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Vinyl

Vinyl love: Happy Mondays “Pills ‘n’ thrills and bellyaches”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: Happy Mondays
Album Title: Pills ‘n’ thrills and bellyaches
Year released: 1990
Year reissued: 2015
Details: 25th anniversary, reissue, 180 gram, yellow, RSD exclusive

The skinny: A few weeks ago, I shared photos of my translucent yellow, 20th anniversary copy of Coldplay’s debut album, “Parachutes”. For this edition of ‘Vinyl Love’, I decided to keep with the same colour scheme and another anniversary edition, of yet another classic alternative rock album. Picked up on Record Store Day 2015, this Rhino Vinyl reissue of Happy Mondays’ seminal third album wasn’t even on my radar when I ventured into one of my favourite independent shops that day. Indeed, I didn’t even know it was on the list of releases ahead of time but when I saw it on the shelf, the snap decision was made. And it’s one for which I’ve been thankful I’ve made ever since. Not only is the 180 gram slab of yellow vinyl quite pretty and the original album art as confusing and as arresting as ever, but the sound is amazing. “Pills ‘n’ thrills and bellyaches” is one of the greatest examples of what made Madchester so much fun: a swirling conundrum of punk DIY, druggy psychedelics, and dance floor ready beats. “You’re twistin’ my melon, man!”

Standout track: “Step on”

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Vinyl

Vinyl love: Coldplay “Parachutes”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: Coldplay
Album Title: Parachutes
Year released: 2000
Year reissued: 2020
Details: 20th anniversary, reissue, 180 gram, yellow translucent

The skinny: I’ve already written on these pages about how excited I became when I first heard the single “Yellow”. Given how big that song became and how much commercial radio overplayed it, you’d think (and normally I would’ve thought the same) that I might have gotten sick of the tune by now but somehow this never happened. Indeed, “Yellow” is still my favourite single tune from the year 2000. And the rest of “Parachutes” is hardly a slouch. I bought the album on CD on the back of the aforementioned single and quickly fell for the other nine tracks. And none of this admiration has faded at all despite repeat listens for over two decades*. So when a 20th anniversary reissue of the album on (of course, yellow) 180 gram vinyl was announced last year, I did not hesitate to pull the pre-order trigger. It arrived months later, looking and sounding just as sweet.

Standout track: “Yellow”

*I’ve got the album ranked as number four on my favourites for the year in a series that I am still in the process of working out.

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Vinyl

Vinyl love: The Rural Alberta Advantage “Departing”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: The Rural Alberta Advantage
Album Title: Departing
Year released: 2011
Details: Black vinyl, 180 gram

The skinny: The sophomore record by Toronto-based indie folk-rock trio, The Rural Alberta Advantage, was released the year after I discovered them at Ottawa’s Bluesfest and then, fell in love with their debut. “Departing” is the logical next step in the band’s progression so it wasn’t a big leap for me to fall for it as well. The production is crisper and cleaner but it doesn’t take away from the raw energy and crazed percussion that made their first effort so hard to pull away from. Nils Edenloff’s rough hewn sneer is set against Amy Cole’s gentle backing echo, lyrics that paint love stories and memories of home. I only got this 180 gram, original pressing of the record recently, completing my collection of the band’s work (for now). The packaging is very similar aesthetically to the debut (which I featured in last weekend’s post), but the album cover is one of my favourites, a very Canadian image indeed.

Standout track: “Tornado 87”