Top 10 Best Vinyl Records July 2015
1. Coming Home
Leon Bridges is the ‘out of almost nowhere’ story that only comes along once in a while. Awareness of Leon Bidges and his unique craft continues to grow authentically and consistently.
It was only last summer that Leon was singing open mics in his hometown Fort Worth, TX. One of those open mics was attended by Austin Jenkins and Josh Block of the notable indie band White Denim who were absolutely floored by Leon’s voice, songs, and creative vision.
They soon after set-up shop in a makeshift studio and recorded the album’s opener “Coming Home” completely live to tape. This first take is exactly what you hear opening the album. The remaining 9 songs followed in a burst of creativity and inspiration.
Leon was the breakout artist of 2015’s SXSW, and performed to capacity crowds at A-level events including Heartbreaker at Willie Nelson’s ranch, the Gorilla-vs-Bear HypeHotel showcase, Spotify House and Saint David’s Church. His soulful, movement based performances and adept backing band garnered strong reviews from a variety of top-level media including the New York Times, Billboard and Grantland amongst many others.
2. 1989 (Vinyl)
- Vinyl (December 9, 2014)
- Number of Discs: 2
- Label: Big Machine
1. So What 2. Freddie Freeloader 3. Blue In Green 4. All Blues 5. Flamenco Sketches
Few recordings maintain their power to utterly intoxicate for decades as Kind of Blue does. This 1959 all-time classic is one of the monuments of jazz: So What; Freddie Freeloader; Blue in Green; All Blues , and Flamenco Sketches . This vinyl release is the way to experience one of the greatest albums ever made.
4. Abbey Road
1. Come Together, 2. Something, 3. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer, 4. Oh! Darling, 5. Octopus’s Garden, 6. I Want You (She’s So Heavy), 7. Here Comes The Sun, 8. Because, 9. You Never Give Me Your Money, 10. Sun King, 11. Mean Mr. Mustard, 12. Polythene Pam, 13. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window, 14. Golden Slumbers, 15. Carry That Weight, 16. The End, 17. Her Majesty.
The Beatles’ acclaimed original studio album remasters, released on CD in 2009, make their long-awaited stereo vinyl debut
Manufactured on 180-gram, audiophile quality vinyl with replicated artwork, the 14 albums return to their original glory with details including the poster in The Beatles (The White Album), the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band’s cut-outs, and special inner bags for some of the titles
The titles include The Beatles’ 12 original UK albums, first released between 1963 and 1970, the US-originated Magical Mystery Tour, now part of the group’s core catalogue, and Past Masters, Volumes One & Two, first released individually in 1988, featuring non-album A-sides and B-sides, EP tracks and rarities. With this release, The Beatles’ first four albums make their North American stereo vinyl debuts
There has always been demand for The Beatles’ albums on vinyl. Indeed, 2011’s best-selling vinyl LP in the United States was Abbey Road. Following the success of The Beatles’ acclaimed, GRAMMY Award-winning 2009 CD remasters, it was decided that the sound experts at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios should create new versions of The Beatles’ vinyl LPs. The project demanded the same meticulous approach taken for the CD releases, and the brief was a simple one: cut the digital remasters to vinyl with an absolute minimum of compromise to the sound. However, the process involved to do that was far from simple
The first stage in transferring the sound of a master recording to vinyl is the creation of a disc to be used during vinyl manufacture. There were two options to consider. A Direct Metal Master (DMM), developed in the late seventies, allows sound to be cut directly into a stainless steel disc coated with a hard copper alloy. The older, alternative method is to cut the sound into the soft lacquer coating on a nickel disc – the first of several steps leading to the production of a stamper to press the vinyl
A ‘blind’ listening test was arranged to choose between a ‘lacquer’ or ‘copper’ cut. Using both methods, A Hard Day’s Night was pressed with ten seconds of silence at the beginning and end of each side. This allowed not only the reproduction of the music to be assessed, but also the noise made by the vinyl itself. After much discussion, two factors swung the decision towards using the lacquer process. First, it was judged to create a warmer sound than a DMM. Secondly, there was a practical advantage of having ‘blank’ discs of a consistent quality when cutting lacquers
