Categories
Vinyl

Vinyl love: Levellers “Levelling the land”

(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: Levellers
Album Title: Levelling the land
Year released: 1991
Year reissued: 2016
Details: 2 x LP, 25th anniversary edition, includes bonus live disc

The skinny: Even if you are a regular on these pages, you could be forgiven for not noticing that I have been counting down my favourite albums of 1991 since midway through January, especially given the lackadaisical pace I am setting. But it’s true and I am enjoying it. In fact, just this past Thursday, I posted album number four and the album of our focus today appeared at number six a month ago. Levellers’ sophomore record, “Levelling the land”, is definitely my favourite by the band and when they announced this 25th anniversary reissue, I jumped all over it. The pressing includes “Fifteen years”, a song that wasn’t on initial pressings but was tacked on to the end of the cassette copy I purchased way back in the day. Also included is a bonus disc that features a live performance by the band of the album in full for its 20th anniversary back in 2011. I’m not typically one for live albums myself but it was a nice surprise nonetheless. It definitely captures the riotous, folk rock energy put forth by the fiddle, the didgeridoo, and an ecstatic crowd singing along with every word. Yeah, I’d be right there with them.

Standout track: “One way”

Categories
Vinyl

Vinyl love: The Cranberries “No need to argue”

(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 Cranberries
Album Title: No need to argue
Year released: 1994
Year reissued: 2020
Details: 2 x LP, 25th anniversary, limited edition, clear vinyl, gatefold sleeve, essay printed on inner sleeves, bonus tracks

The skinny: I’d been wanting to add this record to my collection for many years now but the only pressing that seemed to be readily available was the one by Plain Records that by all accounts, is subpar at best. Then, The Cranberries’ debut album, “Everybody else is doing it, so why can’t we?“, was reissued in 2018 for its 25th anniversary (which I bought) and so I figured if I could just be patient, a 25th anniversary reissue of “No need to argue” would soon follow. And this release is definitely worth waiting for. The sound and the packaging is impeccable, the album proper pressed across three sides and some bonus tracks included on the fourth side. My wife Victoria and I were both fans of the album back when it was originally released. Of course, we were both quite young back then and were still getting to know each other but we had this album in common. When I lost interest after “No need to argue”, Victoria continued to follow them. However, she’s yet to listen to the record with me since I got it last fall because she is haunted by how frontwoman Dolores O’Riordan passed a couple years ago. But maybe soon…

Standout track: “I can’t be with you”

Categories
Vinyl

Vinyl love (revisited): Barenaked Ladies “Gordon”

(I started my Vinyl Love posts pretty much right after the launch of this blog to share photos of my growing vinyl collection. Over time, the photos have improved and the explanations have grown. And looking back at a handful of the original posts in this series, I found myself wanting to re-do some of them so that the posts are more worthy of those great albums. So that’s what I’ll be doing every once in a while, including today…)

Artist: Barenaked Ladies
Album Title: Gordon
Year released: 1992
Year reissued: 2017
Details: Black vinyl, 2 x LP, 180 gram Gatefold sleeve, 25th anniversary edition

The skinny: My original ‘Vinyl Love’ gallery on this record was posted back in November three years ago. In that piece, I blamed my pre-ordering of it during the prior summer on my friend Patrick, who is a pretty big fan of the Ladies and had alerted me to its reissue. I think it funny now that I had actually had to think about purchasing it. “Gordon” was a pretty big deal, especially in Southern Ontario, when it was released back in 1992. The rest of the world wouldn’t officially catch on to the four-piece from Scarborough until a few years later and by that point, I (and a lot of their other early diehard fans) had moved on. This debut, however, remains a classic and I had forgotten how great it was until I received this 25th anniversary reissue on two 180-gram discs in the mail. I feel like I’ve listen to these 15 songs more in the last three years than I had in the previous two decades. And yeah, I still know every word to every song. Every word. Every song. Classic.

Standout track: “Brian Wilson”

P.S. Those of you who are aficionados of early 1990s Canadian alt-rock might appreciate a photo I am planning on posting to my Instagram account tomorrow. Watch out for it.