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    Vinyl Releases of the Week: January 11, 2012

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    It’s an interesting bunch of releases this week, from rare ‘90s reissues to joyful interpretations of country classics.

    Morphine Cure for Pain (Modern Classics Recordings)
    The second release on Light in the Attic imprint Modern Classics Recordings is the sophomore album from Morphine, originally released in 1993. Considered “one of the best and most cutting-edge rock releases of the ’90s,” the album was previously only available on vinyl as a (really expensive) Brazilian import. Now, for its first-ever US vinyl issue, it is available on 180-gram vinyl, lovingly re-mastered and packaged in a deluxe “tip-on” gatefold jacket with the original album art and added liner notes.

    Red Hot Chili PeppersBlood Sugar Sex Magik reissue (Warner Bros.)
    In case you missed it in December, Warner Bros. has reissued the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ landmark 1991 album as a double 180-gram LP. A seminal alternative rock record, the album showcases the band’s signature blend of funk and punk and features RHCP staples “Under the Bridge,” “Give It Away,” “Suck My Kiss,” and “Breaking the Girl.” Produced by Rick Rubin.

    The Little WilliesFor the Good Times (Milking Bull)
    180-gram vinyl pressing of the brand new release from Norah Jones’ country side project. This time out, the group covers some of their favorite songwriters including Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Lefty Frizzell, and Dolly Parton, recreating the songs with love and adding a bit of jazz-inflected warmth and the occasional dose of humor. Jones’ take on Parton’s “Jolene” is especially arresting.

    The LemonheadsHotel Sessions (Hall of Records)
    This album of unearthed Lemonheads recordings features 14 songs recorded one Sunday night nearly 20 years ago by Evan Dando with just his acoustic guitar and a Walkman in a hotel room in Bondi Beach, Australia. In addition to revealing commentary, Hotel Sessions features songs that were intended for the at-the-time still unreleased Come On Feel the Lemonheads (some of which never did make it on that record) and includes a version of “Into Your Arms” that Dando prefers to the album version.

    JellyfishBellybutton, Spilt Milk (Omnivore Recordings)
    Vinyl reissues of the sole two studio albums from the influential early-‘90s power-pop band. Drawing from a wide range of influences including Cheap Trick, the Paisley Underground, Queen, and the Beach Boys, these albums are power-pop classics, and this marks the first time either have been commercially available in the U.S. Originally released in 1990 as a promotional CD, the band’s debut album, Bellybutton, features Jellyfish’s most successful single, “Baby’s Coming Back,” and the first 1,500 copies are reissued here on 180-gram translucent blue vinyl. Its 1993 follow-up, Spilt Milk, is a pop gem that features more elaborate arrangements and lush vocal harmonies, and was originally only released on vinyl in the UK. Omnivore is pressing the first 1,500 copies of Spilt Milk on 180-gram translucent green vinyl.

    Snow PatrolFallen Empires (Island)
    Double vinyl LP pressing of the 2012 release and sixth studio album from the Irish alt-rock band, which frontman Gary Lightbody told fans would reflect the next phase of the band. Recorded in various unique locales around Southern California – from a crazy house in Santa Monica with panoramic ocean views to the one-time hippie commune and former home of Neil Young and Woody Guthrie in Topanga Canyon – the album is surprisingly melancholy with more techno-inspired moments. It features backing vocals from the LA Inner City Mass Gospel Choir in Compton as well guest appearances from R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe, singer Lissie, and Queens of the Stone Age guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen.

    Alex ChiltonFree Again: The “1970” Sessions (Omnivore Recordings)
    A collection of Alex Chilton’s post-Box Tops/pre-Big Star recordings, these sessions (his first solo recordings) mark a man breaking free, no longer a puppet of his former group’s producers. Includes the previously unissued track “All We Ever Got from Them Was Pain.” LP includes digital download and the first 1,500 copies are pressed on clear 180-gram vinyl.

    Thee HeadcoatsThe Kids Are All Square: This Is Hip!, Knights of the Baskervilles (Damaged Goods)
    2012 is apparently the year of the Thee Headcoats reissues! Fronted by the “King of Garage Rock,” Billy Childish, Thee Headcoats were a prolific band, running from 1989 to 2000 and garnering the praise of everyone from Kurt Cobain to Jack White. To kick things off, we have 1990’s The Kids Are All Square: This Is Hip! featuring classics “All My Feelings Denied,” “Davey Crockett,” and “Cowboys Are Square,” and 1996’s Knights of the Baskervilles.

    Mark Lanegan Band – “The Gravedigger’s Song” 7-inch (4AD)
    The lead track off of the upcoming album Blues Funeral, the first Mark Lanegan Band release since 2004’s Bubblegum, paired with the non-album B-side “Burning Jacob’s Ladder.”

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