old country music legend is just as blunt as it is compassionate. In addition to new Haggard tunes—which are full of sharp melodies, bluesy undertones, boogie rhythms, jazzy guitar solos, and California twang—Working in Tennessee features Haggard covering the Carter-Cash classic “Jackson” with his wife Theresa and revisiting his own classic “Working Man Blues” with his son Ben Haggard and Willie Nelson.

    Todd RundgrenSomething/Anything? (Rhino)
    180-gram Rhino Records reissue of Todd Rundgren’s best-selling album, originally released in 1972. Featuring all original replica packaging, the double LP features the hits “Hello It’s Me” and “I Saw the Light,” as well the power-pop touchstone “Couldn’t I Just Tell You.”

    George BensonGuitar Man (Concord Jazz)
    The new album from Grammy-winning artist George Benson is a mix of jazz and pop covers recorded using an “old school,” nearly live approach with the savvy team of pianist Joe Sample, bassist Ben Williams, drummer Harvey Mason, and musical director David Garfield on keys. Where previous recordings have showcased Benson’s jazz vocals, Guitar Man is primarily instrumental, highlighting Benson’s masterful guitar chops. Included are covers of the Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” Stevie Wonder’s “My Cherie Amour,” Jesse Harris’ “Don’t Know Why” (Norah Jones’ breakout hit), the Champs’ “Tequila,” and even a deep cut from Michael Jackson’s Thriller with “The Lady in My Life.”

    DJ Shadow The Less You Know, the Better (Verve)
    The new album from the sample wizard/instrumental hip-hop pioneer DJ Shadow (his fourth in 15 years) features diverse sonic collages that incorporate heavy metal riffs, acoustic folk, old-school hip-hop, and Brit-rock, as well as vocal contributions from Little Dragon’s Yukimi Nagano, De La Soul’s Posdnuos, Tom Vek, and Talib Kweli.

    Shelby LynneRevelation Road (Everso Records)
    Shelby Lynne’s new acoustic album, Revelation Road, is a true solo effort—written, performed, and produced entirely by Lynne. However, it’s not considered the Americana artist’s most personal album to date for this reason alone. On Revelation Road, Lynne bravely confronts a dark demon in her past: the murder-suicide of her parents. As its title suggests, the album is not without a revelation, however—nor is it lacking in beauty.

    Marianne FaithfullStrange Weather (ORG)
    Limited 180-gram 45rpm double LP pressing of Marianne Faithfull’s 1987 album. Her first proper studio release after a 17-year battle with heroin addiction, Strange Weather is a mix of rock, blues, and cabaret featuring a re-recording of Faithfull’s 1964 hit “As Tears Go By” along with covers of Lead Belly’s “I Ain’t Goin’ Down to the Well No More,” Bob Dylan’s “I’ll Keep It with Mine” (originally penned for Nico), and the standards “Yesterdays” and “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.”

    Lindsey BuckinghamGift of Screws (Hi Horse Records)
    Vinyl reissue of the Fleetwood Mac guitarist’s fifth solo album, originally released in 2008. Featuring the pop-rock sound that made the Mac famous, Gift of Screws is very much a Buckingham affair—though it does feature guest contributions from the Fleetwood Mac rhythm section John McVie and Mick Fleetwood, as well as a few co-writing credits with Buckingham’s son, Will, and wife, Kristen.

    Weather ReportHeavy Weather (ORG)
    Limited 180-gram 45rpm double LP pressing of the jazz-rock powerhouse’s best-selling album, mastered by Bernie Grundman from the original analog master tapes and packaged in numbered deluxe gatefold jackets. Wayne Shorter’s sax and Jaco Pastorius’ bass have never sounded so good!

    Diana KrallLive in Paris (ORG)
    Limited 180-gram 45rpm double LP pressing of the first live album from the renowned jazz singer/pianist. Recorded during her sold-out run at Paris’ historic Olympia Theatre in late 2001, Live in Paris features a stellar group of musicians—including the Orchestra Symphonies European—performing a selection of classics like Gershwin’s “‘S Wonderful,” Cole Porter’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” and Burt Bacharach’s “The Look of Love” alongside more contemporary works like Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You.”

    M83Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming (Mute)
    Arguably the most exciting thing to be released on vinyl this week, sonically speaking, is the new album from M83. Three years in the making, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is a gorgeously constructed double LP that soars with grand, dream-pop splendor. Inspired by the Smashing Pumpkins’ epic 1995 double album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, it features production from Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Beck, Nine Inch Nails, the Mars Volta) and guest vocals from Zola Jesus.

    PusciferConditions of My Parole (Self-released)
    Maynard James Keenan (Tool, A Perfect Circle) has emerged from his wine-cellar studio in Northern Arizona with the second album from his electro-rock side project Puscifer. Described by Keenan as “like Twin Peaks in the desert,” Conditions of My Parole features 16 musicians (including Keenan’s son Devo on cello, former Mars Volta drummer Jon Theodor, L.A. songstress Juliette Commagere, and Bat for Lashes percussionist Sarah Jones) and is influenced by the ghosts and aliens, the Republicans and Democrats, and the scorpions and rattlesnakes of the Verde Valley.

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