The next step was to use the Neumann VMS80 cutting lathe at Abbey Road. Following thorough mechanical and electrical tests to ensure it was operating in peak condition, engineer Sean Magee cut the LPs in chronological release order. He used the original 24-bit remasters rather than the 16-bit versions that were required for CD production. It was also decided to use the remasters that had not undergone ‘limiting’ – a procedure to increase the sound level, which is deemed necessary for most current pop CDs
Having made initial test cuts, Magee pinpointed any sound problems that can occur during playback of vinyl records. To rectify them, changes were made to the remasters with a Digital Audio Workstation. For example, each vinyl album was listened to for any ‘sibilant episodes’ – vocal distortion that can occur on consonant sounds such as S and T. These were corrected by reducing the level in the very small portion of sound causing the undesired effect. Similarly, any likelihood of ‘inner-groove distortion’ was addressed. As the stylus approaches the centre of the record, it is liable to track the groove less accurately. This can affect the high-middle frequencies, producing a ‘mushy’ sound particularly noticeable on vocals. Using what Magee has described as ‘surgical EQ,’ problem frequencies were identified and reduced in level to compensate for this
The last phase of the vinyl mastering process began with the arrival of the first batches of test pressings made from master lacquers that had been sent to the two pressing plant factories. Stringent quality tests identified any noise or click appearing on more than one test pressing in the same place. If this happened, it was clear that the undesired sounds had been introduced either during the cutting or the pressing stage and so the test records were rejected. In the quest to achieve the highest quality possible, the Abbey Road team worked closely with the pressing factories and the manufacturers of the lacquer and cutting styli
An additional and unusual challenge was to ensure the proper playback of the sounds embedded in the ‘lock-groove’ at the end of side two of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Requiring a combination of good timing and luck, it had always been a lengthy and costly process to make it work properly. In fact, it was so tricky, it had never been attempted for American pressings of the LP. Naturally, Sean Magee and the team perfected this and the garbled message is heard as originally intended on the remastered Sgt. Pepper LP.
Triple LP Heavyweight Black Vinyl Edition
The Book Of Souls is the band’s 16th studio album since their eponymous debut in 1980 charted at #4 in the UK, in a career achieving sales of over 90 million albums worldwide. Their previous album, 2010’s The Final Frontier was Maiden’s most successful chart-wise to date, reaching Number One in 28 countries and was their highest chart debut in the U.S reaching #4 in the Billboard 200.
1. Rehab, 2. You Know I’m No Good, 3. Me & Mr. Jones, 4. Just Friends, 5. Back to Black, 6. Love Is a Losing Game, 7. Tears Dry on Their Own, 8. Wake Up Alone, 9. Some Unholy War, 10. He Can Only Hold Her, 11. You Know I’m No Good [Remix].
US version includes one exclusive ‘hidden’ bonus track, ‘You Know I’m No Good’ (featuring Ghostface Killah). ‘Back To Black’ is the second album from London-based chanteuse Amy Winehouse. Although her 2003 debut was a success, her rowdy offstage behavior became the focus of tabloids and critics instead of the music. Because of this, Winehouse stepped out of the spotlight and concentrated on putting the focus back on her music. Three years later, her sophomore release has surprised critics and excited her fanbase. Combining a strong, Jazzy vocal style with often frank lyrical content recounting tales of love and loss, Winehouse is a truly talented songwriter with a good ear for melody, making this album an essential purchase. Includes the single ‘Rehab’. Universal. 2007.
The Rolling Stones
Regarded as one of The Rolling Stones’ all-time great albums, ‘Sticky Fingers’ captured the bands trademark combination of swagger and tenderness in a superb collection. The classic album features timeless songs such as ‘Brown Sugar,’ ‘Wild Horses,’ ‘Bitch,’ ‘Sister Morphine’ and ‘Dead Flowers’ and showcases the inventive song writing of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and formidable guitar licks from Mick Taylor. All Deluxe and Super Deluxe formats will feature a generous selection of previously unavailable material. These include the alternative version of the chart-topping single ‘Brown Sugar’ featuring Eric Clapton; unreleased interpretations of ‘Bitch,’ ‘Can’t You Hear Me Knocking’ and ‘Dead Flowers’; an acoustic take on the anthemic ‘Wild Horses’, and five tracks recorded live at The Roundhouse in 1971 including ‘Honky Tonk Women’ and ‘Midnight Rambler.’ Remastered album and bonus tracks featuring previously unreleased alternate takes and live performances on two black heavyweight vinyls’. Housed in an outer wallet with real zip.
