There has been a lot of talk recently about vinyl. Nick even gave you all a pretty solid vinyl buying guide. Recently the sales figures of vinyl have gone through the roof while CD sales continue to plummet as the market shifts toward the duality of embracing digital media and vinyl. As a child with a father who was a former DJ, we were fed nothing but the vinyl sounds of Motown, The Beach Boys, and The Beatles with a little bit of Neil Diamond’s “Cracklin’ Rosie” 45 thrown in for good measure. Since high school, I’ve been amassing my own collection to complement the vast quantities of pre-1970s 45s and albums that I inherited (AKA took with me when I moved out).
With the recent ‘Vinyl in the Ville’ and Record Store Day festivities over at Ear X-tacy, I thought I would share with you all my favorite vinyl scores both old (Inherited) and new (Purchased). These are my ultimate jams:
1. Julie Doiron– I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day
I have been a fan of Julie Doiron’s for a little while. She played a set here in Louisville this past fall and was really incredible. She used to be in the old Canadian rock band Eric’s Trip, but these days she’s putting out her solo records with Secretly Canadian/Jagjaguwar. This record is definitely my favorite of the year so far I think. “Spill Yer Lungs” is amazing with the juxtuposition of the fuzzed out Freddy Squire guitars and Julie’s lilting chanteuse voice. “Blue” is my favorite song to sing at work, and “Glad To Be Alive” is the best happy song to start your day off right.
2. Junior Boys- So This Is Goodbye
Saw these dudes at Pitchfork a few weeks ago and was blown away by their presence, melodies, and how tight they were. This record is probably my favorite dance-y record of the past few years.
3. Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twins– Rabbit Fur Coat
This is one of my favorite albums ever actually. The Watson Twins have the best back up vocals since Emmylou Harris saddled up with Gram Parsons. This record reminds me of Dusty In Memphis in the best possible of ways, and it’s old-timeyness works out even better on vinyl.
4. Mount Eerie– Lost Wisdom
This is another one of my favorite records ever. It was my favorite record of ’08 and the white vinyl is gorgeous as is the 24×36 poster of the front cover which makes for a great wall decoration.
5. Spoon– Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Now, this may not live up to records like Girls Can Tell and Gimme Fiction, but it is certainly a great record and their new-found expanded palette sounds so incredibly good on wax.
6. Beirut– Gulag Orkestar
7. The Dave Brubeck Quartet– Time Out
8. The Byrds– Sweetheart Of The Rodeo
9. James Brown– LIVE at The Apollo
10. Bon Iver– For Emma, Forever Ago
11. Throw Me The Statue– Moonbeams
12. Neutral Milk Hotel– In The Aeroplane Over The Sea
1. The Monkees– “Last Train To Clarksville” (Picture Sleeve 45)
I’m not quite sure what it is about this song that keeps me coming back, but this was always my favorite song as a kid. Even before I knew anything about the song or the band, I regarded this as the holy grail of my dad’s collection. I don’t think I was too far off.
2. The Beatles– “Paperback Writer” (Picture Sleeve 45)
Of all the opening riffs to songs ever, none are as bad-ass and as perfect as this one. This was the start of the riff-rocking that Lennon perfected with The Plastic Ono Band.
3. Neil Diamond– “Cracklin’ Rosie” (45)
This was always my sister and I’s songs. We’d run around the house singing it constantly, but I think my dad quietly hated the fact that we rocked this song more than any other. I’m sure he thought we’d turn out a little strange with all the Neil Diamond we listened to. These days, he is seeing a new generation of kids who appreciate his music albeit often ironically due to his rhinestone jumpsuits and total lack of “cool.” However, when I was a kid, it was anything but cool to like Neil Diamond, and I was okay with that.
4. Bob Dylan– Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid (soundtrack)
This is an oft-overlooked gem in the Bob Dylan catalog. It is definitely significant for being the debut of “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” but is a great record otherwise as well. It’s always been a dream of mine to have a Bob Dylan themed costume party where everyone dresses like a character from one of his songs. The possibilities are endless. Anyone in?
5. The Temptations– Christmas Card
You can’t grow up in Michigan and not be immersed in Motown. It may have been economically starving all these years, but no one can deny the wealth of music that has sprung up out of Detroit since the 50s. There are countless Motown records that should be and have been canonized, but this will always be my favorite. This record defines the holidays for me, and if I’m not hunkered down in front of the hi-fi listening to “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” over and over again then you can bet the farm that it’s not November yet.
6. Elvis– In Person At The International Hotel in Las Vegas, NV (double gatefold)
7. Diana Ross and the Supremes– Greatest Hits (double gatefold)
8. Gene Krupa– Drum Boogie
9. Johnny Cash– I Walk The Line
10. Beach Boys– LIVE in Concert
11. The Ventures– On Stage: Around The World- In Japan, London, and The United States
12. Paul Revere and The Raiders– Here They Come!