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    Vinyl Releases of the Week: May 9, 2012

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    Sure moms love flowers, but they also love vinyl. And like mom, there are a lot of treasures in the vinyl department this week, from the long-anticipated release of Carole King’s legendary demos to collectible picture discs documenting the early years of both Santana and Guns N’ Roses. Or how about actress/producer Rita Wilson’s album of ‘60s and ‘70s covers, AM/FM? I’m sure somewhere in this list is something for mom.

    Carole King The Legendary Demos (HEAR Music)
    The vaults have finally been unlocked and Carole King’s legendary demos unveiled to the public. This vinyl LP features 13 of the revered singer-songwriter’s original vocal and piano tracks from her Aldon Music days in the ‘60s, where she penned over 100 chart hits for other artists, to her 1971 masterwork, Tapestry.

    Donald FagenThe Nightfly (Warner Bros.)
    180-gram vinyl reissue of the Steely Dan frontman’s 1982 solo debut, his most personal album to date. In the smooth jazz-pop vein, it has been ranked one of the best recorded albums of all time (right up there with Pet Sounds and Sgt. Pepper) and features the hits “I.G.Y. ” and “New Frontier.”

    Rita WilsonAM/FM (Decca US)
    Actress/producer Rita Wilson makes her singing debut with this double LP of U.S. radio hits from the ‘60s and ’70s. Together, they make up the soundtrack to Wilson’s life, the song sequence telling the story of innocent, idealized love (AM) turning to disillusionment (FM). Joining her on the album is Sheryl Crow (“Angel of the Morning,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”), Chris Cornell (“All I Have to Do Is Dream”), Jackson Browne (“Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues”), and Faith Hill (“Love Has No Pride”), among others.

    Silversun PickupsNeck of the Woods (Dangerbird)
    The highly anticipated third album from L.A.’s Silversun Pickups features production from Jacknife Lee (R.E.M., U2, Weezer) and, as frontman Brian Aubert put it, sounds “like a horror movie.” Their most intense album lyrically, it wrestles with the emotions of being a stranger in a strange land, even when that is two minutes from where you grew up – in Aubert’s case, Topanga Canyon, where the album was recorded.

    Damon AlbarnDr Dee (Virgin)
    The new album by Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz), Dr Dee was inspired by the life of John Dee, a 16th century mathematician, alchemist, philosopher, and advisor to Elizabeth I. Described by Albarn as “strange pastoral folk,” it fuses spooky English choral music with West African and Renaissance sounds, and was recorded with the BBC Philharmonic orchestra.

    Johnny ThundersDawn of the Dead: Live at Max’s Kansas City (Cleopatra)
    On limited edition 12-inch picture disc is this rare live gem from the former New York Doll and major figure of the NYC punk scene, Johnny Thunders. Recorded live at the legendary nightclub and hub of New York’s iconoclastic 1970s art scene, it features Thunders’ takes on the iconic songs “(I’m Not) Your Stepping Stone,” “These Boots Are Made for Walking,” “Like a Rolling Stone,” and “(I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man.”

    Santana Early San Francisco Years (Cleopatra)
    On their next limited edition12-inch picture disc release, Cleopatra honors a West Coast legend. Early San Francisco Years captures a historic live performance by Santana and includes early versions of the songs “Evil Ways,” “Soul Sacrifice,” and a medley of “Let’s Get Ourselves Together”/”Jin-Go-Lo-Ba.”

    Hollywood Rose Roots of Guns N’ Roses (Cleopatra)
    Last but not least, a limited edition 12-inch picture disc featuring the pre-GN’R demos of Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin, including “Anything Goes” from Appetite for Destruction and “Reckless Life” from GN’R Lies.

    Jay DeeliciousThe Delicious Vinyl Years: Originals, Remixes & Rarities (Traffic Ent. Group)
    The Delicious Vinyl Years documents the early work of a hip-hop master, Jay Dee aka J Dilla, from the Pharcyde’s “Runnin’” to his rise to fame producing for other Delicious Vinyl artists between 1995 and 1998. Triple vinyl LP.

    KeaneStrangeland (Interscope)
    Vinyl LP pressing of the long-awaited fourth album from the British quartet is a return to its soaring vocals and sweeping piano melodies after the electronic experinments of 2008’s Perfect Symmetry.

    TrainCalifornia 37 (Columbia)
    The latest album from the Grammy-winning pop-rock band is now available on vinyl! Produced by Butch Walker (Garbage, Nirvana) and Espionage.

    Dropkick Murphys Live at Fenway (Dropkick Murphys)
    This 20-song double LP features the iconic Boston Irish-punk band performing live to an audience of hometown fans at the city’s legendary Fenway Park. Fans who didn’t get to attend (and those who did) can now enjoy the entire show on 180-gram vinyl.

    White ZombieLa Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1 (Music on Vinyl Import)
    180-gram audiophile reissue of White Zombie’s 1992 major label debut – a critical and commercial success featuring the MTV and rock radio hits “Thunder Kiss ’65” and “Black Sunshine.” Groove metal at its best.

    The ResidentsFingerprince, Third Reich ‘n’ Roll (Cryptic Corp)
    Vinyl reissues of the avant-garde group’s 1976 albums: Fingerprince, which includes a digital download of the album in its original extended form as a triple LP called “Tourniquet of Roses,” and its predecessor, Third Reich ‘n’ Roll, an album consisting of two suites of pop oldies covers.

    Various Artists – The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond (Universal Republic)
    The soundtrack to the motion picture is now available on vinyl. Produced by Grammy winner T-Bone Burnett (O Brother, Where Art Thou?), it’s surprisingly folksy for a sci-fi blockbuster and mirrors the haunted, post-apocalyptic feel of the film. Features new and exclusive tracks from critically acclaimed artists including Arcade Fire, Neko Case, Taylor Swift, Adam Levine, and the Decemberists.

    ExodusShovel Headed Kill Machine (Back on Black)
    Limited edition double LP reissue of this 2005 album from the Bay Area thrash metal titans. The follow-up to their acclaimed comeback record, Tempo of the Damned, it features a markedly different line-up from the band’s glory days with new lead singer Rob Dukes and one of metal’s best drummers, Paul Bostaph (formerly of Slayer).

    CodeineWhen I See the Sun Box Set (Numero)
    Vinyl box set featuring the near-complete works of seminal slowcore pioneers, Codeine, including their three albums Frigid Stars (1990), Barely Real (1992), and The White Birch (1994). These will feature detailed liner notes and be expanded to double albums with the addition of singles, demos, live recordings, and Peel sessions.

    Matt Skiba and the SekretsBabylon (EMI)
    The Alkaline Trio frontman steps away from his longtime band to release this solo debut with AFI’s Hunter Burgan on bass and My Chemical Romance’s Jarrod Alexander on drums.

    Aaron Freeman Marvelous Clouds (Partisan Records)
    Another frontman, this time of the band Ween, also goes solo and gives fans a more authentic look at his life. Features interpretations of 13 songs by the great songwriter and poet Rod McKuen.

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