It’s not often that you stumble across a songwriter whose lyrics both sound and read like poetry. When those lyrics are set to music that balances burning indignation with lilting tenderness, and delivered in a voice imbued with the spiritual passion and yearning of gospel and the blues, you figure you’ve chanced upon something special. And so it is with 23-year-old Andrew Hozier-Byrne, an Irish singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from County Wicklow who goes by the name of Hozier.
Hozier releases his self-titled debut album on Columbia Records, following his two EPs Take Me To Church and From Eden. The new album produced by Ron Kirwan (PJ Harvey and Depeche Mode). Hozier will feature the hit single “Take Me To Church” as well as his most recent release “Sedated.”
Raised in a musical family, Hozier’s childhood and adolescent listening was dominated, he says, “by Chicago blues, Texan blues, Chess Records, Motown, and then I discovered jazz, but more importantly, Delta blues that extraordinarily haunting sound. Skip James, Blind Willie Johnson, people like that. Later, it was Pink Floyd, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, plus Tom Waits was a huge, huge influence. I was always drawn to singers with something haunting about their voices. The same goes for writers such as James Joyce and Oscar Wilde. You can’t define what it is, but it buries itself deep in your soul.”
After a string of sold out dates and electrifying performances including TV appearances on The Late Show With David Letterman and The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Hozier will return stateside when he launches his first national headline tour this fall. The tour crisscrosses the country before wrapping up with two shows in New York City.
Tastemakers and critics have wholeheartedly embraced his spirited and soulful sound. He s drawn praise from NPR, New York Magazine, KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic, MTV Buzzworthy, Consequence of Sound, and more. Most recently he was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and Tiny Desk Concert.
- Vinyl (September 26, 2011)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Parlophone
You Save: $60.00 (33%)
- Listen to your favorite vinyl with this authentic retro design 3-in-1 turntable record player with real wood veneer cabinet inspired by over 100 years of developing analog audio systems
- Plays vinyl records, CDs, AM/FM radio with illuminated tuning dial, and a 3.5mm auxiliary input for any music playing device including your iPhone, iPad, Android or any other tablet or smartphone
- Built-in stereo speakers with room filling hi-fi sound, housed in an all wood acoustic cabinet for optimal audio performance
- “Diamond tipped” ceramic needle provides increased audio performance with a warm and natural tone and will not harm even your most cherished albums
- Fully automatic belt-driven turntable spins 7, 10 or 12-inch records at speeds of 33 1/3, 45 & 78 RPM so you can enjoy your – and dad’s – vinyl collection with ease
Enjoy an amazing audio journey with a classic design from Electrohome’s 100+ years of history. Made with real wood, you can play your entire collection of vinyl records, CDs, AM/FM radio and even connect your smartphone or tablet. You have many options with this unique 3-in-1 system. The old-fashioned look will match any decor, while the rich sound from the speakers will play in crystal clarity.
3-in-1 System Plays Vinyl Records, AM/FM Radio, and CDs
Sit back and relax while you listen to music from your record collection, CDs, or even the radio. The belt-driven turntable plays 7, 10 and 12” records at three speeds of 331/3, 45 and 78 revolutions /minute, so that your entire vinyl library can be enjoyed. You can also listen to your favorite radio station with the AM/FM tuner.
Classic Vintage Design with Elegant Real Wood Finish
Not only is this system great for entertainment purposes, the old-fashioned look of this music player also makes it a great addition to any room in your home. The real wood finish and classical design will complement your decor perfectly, and will bring you back to a time when just a penny would give you a melody and a dance.
Dual Full Range Dynamic Speakers & Headphone Port
The powerful speakers in this system allow for high fidelity sound, whether you’re listening to your favorite record, CD, or radio station. For private listening, a 3.5mm headphone jack is built into the front of the unit.
Copyright 2015 Kelly Downing